This has been a year of reinvention for me, how about you?
I notice it in major ways (especially when loss is associated with it) and in smaller ways, where I come up against my old people pleasing skills.
For instance, I went on a hike this weekend (like I do most weekends) with my daughter out in Santa Monica.
Afterwards, we wanted to have a glass of wine (or in my case a margarita) and food. We found a restaurant on PCH. We placed our order much to the chagrin of our waitress, who gave us the impression, she’d rather be anywhere, but here. She brought my margarita and the wine for my daughter. Near the end of our meal, she asked the BIG question…
“Would you like another round?”
My daughter spoke up saying “yes, I would like another one.” I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want another drink and so, it became a conversation between the two of them. I was surprised when she brought us both a drink. I looked at my daughter and said, “I didn’t tell the waitress I wanted this, you said you wanted another one when she asked, but I said nothing.” My daughter thought for a moment and said, “I think when I said I wanted another one, she assumed that we both did, since you said nothing.”
Now….this could be no big deal, right? But the truth was I really didn’t want another margarita, then I started thinking of all the reasons that I was now stuck with a $14.00 drink that I didn’t want. “I shoulda spoke up…..UGH, this waitress seems annoyed with serving us…she walks by our table and doesn’t ask us if we need anything or even if we wanted to order in the first place, UGH…..I am now going to have to drink something that I don’t want or waste the money….wait a minute, do I have to just swallow it?”
The inner conversation was ridiculous to say the least. I sat in the booth thinking about how uncomfortable it was going to be, because I had decided I wasn’t gonna say okay to something I didn’t want…nor did I want to keep the peace with a person, I didn’t even know!
Do you ever do that? Tell a story to yourself about all the reasons you shouldn’t speak up or say what is true for you, so that you don’t upset another person?
I’d like to say I’ve never done it or still do it! But, alas…here I was with the waitress who couldn’t smile and seemed irritated with every word spoken to her unless she asked.
I motioned for her to come over and told her, “I wasn’t going to say anything, because I felt bad (yup) and then I realized it was a stupid reason for drinking something that I didn’t want. I didn’t order this and I do not want it.”
Of course, as predicted…..she argued and tried to tell me I nodded my head ‘yes’ and agreed when she asked the BIG question. I wasn’t intimidated, nor was I up for someone ‘arguing’ with me as a tool for persuasion.
So…I disappointed her, I made it messy….I didn’t swallow it and I felt better, even though it was fairly intense.
My daughter actually agreed with me (she’s almost 24), usually ‘mom’ doing anything like this is totally embarrassing…. but this time, she saw how sometimes it’s best to please yourself, because you’re not gonna win a new friend or make someone like you, who doesn’t have the least bit interest in bridging that gap.
“But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well. You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself “~ Ricky Nelson “Garden Party” lyric