I pay a lot of attention (ok probably way too much attention) to the unsubscribes from my email list. And I noticed that yesterday, someone marked my most recent email as “abuse.” My immediate reaction was a combination of expletives, anger, and a lot of complaining and attempting to explain why this had happened. (What had I done? I asked myself.)
This theme of pleasing everyone has come up a lot for me recently. Both for myself and for others very close to me.
I lived for a long time as a people pleaser. You could say I still do to a certain degree, but I am learning to let it go. Growing up and into my twenties I was constantly yearning to please my family, friends, colleagues, people I barely knew. God forbid I ever say something someone did not agree with.
When in the midst of trying to please everybody, or trying to control the outcome it now occurs to me … STOP, Just Stop. Because in no alternate universe do I please everybody, do I control the outcome, do I never offend.
I have always HATED the notion that a given situation might possibly be slightly uncomfortable, or extremely uncomfortable. (That there is MY own shit – and I’m working on being comfortable with discomfort, that this is normal, this is life!)
But then I remember: I am not a mind-reader. And you aren’t either.
And then I remember: there is absolutely no way I can please everyone. I probably can’t even please most of them.
I was at dinner with some friends and a hypothetical and potentially very uncomfortable situation came up. We were playing it out – how the situation might unfold and I chimed in “if they are disrespectful or unkind to you, that’s their shit.”
And oh how I needed to take my own advice!
It occurred to me it’s often as simple as that. If we go as far as we can for someone, through being open and honest and available, and yet there is still a lack of kindness and respect, then what it boils down to is: that’s their shit.
And guess what? It is highly likely that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, no amount of arguing or defending your case that will change that.
What’s funny is that I am writing this to primarily remind myself that …
I am not a mindreader.
I cannot please everyone.
If someone has a problem with me then most likely, that’s their shit.
But I would bet money that many of you reading this are in great need of that reminder as well. When do you find yourself bending over backward to gain acceptance? To please? To attempt controlling the outcome?
Maybe the next time you find yourself in that situation can you simply … let it go. And remember, You Are Not A Mindreader. You Cannot Please Everyone. Sometimes … That’s their shit.