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Just a digital journal entry. Maybe some advice please?


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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.

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See, the trap with this kind of people pleasing is that honesty or a boundary is far kinder than silently seething until you are forced to cut all contact for your own mental health. Of course your friend is gonna be hurt if you tell here that there will be no more lip kissing from now on, sorry. But probably far less hurt than if you leave forever without any prior indication that something was wrong.

I have mostly been on the other side, as a person with less-than-perfect social skills who sometimes have to be told when I have overstepped. And that is never fun and I don't always react well. But it is for the better. It is better to be told when I have overstepped, than to unknowingly grate on my friends. I am kind of reminded about this captain awkward letter. I'm sure it is hard to set that boundary in the moment, especially when you get pushback, or people are sad, but really, if you are considering leaving this friendship behind anyway, it could be good practice to stand up for yourself in the moment first. To practice going "No kissing" next time she asks and explain why only if you get pushback on it. That way, maybe it will be easier to do these things in the future, without ending up in the same situation again.

1 hour ago, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

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? 

Listen, maybe they feel sad in the moment if you don't want to hang with them. That is their problem. I also feel sad sometimes when my friends don't have time for me, but it is far better to be able to trust that my friends actually want to hang out when we do hang out, than it would be to have someone do everything I ask and secretly hating me for it. That's a social anxiety nightmare. Offer these people the kindness of being honest with them.

On a positive note: I don't like being hugged. When I started asking my family not to hug me, some (especially my grandmother) didn't like it and felt rejected. But guess what? She adapted, got used to it. I am appreciated for what I do, and not touched without my permission. Even when someone is disappointed in the moment, it isn't the end.

Edited by Jedi
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you kind of have to respect the reality of your feelings. You don't want to hurt others, so remember that others don't want to hurt you. Setting boundaries by saying no is healthy.


I don't know if my advice helps any but I'll give it a shot. Personally, I have to turn down invites and leave before the social time comes to an end. it's so hard to do those things. I honestly don't know how I do it, I just do it. I have to make a conscious choice to do something difficult.

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I'll start with what I had to finally tell myself after a long time avoiding it: There's no problem with the word "no".


Any friendship or relationship is a two way street, and whether it's intentional or not somebody monopolizing time and energy usually has a negative impact on things. Setting your own boundaries won't just be good for your health and sanity: it'll be beneficial to your friendships, at least, if said friends are respectful of your feelings and needs.


It sounds like you've already done a lot of the heavy lifting. At this point it's worth seeing if your friends will be willing to cede some ground in those relationships. If they do, great, that's progress. If not...well, that's a fake friend gone and still progress. XD

Hope this helps!

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