No More People Pleasing

“Pretty sure she’s just plain psychotic and stupid. She’s trying way too hard and it’s backfiring,” some girl I knew from university said about this blog post when I first published it.

We had spoken maybe twice during the two years I studied in Switzerland, yet her comment completely eclipsed all the other positive feedback I had received. I tried to recall every single interaction I had had with her and exactly what I had done to make her dislike me so much. I don’t even know why I cared though. She clearly just didn’t understand my humor and most likely was dealing with some issues of her own.

Yet, her words have stayed with me for several months now. I always think of them right before I hit publish on a new post, and I live in fear that everyone else who reads my writing holds the exact same opinion.

I experience a similar sort anxiety when it comes to men as well. I cling onto relationships which clearly aren’t working out, and I obsess over each and every text, looking for clues as to how I made the guy lose interest.

I’ve spent the majority of my dating life rearranging my schedule and my interests to fit those of whomever I’m seeing, reasoning to myself that if I try hard enough I can be the perfect girl for every boy out there. Alas, this is never the case.

Last weekend though, I finally came to a realization that I will never be able to please everyone—that not everyone is compatible with my personality. I let a guy I had been on one date with fly me back to London for a few days to see him. I had felt uneasy about the whole situation from the start, but who turns down a free flight to another city, right?
Unsurprisingly, there were problems from the get-go.

“So what do you do for fun?” he asked me over drinks the first night I was there.
“Umm…I don’t go out that much. I like to stay home and read. I actually really enjoy hanging out alone,” I replied honestly.

In stark contrast his idea of a good time involved binge drinking four nights of the week, making small talk with strangers, and constantly being around people.

“I’m young, living in London, I go out a lot. That’s the way life is supposed to be,” he explained to me.

And so, for the first two days of my long weekend with him I tried to fit into his lifestyle. I accompanied him to a birthday party for one of his friends and brunch the next morning with more acquaintances.

“So like am I ever going to actually hang out with you one-on-one?” I finally asked him when he suggested I meet up with him and his bros later that afternoon. In short, his answer was no.

“The whole purpose of this weekend was to see if you could slot into my life,” he said.

I could have just accepted this and gone along with his plans—after all he had spent a lot of money on my flight. But I was sick of having to change my personality to please a man. Why should I keep trying to force a relationship which would never end up working out, because we were so different? So I packed my bags, called an Uber, and promptly left his apartment. Some people will never get me, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.


* Artwork by Christina M Garcia *

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