Friday, June 17, 2011

People Pleasing

(I'm on the right end with the microphone!)

Friends we make when we are younger are probably the only people besides our parents and family that really "know" us. As children we carry an innocence and a non judgemental out look on life. We're still learning right from wrong, what's expected of us, and who we should and shouldn't surround ourselves with. I think as children we are sort of unguarded. We're not looking for what someone could do to possibly hurt us. We're wanting to make friends so that they will like us and so we can feel excepted. We are wanting to learn how to be good friends to one another. The big difference between children and adults is if something is bothering us when we are a child, we will fully show our emotions. If a friend hurts our feelings we will either cry or tell them it was mean right in that exact moment in time as to where an adult may bite their tongue and lash out later because of repressed feelings. We are quick to apologize and make up if things go wrong so that we can get back to our fun and the situation is never brought up again because we are so consumed with what positive things we could be doing with our time spent together. They say that children develop their full personalities by the age of 3 or 4 which leads me to believe that the people that knew us before we started school (at least before 3rd grade) got to know the REAL and RAW person we really are. I know personally my child hood friends and myself had our arguments, threw fits, had fun, used our imaginations, worked as a team, and supported one another through good times and bad. I know that to this day these girls would fight tooth and nail for me regardless of whether I've talked to them everyday or once every 5 years. Why? Because they know me for me and they know I would do the same for them in a heartbeat. As life goes on and we grow older we have to start school and of course meet new friends. This is the time period in our lives where people get hardened and learn how to conceal parts of themselves. As preteens and teens we are so consumed on who has the better clothes, friends, hair rather than who has a loyal and genuine personality. We begin that awkward pubescent stage in our lives where we are constantly worried about our looks as opposed to our child counterpart who could care less if we just got out of the mud and our hair is a mess. There's a lot of name calling, judging, and worst of all bullying that creates complexes even for the strongest and most confident people. We begin to take on a new identity of what people want to see rather than of the person we know we really are. We become people pleasers which can be exhausting.  This leads me to my next point. Our friendships as we get older seem a lot less genuine. At least from my personal experience. Do we really know this person we've been friends with through out high school? Instead of sharing secrets or experiencing heartache together as we would when we are children, we are constantly having to chip away the hardened exterior of our new adult friends. It's hard to tell if the person we are trusting and hanging out with is really being genuine because of this "people pleasing" transformation we've all taken on at one time or another. Have you ever met one of your high school (or anyone older) friends childhood buddies and seen a confused look on their face? Or even better. Have they ever got mad at you or all of a sudden hated you for no good reason? It's probably because they see the huge change in their friend and they think it's YOU who is causing it. They get jealous, pissed, and give everyone the cold shoulder if you're in a group setting. They don't understand that their friend has taken on this new identity to people please. Their friend is trying to please you and so they're pissed! Why? Because they KNOW their friend from the inside out before they reached this stage in their life. All in all...My point is that as adults it becomes a lot more difficult to identify who we should surround ourselves with. It's harder to trust because hardly anyone is real! Some of us luckily never change or fall into those patterns, try our best not to judge others, and still let our child like heart out to play. My thought is: If we all remained like our childhood counterparts (of course we'd mature...haha) the world would be a much better place. We'd tell each other what we were really thinking, be accountable for our mistakes, apologize, focus on the positive things we could do with our time together, not drag out an argument or situation, and be there for one another.  The stress of our lives as far as friendship goes would be so much easier. No one would have those pent up feelings, frustration, or that horrible feeling of having to constantly look over your shoulder and watch your back. Life would have a lot less drama. least in an ideal world. I'm not saying that our childhood friends haven't gone down wrong paths or done wrong just because we knew them once upon a time as a kid. It's heartbreaking when we see it happen, but it's nice to know or at least hope that they will find their way back to that person you know and love.Thank goodness I've never followed trends, have always danced to the beat of my own drum, and still keep in touch with the lovely ladies you see in the picture above. I will admit...I have fallen into the people pleasing category before, but I quickly realized it wasn't for me. So what if I have small boobs, a big butt, I'm short etc. At least I know I'm real with the people that are in front of me and I say what's on my mind. I read a quote once that goes perfect with this blog. "I'd rather be hated for I am that loved for who I am not."

*Disclaimer: I know there are several things in life that can change or alter a persons personality. Living conditions, abuse, depression...etc. In this blog I was referring to people pleasing and basically what I've observed starts it and transforms some of us from our childhood self to our adult self. My thoughts and opinions are not the ONLY thoughts or opinions out there and I understand that my experiences obviously differ from other. :)

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