I have gotten to start again (thank you divorce) and my first step for starting again was figuring myself out and what my values are. I know that if I am not living according to my own values, I will be unhappy, unmotivated and unsuccessful.
I continually see how this lesson plays out every day in almost all aspects of my conversations with people.
Today, this idea was reinforced.
I volunteer in a number of capacities and this morning I woke up to an email from the volunteer coordinator at one of those places informing me I wasn’t needed this week after I had set aside the time. I also had gotten another email from a co-volunteer stating that she was unhappy with how we were being coordinated.
Great! I could help clear things up! Or so I thought.
I carefully composed an email, thanking the volunteer coordinator for all the work she has done. I asked her if she could provide clarity on how she decides who gets to volunteer each week as it wasn’t clear to me and likely unclear to others. Would she send out an email to everyone? This would help alleviate potential resentment that could be bubbling under the surface.
Well, I guess she got a lot of these emails because I got a very long and very defensive email back. At the end of the email, she asked if I wanted the job.
Oh! That wasn’t what I was expecting. I even more carefully drafted my reply, apologising that my email had apparently been perceived as an attack.
She replied with an even longer email and asked me again if I wanted the job. She had been strong armed into it, she hadn’t wanted to do it this year, everyone was complaining etc. etc. etc.
I feel for her. She took a job she didn’t want and I know why. In one part of her email she said “I’m a people pleaser.”
Ugh. I’m a people pleaser. If there is one thing that is going to make you not live according to your own values, it is being a people pleaser. You will always try to live according to someone else’s idea of what you should be doing.
She took the job to please someone else. Clearly not herself as she was being dragged kicking and screaming to her computer (or so it would appear) to schedule us all into some semblance of order.
So instead of being thanked for all her efforts she is getting tons of complaints (in her words) and she wants to quit and is desperate to find anyone, anyone at all to take over. If she doesn’t find anyone, she will likely keep at it as quitting would be disappointing so many people.
I hope for her sake that she does quit even if she cannot find anyone to take over. I hope she would perceive it as taking a stand for herself and a learning moment and not see it as a moment when she let people down. It would give her the chance to start again and add things to her life that she will want to do and will have a shot at being happy and successful at.
A first step to breaking the people pleasing persona and a step towards understanding her own hidden values and drive.