My daughter is a people pleaser. You might think that’s a good thing but it’s not always. All of my children are people pleasers to some degree, which makes them pleasant and easy to get along with, but my youngest daughter has it to the extreme.
People pleasing is a trait that my husband agrees they get from me, however he says it translates into being a doormat……and he is right.
When I look back on my life I see that I was, and to some degree still am, someone who never liked people to be mad at me. I would never speak back when people, including family members said or did things that hurt my feelings. I didn’t want to make them feel the same way they just made me feel, I thought they would notice that I didn’t say anything and somehow follow my example of not being mean. What I didn’t realize is that by not saying or doing anything in situations like that the other person was never made aware of the fact that what they just said or did was in fact hurtful. Sometimes you need to say what you think or you just become a doormat and people will walk all over you. Over the years I have learned to stand up for myself when necessary, but I have a ways to go yet.
Erika is much the same as me, she doesn’t want to do or say things that will make people mad at her. This characteristic prevents her from saying what needs to be said sometimes, and becomes a cause of frustration for her and my husband and I. In sports when pucks or balls need to be collected she will do it because she likes to help, when a friend is feeling down she will talk to her because she likes to help, when she is asked to speak up for a group or take on extra responsibility, she will do it because she likes to help…..but at some point in all this helping she becomes a doormat because it is just expected from her and unfortunately no one respects a doormat, they just wipe their dirty feet all over it.
In sports Erika has suffered from coaches expecting things from her but not from her team mates. Over the years Coaches have been inconsistent with what they expect from her, which has caused great frustration for her and us. Inconsistency from some coaches is the main reason she quit hockey and the main reason she went to another city to play soccer. If you ask Erika to do something she will do it, because she is happy to please people, if you treat her fairly she will always do her best for you, but if you continually tell her what she is doing is wrong, or criticise her on a personal level she will eventually give up and walk away.
Erika posted this on her Facebook yesterday and to me it speaks volumes, because I know where it came from and why she felt the need to post it right now.
I am very proud of my daughter for the person she is and for the gifted athlete she is. She has had some very good coaches along the way that have helped her to hone the skills that are her gift, but the athlete she is today has much more to do with the kind of person she is than what any one coach has taught her. The drive and determination she has to do well comes from within her.
The thing my daughter needs to learn, is that she will never be able to please everyone and some people don’t deserve to be pleased. I don’t want her to become a selfish, self-centered person but I do want her to be able to see the difference between the people who deserve her respect and loyalty and those who do not.