Tag Archives: life

The ‘Ick’ Factor: How To Not Please Everyone & Do it Well

If you’re a person, chances are you know someone that no matter what, you just can’t make them happy. Or, if you’re really lucky, you could know several.

I’m finding that the older I get, the more I see that I am the captain of my ship and dictate how I can respond to these individuals. Seems pretty simple in theory, but could be much more difficult in practice. Why? Well, let me tell you a secret, I’m a recovering People Pleaser. I know, I know. Deeply rooted in my own issues that date back to probably elementary school bullies was that nagging sense that I had to please everyone and be liked by everyone. I still struggle with the feeling that I want to be liked by everyone, and I’m thinking that I’m not alone in this. To be frank, knowing that someone else is not happy with something I’ve done- even when I’m trying my best- feels icky and I just don’t like sitting with that feeling. But, the thing is, sometimes you have to, because you literally cannot please everyone and some cannot be pleased at all.

Does this sound like something you needed to hear? Good, me too. When it comes to responding to people that cannot be made happy no matter how many times you do a headstand and spit out wooden nickels (anyone else’s Grandma use that old adage?), I’m finding that the best thing to do is just stop.

Yup, just stop. Even if it feels icky.

If you’re unable to find some common ground, stop trying to please them and do what you think and feel is best. Not only is this person using up their own energy, you’re letting them use up yours. This is energy that can be spent in more productive, adaptive ways, rather than spinning your wheels and gears for someone that won’t do the same to meet you half way. I’m finding, especially in my social work career, that if I can balance trusting my gut with doing what is the most ethical and well-intentioned, I’m usually on the right path. This can- and does!- ease the ick factor.

Now, when I say that you should stop, I’m not saying you should be rude. You can agree to disagree, hold your ground politely, or disengage- depending on the scenario and your relationship with the person involved. Sometimes I practice the art of ‘hold my ground, be polite, keep the conversation moving, get the hell out of there’- in that order. Whether it is professional or personal, I’ve been trying to be mindful of this and practice it when I can.

I’ve made a pact with myself, and I guess now with my blog readers too, that I’m going to reduce the negative energy I expel or feed into and really make an effort in nourishing the positive energy. I’ve heard that this can help increase that thing that everyone is talking about… I think that they call it “happiness”. Maybe you’ve heard of it? In all sincerity, sometimes you have to work at happiness and for me, this is a big part of it.

So far, so good.

 

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Hospitals, Boxes, & Bachelorettes, Oh My!

So, here’s the deal with the deal.

Life has been really not so fun lately but I’m doing my very best to put on a smile and hope for the best. The great Mindy Kaling said, “Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.” I hate lip gloss, so for me let’s say that I put on my volumizing mascara and do my damnedest to serve up that illusion of being psyched.

A few of you have noticed that I’ve been vacant from my blog and that’s pretty frickin awesome, so thank you for noticing my absence and actually reading my shit. My cousin even brought to my attention that Netflix is releasing yet another piece on mental illness (this time anorexia) on July 14, titled “To The Bone”, and let me know that she hoped I’d watch and review through my social worker lens as I did with “13 Reasons Why”. That pretty much made my life and I totally can’t wait to watch it in hopes that it isn’t another glorification of the “manic pixie dream girl” shtick. But more on that after the 14th.

So if you’re wondering where I’ve been, or even if you know where I’ve been but are reading this anyway, I’ll break it down. A couple of posts back I had mentioned that my boyfriend is sick; he’s still sick and will actually need surgery for a second biopsy in just about two weeks. Let me tell you, it’s really painfully easy to get lost in the internet and somehow convince myself that I’m an M.D. and that everyone’s dying. In reality, the internet has the power to make even a paper cut look fatal and I’ve got an M.D in bullshit. <sarcasm> So, with that said, things are going just great. </sarcasm> I’ll try not to worry until I have to because there are a ton of other things going on that I can throw myself into in the meantime…

Like work! Work has been super hectic. We are opening up another affordable and supportive housing program about 15 minutes away from my site and it is the biggest project that my agency has taken on yet! We have a bunch of our clients that will be moving into this project because it is permanent housing (my site is transitional housing and rehabilitative support) and a less restrictive setting. With those people moving out, we have been doing lots and lots on intakes for new clients to move into our program (Yo, I heard you like intakes so I got you some intakes to go with your intakes!) so that they may begin receiving our services and eventually, hopefully, move on to a more independent level of care.

I also turned 26 last week! So that was… fun? ((I’m totally lying and freaking out and the existential dread is looming)) That’s all I’ll say on that.

Aaaaaand, as if I’m not completely overwhelmed, I’m moving in 27 days. Thank the sweet lord that I work in a residence because the one thing I have enough of right now is BOXES. Sleep? Don’t got that. Energy? Nope. Motivation? FUCK no. But boxes? This I got. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m moving in with Matthew and let me clear this up for the 67th+ time: I WISH. He still lives upstate and is still waiting to take a promotion to NYC parole through the dept. of corrections OR (which I don’t think he’s jazzed about anymore since finding out he could take the promotion test and go work in parole) the NYPD. He will, however, be taking a leave after his surgery so I’ll get to spend more time with him!!! I’m truly looking forward to being able to go over there and see him whenever I want or vice versa. I’ll never take that for granted ever again. I’m also just trying to just be patient and remember that in (almost) every single scenario where things didn’t work out how or when I wanted them to, they wound up working out how I needed them to. So, basically in the meantime of all this craziness, I’m taking a 2 year lease on a super sweet apartment (with an in-unit washer/dryer, which we haven’t had in OVER EIGHT YEARS) and splitting the rent with my momma bear. My sister lives with us too, but she’s away at college a great deal of the year. If you’re not from Long Island, and I know I’ve actually had some readers from other continents even (THANK YOU!!!), trust me when I tell you that this is the smart financial decision. Times be tough in suburbia but at least we know how to have a good time.

For me, when things are hectic and I feel a little lackluster I need to try to find things to look forward to and be happy about. I feel like this is generally good advice, and I would likely advise my clients to try to do the same thing. This move, although stressful, is definitely one of those things keeping me going. The apartment we live in now has a lot of negative associations and painful memories and I have been desperately craving a fresh start from that.

Another HUGE thing to look forward to? My best friend is getting married on October 20 and her bachelorette party is in less than a week! To say I’m looking forward to this would be an understatement. We are renting a house by the beach so we will be going to lay in the sun, visit a cider house, go to a nice dinner, and most importantly, stir up some shenanigans (because what kind of a bachelorette party doesn’t have shenanigans?!). I have some surprises up my sleeve as well… ::insert evil laugh here:: MWAHAH. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everything is going to be dick themed. You caught me.

Anyway, there was definitely more I wanted to share today but I’m losing steam and I’m hungry.

Thanks for catching up with me! I’m sure as the weeks go on I’ll be wanting, and frankly needing, to write more.

 

 

Am I Paranoid Or Just Really (Really) Bad At Being Optimistic?

An optimist sees the glass as half full. The pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The realist sees that there’s room to add more vodka.

I’m not clever so I didn’t make that one up. I saw it on Facebook recently.

Today I’m worrying extra about my boyfriend and his health. I don’t think he would appreciate me writing about his personal life on here too much but he also supports me in using this page as an outlet so I’ll try to balance this delicately. Essentially, he has been very sick and is waiting on biopsy test results. I’m sure he would tell you that the procedure itself was the painful part, but for me of course the waiting for results is the painful part.

Now…. maybe I’m being paranoid here. Maybe I’m just really really bad at allowing myself to be optimistic… but I did the one thing that most people will tell you NEVER to do: I Web MDed myself into a deep hole. I mean DEEP, you guys. A hole so deep that I feel like at any second Buffalo Bill is going to come around and tell me to put the lotion in the basket.

That was a bad joke. Forgive me.

I didn’t always used to be a pessimistic, nervous, hypochondriacally charged person. I feel like this started for me a few years ago when I experienced the first major loss of someone in my life– my paternal grandmother had an aneurism, which triggered a stroke. Her passing was unexpected. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. That was when I realized how temporary everything is. This is also when my anxiety peaked. In 2015 I experienced another major loss. My maternal grandmother, who was essentially like a second mother to me and was there almost every single day of my life, was brought to the hospital for what we though was the beginning of dementia. She was gone exactly a week later. It was lung cancer that had metastasized to the liver and the levels of ammonia in her body, caused by the metastatic cancer, was creating the dementia-like symptoms. To this day I can barely think about her without crying. I don’t think losses get any easier over time– you just become used to the pain and the longing of missing them and you learn to live with that. You continue to grow around the loss, accommodating for the space it’s left in its wake.

I’ve had other losses since the loss of my grandmas; my grandfather, my stepmother’s father, a client, and unfortunately two of my coworkers as well have passed over the last two years. It never gets easier. I adapt to the loss and do my best to keep moving forward and grow around the loss.

Part of growing around these losses, especially the unexpected ones, leaves me in this paranoid and pessimistic limbo. I always find myself getting much more worried when anyone close to me is sick than I used to. This is not to say that I used to not care or worry, of course I did, but this worry feels like more of a pathological worry. I hate to use this word, because in some way I feel like it doesn’t have a true meaning, but for lack of a better way of saying this I’m going to say it anyway: This can’t be ‘normal’. Can it? I think I tend to hide my feelings sometimes and I just need to say that I’m really terrified about the idea that anyone else that I’m close to could be gone so easily, or so quickly for that matter. I guess when I put it this way it does seem like a kind of ‘normal’ thought.

Anyway, this is something that I’ve learned about myself over the course of several years and I’m really not sure how to, or if I even can, slow my roll and chill the hell out (do you know how hard it is to use my therapeutic techniques on myself?!). I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about all the negative ways Matthew’s results can go but I’m trying really hard not to go down that road. It’s troublesome to think that although he is the one not feeling well, he’s the one comforting me and telling me it’s going to be okay– one of the many, many reasons I always struggle to put into words how much I love him. He’s truly an exceptional human. And I like his face.

So, since I can’t seem to shake my paranoia and general sense of pessimism (I’ll choose to blame Web MD and overthinking) I’d like to ask that the Blog Gods or any potential readers I have out there to put some good stuff out there to the universe for him and cross your fingers that I can pull my own damn self together long enough to be the support he needs.