Today, at nearly 30 years old, I learned that you can ask for exactly what you want and still be a good person.
I have always felt comfortable voicing my opinion, and calling out others when they’re being hateful or aggressive toward others; I have NO PROBLEM using my voice for the greater good*. And, as a constant work in progress, I will call myself out for being mean or rude to someone (I did not raise me to be like that).
But I’m also a people-pleaser. I want people to like me because, duh, it’s nice to be liked. So I sometimes find that I get taken advantage of – I will go above and beyond to make someone’s time on this Earth a little more special, but I’m learning how to do that without sacrificing my own happiness (and sanity)…it’s been a pretty steep learning curve.
I don’t think people always know they’re taking advantage of you. We get used to the way others treat us and if we’re treated well, we expect that moving forward. And I think it’s totally normal to expect to be treated well; to be treated with kindness, compassion and understanding. It’s just as normal to burn out if you’re someone who is fond of giving, and wanting to make others happy. And while speaking up can be empowering, I sometimes I feel like a high maintenance princess, even if I’m just asking for something to be corrected. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman who’s been trained to feel this way by society, maybe it’s because I lived through a relatively frustrating and difficult childhood where I felt the need to make everything okay, or maybe it’s simply the fact that I’m NICE and a good person*. Whatever it is, I need to work on standing up for myself, even if it’s just asking for my smoothie to be remade because it wasn’t what I ordered.
Stand up for yourself, and continue to be kind. You can do both.
*Cue Hot Fuzz…”The Greater Good!”
*Probably all of the above.