About a week ago I was visiting with a parent of one of the 8th grade students I work with, and she described her daughter as a people pleaser.
I have been thinking about that comment ever since, and I realized I'm a people pleaser, too.
I don't want to rock the boat.
And, if I think I have made someone upset by something I said or did, I get a very sick feeling in my stomach, and it really bothers me.
I think many of my decision in my life are based on this principal...I don't want to make people dislike me, so I try and please them.
But it isn't as if I don't have opinions, or share how I feel about things. But I have to trust someone pretty well in order to share what I am thinking. And it takes me a while to get to that place with people.
I hold back quite a lot here on my blog. There are all kinds of things I could write about, but it is a little too open, and so I don't write about some issues people may find a bit too controversial. It kind of scares me.
It isn't that I don't welcome criticism. But, again, there has to be that right attitude. I have a group of people who I like to share my writing with on the book I am writing. But they are a handpicked group of people who I know have the right attitude, and criticize me and give me pointers because they want me to be a better writer. So I welcome their comments.
But I find it hard to be criticized by people who don't have that attitude...yes, it happens, but I don't like it. I have actually become pretty good at creating a life that has me doing things I can do fairly well, so I don't get a whole lot of criticism. It is almost as if this people pleasing mentality has driven certain choices in my life.
It is interesting to think about. Why do we make the choices we make? What is our motivation behind those choices? Yes, I can tell you, people pleasing as well as not wanting confrontation are two big motivators in my life.
But, then again, there is nothing I enjoy more than healthy debate....sharing with someone opposing views, but in a manner where you can disagree, but respect one another's opinions. I love being involved in these exchanges. But, again, I only open myself up to doing this with people I trust....I don't let just anyone know my thoughts.
So, I hope this gets you thinking....why do you make the choices you do? What is your motivation behind your choices. It is an interesting notion to ponder.