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Avoidance leads to resentment

“When I’m disturbed, the problem lies within me.”

I can be passive-aggressive in my approach to conflict. When I decide I am completely fed up, I become aggressive and combative. Neither is a healthy way of expression. Being passive-aggressive is a form of people pleasing. People-pleasing is a form of dishonesty. I am so afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings that I will suffer in silence to keep the peace. If I don’t hurt your feelings, you won’t hurt me. I tend to let things bubble over. Eventually, I become annoyed at the very sight of the person I have the conflict with. This leads to resentment. Avoidance leads to resentment. Resentment leads me to drink.

When I have an issue with something, I need to take a moment, fully take in what is happening, then address it. Now, it doesn’t always need to be discussed at that moment, but it also doesn’t need to be swept under the rug. I am not interested in interacting with people who actively ignore disagreements. I’m open to honest communication and constructive criticism that many avoid. Let’s remember that not everyone will believe a situation is a disagreement just because you do. However, the willingness to listen and hear another’s perspective on how a problem made them feel is necessary.

When I practice people-pleasing, I anticipate the response of others before the conversation even happens. I have full-on scenarios in my head that keep me paralyzed from addressing the situation. “What if they get mad?” “What if they yell?” “What if they don’t want to be my friend anymore?” “What if they pull away from me?” “What if they don’t agree with what I say?”

I cannot control others’ reactions to my feelings. I can only express my feelings and control my reaction to their response.

I’m not saying we are out here to hurt others, but we have to stop putting others’ feelings first at our own expense.

I write this as a reminder to myself. I create most of the relational problems I encounter because I am dishonest with myself and others through people-pleasing.

Are you a people pleaser? How do these tendencies present themselves in your daily life? Are you working on being more honest with others?

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