A few days ago my Facebook account got hacked. This is not the first stupid problem I’ve been losing sleep over this week. I keep wondering if I’m trying too hard to please others. Amy Morin certainly thinks I have that tendency, and she’s shown me ways to correct that weakness of character. I’m going to be better about screening my Facebook friends. And so it goes with writing friends. I am in a few wonderful writing groups, but one local organization has been in turmoil lately. Along with many other good people, I have been dragged into it.
Sometimes, no matter how I try to be helpful, no matter how good my intention, people still direct their disapproval and even anger toward me. In my head, that’s okay. Can’t please everyone, right? Not everyone is going to love me or see my good intentions no matter how much time and effort I expend on their behalf. But wow in my heart it hurts, particularly when someone I once trusted backstabs and betrays me.
This is where I have to weigh it out. There are over a hundred people in this organization, and as far as I know only three or four are deliberately maligning me and my friends. I still have a role to play there. If I just quit, I will be betraying one of my key values, which is behaving ethically in all situations. Many good people are counting on me to finish out my commitments. It goes against my values to simply walk away because it’s the easy thing to do.
Amy Morin says people pleasers feel responsible for how other people feel. Check. People pleasers self-worth often depends on how others perceive them. Check. People pleasers thrive on praise and reassurances from others. Check. We would rather do things we dislike than risk conflict. Check.
As I transition out of “people pleaser” mode, I have learned to refer to my list of core values and assess from there. Sometimes that means being willing to tolerate uncomfortable emotions. Morin says being very clear on your values helps figure out if you are in people pleaser mode or if you are staying true to yourself. Do you know your values and their priority in your life? If not, make a list. Here’s mine.
Physical and mental health
Always behaving ethically
Feeling connected to family and friends
Sense of purpose (writing)
Looking at my list with my core values in mind, I can clearly see my connection to friends and family through FB. I’ve formed strong connections and friendships in my writing groups, too. These connections also foster the sense of purpose writing gives my life. It’s worth it to me to hang in there, despite the discomfort, at least for now. And there are things I can do starting now to stand up for my values with the few troublesome folks in my writing community. There are ways I can say NO to them without saying NO to the organization.
Morin says self-confidence increases once you begin making all decisions with your core values in mind. She also includes other perks like having more time to devote to the things that really matter to you, cultivating healthier relationships, and increasing will power. In my case this translates into having time to work on physical and mental health by doing things like walking, yoga, dancing and developing positive habits of mind, not to mention more time for writing. It means the friendships I make going forward will be stronger and less likely to come back and bite me, and, I hope it also means I will be sleeping soundly instead of spending the wee hours ruminating on a silly social media issue or a truly awful and unfair real life situation.
You can’t please everyone and not everyone is going to like you. If you are doing what you think is right don’t let anything that is said block your path. You know what they say; “Opinions are like A– Holes, everybody has one”. ☺
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Patricia, I miss Florida! Came back too soon this year. As for the few people out of more than a hundred who are stirring the sh*t, well, I can’t get far enough away from them!
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Sounds like the green eyed monster to me. They are probably just jealous. Now you will know who your true friends are. We’ll be waiting for your return to the happy state. xo
This is interesting, Cynthia – I’ve recently been trying to get a friend who needs some time off work to take a week off sick, but she won’t because she’s too scared about what her colleagues will think of her. I told her that most won’t think much at all, and those who bitch about her will have moved on to bitch about someone else ten minutes later. It’s her own health she needs to think about.
Sounds as though you’re going about this in a really positive way – good for you. If you try to ‘people please’ you run the risk of not saying what you think – social media is awash with false praise, false promises, false everything, because everyone’s too scared of not being liked. I’m not saying everyone should be brutally frank, because some things are better left unsaid, but I think we can get too wound into social media groups. If the internet disappeared, none of it would exist or matter – which is an indication of how unimportant it is. I left all Facebook writers groups a long time ago, because they seemed to be a pool of oneupmanship, back biting, cliques, etc. I’d rather spend my time writing. You don’t need this stuff in your life.
Hope you manage to find the good and get rid of the bad. xx
Cindy, I am so glad you are blogging again. I have missed your insight and aha moments. FB is fine for a quick check in but I don’t go deep into anything personal or important. I have few friends, which makes that easy. You will come out of this situation wiser and stronger. Take care of yourself. All will be well ~