Thursday, 28 November 2013

No more Mrs Nice Jen. Well, not really...

It’s hard to pin-point when exactly this happened, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been a people-pleaser my whole life.  I will take the blame for just about anything and am always quick to apologise, even when I am not to blame, because part of me secretly thinks it could be my fault – "It probably is my fault," I think to myself – but also so things can get back to happy.  “Please still like me!”

I stand there and take whatever negativity is thrown at me most of the time because I don’t want to fight.  I HATE to fight.  (That, and I’m usually stunned into silence and don’t think of my awesome comebacks until hours later!)  I roll over faster than an obedient trick dog!  Hec, I’m the human equivalent of a golden retriever!  “Forgive me, forgive me, rub my tummy, food?”

This self revelation (well, long-known but long-avoided) came about recently in the most has-to-be-God way.  (As an aside, I have no idea why this life lesson #173 has popped up right now, but I have to believe there is a reason for learning it now because only He knows what’s around the corner that I need the armour for.  It could be God's answer to my last blog post about tip-toeing around issues, though this isn't what I had in mind... Ah, God's timing).  Anywho.  Where was I?

I had a falling out with a friend right at the time I was subbing an article about how dangerous it can be to be a “nice” girl.  The author wrote: “You see, nice girls don't talk back. Nice girls don't want to upset people because nice girls are, evidently, responsible for other people's moods.” 

Hello!  I’m that nice girl, dang it!  At 34, I hate that about myself!  I love lots of things about me, but the fact that I take everyone else’s crap on board and roll over so bloody easily to try and keep the peace is not cool.  I hate it even more than I hate to fight.  So this revelation heralds a new start for me.

I wish I could be as dramatic as saying “no more Mrs Nice Jen”, but I will always be soft-hearted and kind.  That is one of the things I like about myself.  I will always forgive because that is how God wants us to be, and though I am a spectacularly flawed human, I will always strive to forgive.

But I will not carry other people’s issues anymore, or their choices, or their baggage, or the crap they throw back at me because of something going on in their lives.  That’s their stuff to get counselling for/sort out/process/or carry.  I will always be there to listen, or cheer them on if they ask for that, hug it out if that’s what they need, or leave them the hec alone if they tell me to.  And that’s fine.  I will be sad but I will not take the hit when it's not due.

I know me.  I like me.  If anyone doesn't like me, I’m cool with that too.