This will be a bit of an emotion dump, so prepare yourself I guess:
I definitely am a people pleaser, so almost always I’ll go along with things that I’m not entirely comfortable with just because it will make someone else happy.
I dated a guy for a year because I thought I was in love with him. But really I just liked to see him happy, and the thought of turning him down or breaking up with him was awful.
So for a year I lied to him and told him I love you and tried to give him advice and help him through his struggles. I ditched all of my friends for his and tried to get along with them even though they annoyed me so much. I would hold his hand in public and cuddle with him on the couch even though that kind of touch just felt so uncomfortable and tense. I’d get stomachaches that I thought were butterflies before we went on a date.
After a year, I finally broke up with him over phone and the only emotion I felt was relief. That I was finally free.
But because I’d made my life his, suddenly I didn’t have one. It was a long journey building up that life, mending broken friendships, learning to care for myself, finding aromanticism. And I’m SO much happier for it.
But I’m still trying to get away from that toxic mindset. There’s one friend that had just gone through a tough breakup with her boyfriend of three years that I started to hang out with more often. She is in constant need of attention, and has a very insistent personality. She recently came out as bisexual, and I’m proud of her for it! But she does this thing where she asks for cuddles or kisses (on the lips) from her female friends. Which would be me. And I’ve kind of set a precedent for doing what she wants, so I’ll do those things. I once tried to play it off and say that I’m taken (jokingly) or that her lips were chapped, but she’ll pout and make me feel guilty like I just ruined her day or made her feel bad. And there’s literally nothing that makes me feel worse than hurting someone’s feelings. So I just kind of… do those things.
There are a couple of these people that are just not healthy for me, and I KNOW IT. I just can’t bring myself to make someone else hurt in any way. I don’t want to decline their offers to hang or cut them off or tell them how I feel, because what if they think I’m mean, or feel sad, or want to hurt themselves, or spread rumors about me in retaliation?? What if I make them feel unworthy of friendship?
I’m still learning how to advocate for myself and say no, and to remind myself that it’s not my job to make people happy. It’s a nice bonus that I still enjoy, but that’s not the reason I’m a human: I am allowed to live for myself. And I know all this. I know that it’s not my job to fix people or be kind to people who are unkind to me. But when I’m in those situations I can’t deal with the real-life repercussions. It feels selfish to put myself before others. And what if I lose all my friends again or it’s awkward at school or my other friends don’t support me?
I suppose I’m not looking for any particular advice because I know what I should do. I just can’t bring myself to do it. So maybe just some words of encouragement, I guess.
Sorry for the info dump, but this seems the safest place to put it.