“Hey Claire! Do you want to go to church with me this Sunday? Ebenezer is celebrating their 60th anniversary and we will have some guest speakers and food!” “Good morning love, how are you?” My friend seems too excited about this anniversary yet I really don’t want to spend my Sunday morning listening to hymns, closing my eyes as the congregants thank the Lord for waking up, passing their chemistry exam and using that period to temporarily close their blood-shot eyes from the lack of sleep the night before.
“Claire, I am good! I know you don’t usually go to church but this would mean a lot to me!” I understand that but I REALLY DON’T WANT TO GO! my mind screams as I figure out how to text her back and not hurt her feelings. “Sure hun, just send me the details and I will meet you there!” Yeah, I just did that. I caved. As usual.
I am a people pleaser. There, I am admitting that for all of the world to read. I am a social butterfly and I love to support my loved ones. The sense of satisfaction they derive from my company is often a huge motivator for me to say “yes” but sometimes I am uncomfortable and/or have sacrificed my position to make them happy. I don’t want to disappoint so I will agree to alleviate the weight of fear from hearing the disappointment in their voice.
“Claire, can you meet me for dinner?!” “Hey boo! Of course I can! You know I am always down to eat!” “Wonderful, let’s meet at Cheesecake Factory at International.” For the 50th time, he has forgotten that I don’t live in Tampa and my commute is over an hour but I already know how that is going to go. If I ask him to meet me in Lakeland (which is not even the city where I lay my head) he is going to complain that I-4 is a vehicular circus and he may try to reschedule. He is so used to me coming to him that the lack of consideration shouldn’t even be called out at this point because I really want to see him anyways. “Sure hunny, I will meet you around 7 pm on Sunday. The traffic is usually good at that time so that way I am not late.” “See you Sunday!”
There have been countless times where I should have said “Thank you for the invitation but I need to decline” or “I can’t make it” but my mind has rationalized that my loved one being happy will make me happy too so let’s go ahead and put off working those goals on Saturday so I can drive to their birthday dinner or let me work an extra 30 hours so I could afford that trip when I really should have paid off the next debt. Having a large social circle comes with the territory Claire! Yeah, I am pretty sure that when they say “no” they have put their interests first, so why do I struggle? I struggle because I want to be involved and I want to have fun too, right?
I am a work in progress and as I head towards 30, my ever evolving goal is to prioritize my time and resources and less on making sure that someone is not mad at Claire. So guess what?
There will be times where I am going to decline your invitation.
I am unwilling to always drive to you if you cannot think to drive to me.
I am not rich (yet) so I cannot say “Yes” to the 10 trips you have planned this year AND meet your expectation for me to attend all of them since I like to twerk and turn up.
Do you ever feel peer pressure in your social circles? Has there been a time where you committed to doing something when you knew it was not feasible?
Please share your stories and thoughts below.