This blog is my resignation from a job I’ve held my whole life.
It’s a big world with a lot of people in it, all living their lives, thinking their thoughts, trying to find a place to stand, trying to survive, trying to get loved. I’m just like that. I’m not rich or famous, especially intelligent or beautiful or talented. I don’t do social media. I’m not a special success or failure.
I’ve done all the average things most every American does. Grew up, got a decent education, worked, got married, had a couple of kids, got divorced, moved, got older, watched the kids grow up and fly away, worried about money, tried to do my best, made a lot of mistakes.
But all that was incidental to my real job.
My real job has been to please people.
I wonder how many of you read that last line and felt sick. I know I’m not alone. I know you’re out there, as invisible and tired as I am.
I now intend to Fail to Please Others.
That’s not to say I refuse to ever please anyone again. No. That would only be another kind of jail. What I mean is now my choices are not based on what he/she wants me to do, say or be. Now my choices are based on The Right Thing To Do–for me.
I nearly always know what people want from me. I nearly always can identify The Right Thing To Do for myself. The problem is they’re rarely the same choice and I always, infallibly, reliably, boringly, sickeningly choose to please.
Why do I do this? Oh, that’s easy.
Now think about that. Think about a life empty of people who love you. No one. No parent, no family member, no child, friend, lover. Think about believing, all the way to the soles of your feet, that if you Fail to Please, people around you will withdraw or withhold their love and/or leave. Forever. As in permanently.
I assure you I understand, as all People Pleasers do, that pleasing others to get loved doesn’t really work. Oh, in the moment you might get rewarded for it, but it never ends, the pleasing. Once isn’t enough. 100,000 times isn’t enough. Also, some people are impossible to please. Someone like that probably taught us this dreadful belief in the first place.
Well, life has just given me exactly what I needed to finally decide to make a change. Something happened, and I said no.
I never say no—at least not when I know the answer wanted is yes.
The answer wanted this time was yes, and I said no, because that was the true answer, the honest answer, the Right Thing To Do for myself answer. I said it repeatedly to the two people whom I love best in all the world. There was upset, and outrage, and fury. There was a scene, not a violent smash-the-dishes-scene but a verbal scene, the kind I’ve spent my whole life trying desperately to avoid, the kind of scene that makes me want to run out the door and throw up somewhere. The word “betrayal” was used. But something about the whole situation woke up a deep streak of stubbornness in my nature and I just kept saying no.
I laid awake all night crying, telling myself now I was truly alone, as these two who heard “no” from me are the center of my heart.
But the next day I asked one of them if he still loved me, even though I said no.
And he said yes.
Now, bear with me while I explain what all this has to do with this blog.
I’m a writer. I’ve got a finished manuscript, another started, and am exploring the hair-raising process of getting published. I’ve always been a writer, since I was a child, but I’ve always tried to stifle it, hide it, ignore it and otherwise amputate the desire to do it from my life.
Because I find I can’t write anything but the truth.
My truth is unacceptable.
It Fails To Please.
The digital age has swept over us and people blog. I read lots of blogs. I’ve wanted to blog myself for a long time.
But I haven’t.
Because everything I want to blog about will Fail To Please—someone.
This is my first blog post. I’m still building the site. Feel free to explore and watch for new additions. Check back for weekly blogs. Please leave a comment. Let’s have a conversation. If you’re hateful or disrespectful or a spammer I will block you without apology.
Please accept my resignation from the role of People Pleaser, effective immediately.
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