Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh, I'm Sorry, Sorry for Being Sorry, I'm Sorry

While I was riding my bike this evening, something happened that made me think about my success in my journey. I really think a mind shift needs to occur in me before I can fully commit 100% to finally taking care of myself.

I have always been a people pleaser. It is my nature to nurture and to ensure that everyone is happy. Even while attending someone else's get together, I will take on the roll of a hostess and make sure everyone has what they need. It's annoying. I guess I have just always wanted everyone to like me, so I try hard, too hard.

Tonight while riding my bike, I happened to pass a man walking his dog a few times and I smiled as I rode by. Upon passing him for the last time, his dog decided to lunge at me and almost knock my off my bike. I was riding downhill and going pretty quickly, and I freaked out! In the blink of an eye, and without thinking, I hollered out, "Whoa, sorry!". Sorry? What in the heck was I sorry for? The man didn't apologize for his dog, but darn it, how dare I ride my bike on the road.

During my husband's externship, we lived with his aunt and uncle. Several times during our stay, I was told by them if I were to apologize one more time, they were kicking me out. It really got on their nerves, but I couldn't help it! Apparently I am just sorry for my existence, and I need to change that. I always feel like I am in someone else's way, that I don't deserve to take up any space or dominate a conversation.

I talk fast, really fast, and most people can't understand me. I don't think it has anything to do with my birthplace being NY state, but I don't feel like I am important enough for people to have to stop and listen to me, so I blurt it out quickly as to save their time.

I really want and need to change my mentality surrounding my existence. I would love to finally feel important enough to talk to someone for more than 2 minutes at church, maybe they would actually get to know me and vice versa. I want to stop saying "yes" when I really want, and need, to say "no!".

My MIL often requests that I pick up groceries for her while I am out and about. Normally I wouldn't think twice about a helpful request, however, she visits at least 3-4 stores daily. She goes to every drug and grocery store within a few miles to use various coupons and stock up on sale items. I have two young children in tow, 8 months and 2 years. I am the last person she needs to be asking to pick up her stuff. She can get her own stuff. If anything, she should be calling me up and asking if she can grab something for me while she's out. But, what do I do? I call her while I am out to get her list, and I even deliver it to her house. And get this, if she doesn't like something or it is the wrong thing...I return it for her. Can I get anymore masochistic?

I need to start learning that I am important, and important enough that I need to start taking care of myself as well and as much as I care for others. My husband would tell me I need to grow some balls. I'm working on it...uh- hum, well not the balls part.


Anonymous said...

I know in my own experience it is so easy to get into that mindset of inferiority, or invisibility or feeling extraneous. You definitely do need to realize that you have value just because you're you! You're a mom, a wife, a pretty terrific daughter-in-law (it sounds like), and you deserve to be listened to and treated with respect. You are obviously intelligent and well-spoken as is evidenced by your blogging skills. Hopefully in time you will come to see that you are worthy of time spent getting to know you and worthy of pampering yourself and being a little bit selfish now and again. I think you're headed in the right direction--your head knows it, now you just need to convince your heart that you are indeed WORTH IT!
p.s. Let your m-i-l worry about her own groceries! You have enough on your plate and you don't owe her that. She sounds as though she's gotten spoiled to you taking care of her. Maybe if you stop she'll learn to appreciate you more...(and then again maybe not, because it just seems like people think they are entitled to take and take.)

Deb said...

I think many people suffer from people-pleasing. It's good you are recognizing the behavior. Now you can work toward changing it. I guess the only real problem with being a people-pleaser is that for every one pleaser there is one or more at the other end of the spectrum who is more than willing to take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

I think I have this as well. I have been told that "sorry" is one of my most common words.

elife said...

I think this is a huge first step - admitting to the problem. Please keep us posted as you follow through on not running errands for your MIL, etc. Great blog.

Joye said...

I know people that always say sorry. Yeah, you just have to practice slowing down-- maybe even put some inspirational quotes about self importance to give you several affirmations. I find you to be inspirational and intelligent person. Try to see these things in yourself! :)
Oh could you grab me some bread while you're out? Practice saying- No, I am busy with my 2 small kids! But if you go out I need some bon-bons! hehehe

Cammy said...

I don't have the "sorry" problem, but I do commit to things I shouldn't so I know a little bit about that! I wish you strength and tenacity as you learn to balance being helpful with being taken advantage of!

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to put yourself on top of the important list when you are not used to doing it...but it's so worth it. No one else is going to put you there or respect your boundries unless you do.

nmburleson said...

I'm in the same boat as you. It's hard for me to think that people might actually like me for....me, not for what I "do" for them! Oh and I used to get teased for saying "sorry" ALL the time. It's a hard habit to break.