Peace Within ~ Peace Without

In my last post regarding boundaries, I wrote, “While I can’t specifically pinpoint why I allowed that for so long, I know it is not realistic or healthy for me.” That being the reason behind my giving away so much of my time and energy to things and people without consideration of what it was doing to me.

Peace Within – Peace Without Candle available in my shop HERE

Although that post was only a month ago, I actually do know the answer. Ever since I was a child, I have felt responsible for other people’s feelings. I learned from a very young age how to read the tone in a room and how to adapt to it to keep the peace. Sometimes my adaptation was to try and become invisible in my parents’ presence because I knew it would be best to not be a burden in situations where their attentions were required elsewhere. My parents brought me everywhere – work, work functions, karate classes and events. While these were never unsafe environments, they were not appropriate places for a kid to be making a fuss. [Sit down, be quiet, and let the adults do what they need to do.] I was also desperate to please them – hungry for their approval and for them to be proud of me.

Unfortunately, it was hard to tell if my actions were pleasing to them or if they were proud. I’d like to think yes, but it was not expressed. So, I have hung out in this weird limbo my entire life and that uncertainty has made me into an outwardly secure but inwardly secure adult when it comes to my relationships with others. This is part of having an anxious attachment style and now I know what it is, I am working on healing it.

I used to feel compelled to fix things with other people because it made me feel like I was doing the right thing. It made me feel like I was winning myself friends. I’d make excuses for them, tell them that their actions were okay because, again, I wanted to please and to soothe the situation. I became truly aware of this habit late last summer and, since then, I consciously do not offer solutions. I realized that it isn’t my job in life to make someone else feel okay with their behaviors toward me or other people. I have to deal with the repercussions of mistakes I make and guess what? Others should, too.

For example, I recently had a drink with someone whom I just met. They decided to have much more than just one drink and then tried to come on to me in a tacky way. There were no romantic vibes in the air; much of our time was spent with them talking about the really hard week they had at work. I did not have more than one drink, as they were oversharing and were losing control of themselves. The next day, they apologized and instead of saying “Hey, it’s okay…” (like I normally would have done to make the person feel more comfortable with their embarrassing behavior), I simply said “Thank you. It happens.” Because it does happen. I have been inappropriate with strangers when drinking is involved; I’ve over-shared, I’ve misread the room and guess what? Nobody ever told me “Hey, it’s okay!”. Instead, I agonized over those interactions and had to learn from them – the hard way.

I felt very at peace with realizing that I do not need to spend any more of my life pleasing everyone and making their lives easier or their actions more palatable. The amount of sleep I’ve lost over other people’s behaviors is embarrassing and it is past time for others to hold their own baggage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: