When Carrie was growing up, she spent a lot of time trying to make sure her mom didn’t cry or get too mad or sad.
“One of my earliest memories is actually yelling at my poor dad, telling him that I hated him because he made ‘my mommy’ cry. I was younger than four and I had no idea what was going on with them, but to my little four-year-old brain, keeping my mom happy was my job and duty.”
But what that taught Carrie was that you have to please other people to keep things from erupting into chaos. Her mom didn’t consciously teach that to her at all, and her mom had a lot of people pleaser in her, too. And then a bad relationship with a man with alcohol issues and abusive tendencies made it even worse. How can you have a want when that want might mean you’ll get pushed up against a wall?
The problem with being a people pleaser is that you spend so much time thinking about how your actions impact others that you forget to make decisions on what you yourself want to do.
So now when she’s asked things like, “What’s your favorite food? Where do you want to go to dinner? Where would you like to go on vacation?” She freezes up.
She’s lost the ability to make decisions for herself because she’s afraid of the consequences and because she wants everyone else to be happy.
Tiny Buddha has an article about three questions that you can ask yourself if you’re a people pleaser to help you reorient to putting yourself first occasionally and not do the Carrie freeze.
Those questions are:
- Is this my priority? Not other people’s?
- What is important to me?
- How will I feel after I make this decision?
When you know what your priority is, what kind of life you want, what is important, then you can make the decisions that make you happy, the ones that help you grow.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Be who you are and know what you want.
LINKS WE REFERENCED
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!