People Pleasers and Jerks

I realized something important last night. No matter how much you analyze someone, there is no way to figure them out. They are just jerks. And there’s no reason (or maybe there are many reasons) to why they are that way. 

I also want to explain why, in the title, I added people pleasers as well. Well, I think one of the characteristics of someone who turns out to be a jerk is that they are a people pleaser. That’s not to say that all people pleasers are jerks. The ones that are jerks tend to focus on someone they want to impress and use all of their might to please them. The rest of the people in their life get don’t get much effort at all. I always wonder if the people who are the beneficiaries of the people pleasing can see that they are just temporarily the focus of this person’s efforts or if they realize that there isn’t much to that person otherwise. I know I don’t realize it until I become someone who doesn’t get the effort. And then, it just sucks. It sucks to deal with those people because you can remember the friendship you once had and the fact that they don’t respect you or that relationship enough to really put in effort anymore at all. 

I have learned that there is no way to get through to a jerk as well. You can try talking to them, manipulating them, being overly nice to them, yelling at them, and in the end, it’s a wasted effort on your part, no matter what. They will do what they want to do. And usually, it’s to benefit themselves. Luckily, experience helps in figuring out who is a jerk and who isn’t earlier on in the relationship but sometimes, it’s hard to see right away. The fact that it eventually ends up hurting me makes me not even want to trust new people at any point anymore. 

The only solution I have found that works is to walk away from these people. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible due to circumstances such as working together or being on the same team. The best you can hope for at that point is limited contact. Exposure is only more toxic. And why keep fighting for people who no longer even realize you aren’t there anymore? I don’t think they realize that when you fight with them, that means you still care about them some because you’re fighting to fix something that you believe in. When you just stop talking to them, it usually means you have given up and the energy isn’t worth it anymore. 

If you are one of those people that I described here today, try to remember that there is a world full of people out there that you should learn to be considerate around. There are people that care about you that might not be in your field of vision because you take them for granted. Take responsibility for the fact that your actions might be hurting someone even though you don’t think it would hurt. Most people do feel and aren’t just left-brained. Things are not good just because they look right to the outside world. There is usually a lot more to human beings than just that. 

I want to dedicate this post to the people that I can’t remove from my life and cause me anxiety whenever I have to talk to them. 

Life is Not a Popularity Contest

I know it is going to totally sound like I’m that bitter woman who had horrible teenage years where I had no friends. This is actually not true. I had friends. I still do see those people every so often. Some are still really good friends. Some, I’ve fallen away from. Some have ended badly. It happens. We grow up and things change.

Maybe it’s because I’m competitive and it’s possibly all in my head, but does it seem like we still compete to know the most people or have the most people at our events? Who likes us and who is just kind of there? I just want to know that if push came to shove, who would be on my side and who would ditch me? But really why do I feel that way?

There are people that will like us and there are people that won’t. It’s funny how much extra energy we spend on those that will never like us for whatever reasons they have (even if we think they are flawed reasons). Why not appreciate those who love us for who we are? And why isn’t it easy to accept that there’s no competition?

I have some friends that are the nicest people in the world. So nice that almost anyone we know likes them. I know I’m not that person. I just don’t have it in me to be that patient or that nice all the time. I have moments where I lose my temper and moments where I disappear and don’t want to be around anyone. I figure those that know me will accept me for who I am and allow me to explain those times. Those who don’t understand me won’t and the friendship will fall away.

Then, we end up spending time wondering about those who have fallen away. If they even remember if we exist.

Eventually, we have to come to terms with the fact that it’s a big world with a lot of people. And the more energy spent on those who we are internally competing with takes away from those who we have a real relationship with. In the end, that energy is definitely better spent being around people we love and doing things we love. I don’t know if it’s a survival instinct to compete with those that we feel threatened by but we need to learn to move past it and accept that whatever it is, it is. In my opinion, it’s more important to have one reliable good friend than 20 acquaintances.

I just hope I can get my instincts to agree.

My Perfect Facebook Life

How many of you go onto Facebook day after day and see everyone’s perfect life on there? Everyone is always happy and smiling and traveling and graduating and getting married and having kids. Can I just say that this drives me absolutely insane?

It doesn’t bother me that everyone is happy. It bothers me that it might not be completely the truth.  It’s some sort of weird vicious cycle. Why would people put their misery on a public forum? At the same time, come on, people’s lives aren’t that perfect. We all go through crap. If you look at my Facebook page, would you have ever imagined that I’ve probably been through some sort of hell over the last month? Maybe a little bit since I occasionally do throw out less than ideal posts. But not often.

Has anyone else had to take Facebook breaks? Am I the only person who works a regular 8 hours job with a crappy commute? I couldn’t stand seeing that no one else worked and just traveled to all of these exotic places all the time. Those people who do work had the best jobs that sent them on the most interesting travels as well. Yeah, you can say I get tired of it every so often. Maybe some of it is jealousy that my life doesn’t seem to look like that. I look at profiles and then I look at my profile and I try to figure out if my life looks as great as theirs.

So how do we reconcile this? I wouldn’t mind seeing some honesty. If something is wrong in this world, shout it. If you feel that something needs to change, voice that. I understand that we can’t say everything, that there needs to be some privacy, especially since a lot of us do use Facebook as a marketing tool and don’t want to announce everything to the outside world. At the same time, if we can share our personal wedding and baby pictures, why can’t we share a few honest thoughts every so often? I really would like to see a person, not an image.

Losing Myself

My sister sent me an article a few weeks ago about diversifying yourself. Meaning have different people and hobbies and interests in life so that if one part of your life isn’t where you want it to be, your whole self doesn’t crash with it. It’s definitely a good idea. It’s so easy to lose yourself without even realizing it, especially when you have a hobby that is a big part of yourself, a new significant other, a career that you are very ambitious about. New life events happen and things change and all of a sudden you don’t recognize who you are anymore.

How do I stay in touch with who I am? It’s not easy, especially when your priorities change with a relationship or kids. I think it’s important to remember what made you you before those changes and make sure to maintain those things after the changes.

Yesterday, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Without my significant other. As much as I love him, it felt good to take some time to remember what I look like on my own. This independence helps build my self esteem and keeps me remembering who I am. It’s important to remember that we are not defined by our relationship or our role as a parent or our career. We are who we are based on who we are as people. And that will change as we grow but as long as we can still see ourselves and make sure we like who we are, then we’re okay.

When I had a big fall several years ago, I had no idea who I was after. I had to rebuild everything slowly. I realized during that fall how important my friends and my passions are to keep me grounded. I don’t want ever any one aspect of my life to define me.

I’ve watched other people lose themselves. Not on purpose but just because it’s easy to get swept up in their lives and forget to take that time out for themselves so that they can see who they are. It’s when this happens I think that it’s most important to appreciate that we are humans who can enjoy so many aspects of life. We don’t have to be defined by a single role at any point.  We can take a step to finding what we are missing in our current situation and introduce it back into our lives. I didn’t realize until yesterday how much I was missing my girlfriends until I was sitting right in front of them. I’m glad I recognized it though because I will definitely take the steps to make sure I’m getting that girl time.

Losing myself is not an option.

Those Lost Friendships

People come, people go. I’m fine with it. Until I have a day where I miss those friends that I don’t hang out with anymore.

What is it about certain friendships that makes them so short-lived? There are experiences and memories that makes you so sure that this is a friendship for a lifetime. Yet, within a year, you are hardly speaking to that person. It isn’t always a bad end. Sometimes, it’s as simple as one person moved away or people just grew apart. But it does end. That’s the part that sucks.

There are people that have such a strong impact on your life and yet, remain for such a short time. I do believe that everyone enters and leaves your life for a reason. Every person helps you progress to the next step in your life.

Then, there are those people who, after a certain amount of time, don’t help you move forward anymore. Those are the ones that you have to walk away from. And chances are that if they let you walk away from them, they either feel the same way about you or they weren’t worth hanging around with to begin with. Let me clarify this. Not being worth it does not diminish the quality of the experiences that you have had hanging out with them. Experiences are experiences. They will always help you grow. But sometimes, the person that leads you to them will hold you back.

Letting go is the hardest part. Even now, there are times where I reminisce and wonder how these friendships ended up the way they did. I know I had my reasons for walking away and I’m sure the other person did too but at the same time, we were friends where our lives converged.

There are friendships that last forever and there are ones that are short-lived. How does this happen? How are there people you can continuously grow with and there are people that you can’t even be friends with for a year? It’s interesting to see those friendships that always pick up where they left off even though you don’t always talk and those friendships that end if you don’t talk for a short while. Why do some friendships last and what keeps them together while some end? is it effort or personality or some unique experience?

I wanted to dedicate this post to those friendships that have been lost for whatever reason along the journey of my life. I miss those people all of the time even though we had our reasons for moving on.

The Rank

I would like to introduce an idea that I call “The Rank”. Most of us have been a part of this in some way.

I learned about “The Rank” in high school (actually, I probably saw it in junior high but in high school is when I started calling it “The Rank”.). It’s basically the category you fall into when someone wants to hang out. There are 4 categories, at least in my book:

1) The cool guys

2) The not-so-cool guys

3) The cool girls

4) The not-so-cool girls

Guess which category I fell into? Definitely #4. Which meant that when I was at a party or a social gathering of some sort, other girls would go hang out with #1-3 before I was graced with their presence.

I’m pretty sure this exists in some form today as well. I’m in my 30s but I definitely feel like there are people still out there that judge you based on who they think you are socially and hang out with you based on that. I don’t know what number I count as anymore but I think I definitely care less.

So why does “The Rank” exist? Is it because we want to up our social standing by association? If I hang out with someone of the opposite sex who is “cool”, will it make me “cool” too? Maybe yet again, we are talking about validation. Validation that proves that we are important because the better people want to hang out with me, whatever better means. My own importance gives me a reason for being here on this earth.

I definitely am more discriminating in my friendships now but occasionally, someone sneaks by me. I believe that they will be a good friend and we manage to maintain that friendship until someone “cooler” or more worthy comes along and that person disappears, never to be heard of again. It happens. The worst is when they don’t even realize that they are doing that. It’s possible that we are all doing this in some form without realizing it.

How do we tear down “The Rank”? In American society, you’re told to be nice to the nerds and geeks in high school because they will end up being your boss one day. How do we address this in our society where it’s not necessarily our nerdiness that put us in category #4 but something else entirely? What is it about us that categorizes us to begin with? How do we stop people from judging us without even knowing us?

In addition to that, what the hell are we being judged on anyways? Especially in our 30s. Is it how much money we make, how we have maintained ourselves, what our spouse does (or if we even have a spouse)? I actually find it interesting that this ranking still does somewhat exist at this age. What deems me worthy to be able to hang out with you?