Give them what they want…

I am borrowing someone’s words that I read today, “Give them what they want”.

As I read this, I realized that this is how I have lived most of my life.

If you want them to like you, give them what they want. If you don’t want them angry with you, give them what they want. If you want a peaceful existence, give them what they want.

You end up giving and giving and giving; while they end up taking and taking and taking; until you finally loose all that you are. At what point in your life, do you say, “No more. I need to be heard, even if it is not what you want to hear.” At what point do you stand up for yourself – as a living, breathing human with feelings and emotions and say, “I count. I matter; no more burying my feelings.”

I think I found my way into many situations because I am an introvert – NOT to be confused with being shy. They are NOT one in the same, although they are quite often confused. Because I shy away from confrontation, I allowed others to take advantage of my emotions, thus defining who I was. I made it easy for a domineering parent to control me. I made it easy for a verbally/emotionally abusive spouse to abuse me. I made it easy for my daughters to be alienated from me.

Studying personality traits has become a hobby of mine. Along with helping me to understand my own reactions to different situations, it also helps me to understand others. Being an introvert has affected many of my decisions. If I had understood my personality better, I may have made different decisions; not necessarily better decisions; but different decisions.

Because of my introvertedness, I found myself always giving in and giving others what they wanted -not needed – wanted – and I lost sight of myself. I became a shell of a person.

The longer we allow a cycle like this to continue, the longer it may take us to find ourselves again, to learn who we are. As an introvert, I would shove my feelings down deep and bury them. I learned to turn off my emotions and to feel nothing, so much so, that I developed a problem with disconnecting when I am hurt. The difficulty with shoving “stuff” down is that eventually, and it may take years, it bubbles to the surface.

Coming to terms with past hurts sometimes involves purging ourselves of the hurt we are either holding onto, or that has been deeply buried. No matter how hard we try to keep these feelings buried, the feelings sometimes begin their ascension to the surface, like a balloon filled with helium, fighting to be released. Then, how do we let go of the balloon if we must “give them what they want”?

For me, I write. I have found that putting my words down on paper allows those deeply buried hurts to rise and filter through my fingers on their way to release.

As I have written before, I am not one who likes confrontation -just ask the sister I used to run – literally – from – and in that respect, I guess that has made me somewhat of a pleaser, or maybe just a coward, depending on the day. While some personalities thrive on confrontation, I do not. Chances are, if you confront me, I will just stand there and stare at you as though you have lost your mind, then turn and walk away. You may still be badgering me, or you may have finished your tirade, it won’t matter to me, as I have long since shutdown.

Putting my deepest thoughts down on paper is difficult for me, even scary. I prefer to just shove the discontent deep down and stay quiet. However, I had to visit an establishment the other day, and it wasn’t so much the lack of respect that I received as the disrespect that was shown. It is strange how humans have a need to dislike people based on other’s lamenting, not even bothering to find out if what they heard is true. Then, they turn around and show disrespect or disdain to the person, as though it were a badge of honor for their friend. I guess I just had enough. No more “give them what they want” for me.

I am coming out. This introvert is going to be roaring like a lioness. I came across a saying this morning, “Sometimes you just have to take a leap…and build your wings on the way down”. I think I’d like to try that. I guess I will either soar or crash and burn, but either way, I will be me – no more Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall, waiting to take a great big fall.


This post originally appeared on my blog: