Your Pain Isn’t My Pain

I have to admit, I have a problem.

I’m working on it, but it’s still a problem.

I am a people pleaser.

Yep, I put the feelings of others before myself and it’s a really annoying trait.

I’ll do things others want to do instead of mentioning what I’d like to do, re-arrange my own plans for others when it’s really not convenient and find it incredibly hard to say no to people. Basically I end up making myself stressed out just to please or suit others. I’ve felt like most of my life I’ve been bowing to the needs of others and not had the courage to stand up for myself.

The problem is, I don’t like to upset anyone, and it goes even deeper than that. In heated situations I’ll try to keep the peace, try to keep things calm before they get out of control. When people get angry, frustrated and upset around me, it REALLY affects me.

To save this from sounding like a therapy session, I want to share a thought I had the other day about this whole complex I have. It sounds really obvious but it came to me in the words:

“Your pain isn’t my pain.”

I obviously don’t mean this in a physical sense, nor do I mean it to sound inconsiderate. But I have to get over the fact that decisions I want to make might not fit others and they might be upset by it. But that shouldn’t be my issue or pain to deal with. If people are getting upset or angry in a situation I have no control over then I shouldn’t be affected too. Their pain isn’t mine, I can’t keep the peace for everyone!

Where does this annoying personality trait come from? Well, I guess we’ve all been programmed with years and years of emotional situations that make us who we are today. And that’s what shapes our behaviours and reactions now.

These situations have come round enough times for our actions to turn into reactions. We’ve acted upon a situation a certain way, then it’s happened again and we’ve re-acted on it. Then after a few more times, it becomes a reaction.

The more I thought about the “your pain isn’t my pain”, and the fact that I’d been programmed to behave this way. I thought less about the statement being about others and turned it on my past self:

“Your pain isn’t my pain”.

All the times I have suffered in the past, situations that define me today, the pain from that time isn’t my pain now. I have a choice and if I can say those words in my head to others, I can say them to myself too.

Most of the time we are unconscious to the fact that we behave or react in a certain way, I think just by stepping back and observing our feelings, we can really begin to unravel aspects of our personality that might be holding us back.

For me, being a people pleaser holds me back. Don’t get my wrong, I’m not going to start pissing people off left and right, but I am going to stand my ground.

Are/where you a people pleaser? Do you have any unconscious re-actions you’re suddenly becoming aware of? Let me know in the comments, I’d be interested to hear!

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