I think some of us are better than others at not caring what people think of us. I think in some of us, it’s hardwired to be strong and fierce or self-confident and independent. Some of us are born that way, and some of us aren’t.
Some of us look too often to others for approval. We want to fade into the background because we are the natural born wallflowers. When we feel safe, we come out and show our true selves, but at other times we are content just letting others shine.
It’s possible that we too were born that way, or maybe we were conditioned to make ourselves smaller.
Not make waves. Make sure everyone else is comfortable. We don’t want people mad at us, and we don’t want others to not like us. Maybe it wasn’t safe for us to be ourselves, so we morphed into something else.
It’s even been said that childhood trauma can create people pleasers so that we feel safe in our own environments.
Sometimes the people that are strong, fierce, and self-confident say to us – “What people think of you is none of your business!” or “Just stop caring what others think, that’s what I did!”
They mean well. They are trying to empower us to be strong and move on. To let go of the perceptions we can’t control and to fight the urge to please everyone.
But, for those of you who are like me – who care even when you don’t want to, who feel insecure even though you are just as talented, and for those who shrink because you think it’s safer that way, I want you to know you’re not alone if you continue to struggle with that part of yourself.
Everyone wants to belong.
Even the independent ones although they have a harder time admitting it, they too seek out groups like them. It’s a natural thing to want to fit into a box, a group, a community.
I’m in my forties and while I am growing S L O W L Y into someone who cares less and less what others think; I still care about making those around me comfortable and seek outside validation when I shouldn’t.
Many of us, myself included, still struggle believing that we’re allowed to stand out and make different choices than those around us – even if others won’t understand.
I feel the need to justify my actions or make others understand my point of view. But, I’m seeing how I’m outgrowing my groups and communities that used to make me feel the safest because I’m growing into myself.
People pleasing and shrinking small serves everyone around you except you.
You forget how to ask yourself what YOU want. The truth is, YOU can decide who to be, how to act, what to wear, etc. because you’re a grown adult. By shrinking, you forget that what you feel in your gut and in your soul matters – even if it’s not what everyone else around you thinks or believes.
Sometimes, you must step out into the uncomfortable place even when your mind is screaming at you to stay put. Because your heart and your soul are screaming louder to be unapologetically you. Even if it means disappointing others.
So, yes – some of us are born wallflowers and people pleasers.
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We genuinely don’t want to make waves, cause a fuss, or make other people uncomfortable. We definitely don’t want to disappoint anyone.
But, as Glennon says in Untamed, “Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job, throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”
I think for those of us that are natural born wallflowers, we will eventually become tired of making everyone else around us happy except ourselves. So, change WILL come eventually. We will eventually learn that disappointing ourselves is damaging to our souls.
But, if you’re struggling learning to let go of that wall, or let go of disappointing others, you’re not alone. Because – same.
Maybe being stuck in this people pleasing pattern is just showing me that I am and always will be a late bloomer. It’s fine. I’ve been stuck on the wall a little too long. Being a people please and being stuck on the wall has helped me serve others for a long time (which isn’t a bad thing.)
But, maybe it’s time to disappoint some people and learn to be OK with it.
Maybe it’s time to finally bloom.