I worry too much about other’s feelings. And it’s usually the person I should be thinking about the least, like the bank teller or the person in line in front of me in a store. Not that thinking about others is wrong, but there is a built-in hierarchy of people I should be concerned about. Like first; my minor/disabled children. Their needs and feelings come before mine. That’s a good thing. Yet, when my minor/disabled children were around at the same time as a total stranger was around; I often worried about the total stranger. Does that person have enough room on this bus? Maybe that single woman on her cell phone needs to order Burger King before my son on his birthday? I know my baby is crying but this man selling home improvements door to door looks so convincing!
I wish that I could take back every single second that I spent trying to win over people who didn’t notice me, people who didn’t like me and people who had no utility in my life. I wish I would be able to say, let this person go, you can’t make them happy. But I bend over backwards for that split-second instant gratification of having someone click with me.
So now I’m being hard on myself about the thing I’m already hard on myself for. That’s just meta.
I am both anxious and completely convinced that somehow everyone loves me. What fresh hell of a psychological issue is this even?! I can not keep up with the amount of people I encounter in a day…I live in a solidly mid-sized city! Should I smile nicely and occasionally then deal with the randos who will talk with me and attempt to time-suck my soul or should I just have resting bitch face and embrace my inner hag? These are serious, time consuming issues that I grapple with every day.
As a middle-aged white lady, I’m pretty much embracing the fact that people view me as an authority person. So I smile and be gracious. That’s a good place for me to meet the general public. The other important thing I’m learning to do is worry about what I am doing. Yes, only me. No one needs to like me; they just need for me to do my job.
Doing my job is germane to any situation that I happen to find myself. Driving down the road, ordering food, walking down the street, gambling at the club, attending a yoga class, or filling out paperwork. In any situation, I have a job, a task. Just do my job, be active in my own life. Comment on issues only as they are relevant to me and then respond accordingly. Yes, appropriateness is always welcomed.
I need not burden myself with the reactions or thoughts of others. It’s fuck all hard to control myself.
There are some basic guidelines for being in the world; clean up after yourself, don’t cut in lines, try to keep your cross talk to a minimum, read the room, follow instructions, and listen. If I can manage one of these well, I’ll be a 21% better human being than anyone else (with exceptions). But the goal should be accomplishing all these all the time. Everything else is gravy.Nowhere in my basic guidelines is the happiness of others my responsibility. Happiness is a long game, it may come from some chance encounter with a fabulous babe such as myself but truly, there is more to it. My happiness is something that I work on every day, in every moment. So far, I’m operating at Mostly Satiated to Somewhat Satisfied and I lead a pretty kick-ass life. So, it’s a lot to ask myself to make others happy. I’ll bask in the Remotely Amused temporary condition of my friends on the rare occasions that I make them laugh and just be satisfied with that.