People-Pleaser

My friends have said about me that whenever I try to help with something, I involve myself fully in it. It’s like I include part of myself, they wrote in my high school yearbook. I get an adrenalin rush when people tell me, “You did good, kid.” I don’t believe that I’ve done something well until someone actually takes note of what I’ve done. Validation from others is important to me.

I realize that this clashes with my old concept of self as an iconoclast, as someone who never cared what other people think or how I affect other people. Sure there’s a part of me that’s tactless or can be thoughtless or is eccentric, but all along, I’ve been motivated by the desire to please the people in my life. It can be a good thing and a bad thing.

The good thing is that I’m driven to see things through to completion because it’s my duty to certain people: parents, teachers, and more recently bosses. The bad thing is I can also drive myself to exhaustion and depression. This wasn’t apparent during my college days (all 365 x 8 of them) because I had a lot of downtime. Now, with regular work taking up eight hours of my time plus additional responsibilities (gigs and events with press people attending) that require staying on after hours, I only just have enough time for regular exercise and sleep. I suppose for other people that can be enough, but I’m restless and think that there’s got to be more than this.

Deep down inside I’ve always wanted to be not just behind the scenes, but until recently I didn’t believe I had what it takes to be out there hosting a travel show, which is my ultimate dream (Ian Wright is my hero!). I’ve always been that girl in the corner of the shot because I didn’t want to seem overeager to get exposure. (It didn’t help that I also thought I didn’t look like someone who should be in front of the camera. That never stopped Jessica Soho or Mike Enriquez, though. No offense meant.) There’s always been that extra step to take, but I never quite knew how to take it.

It comes down to this: I’m not quite sure I’m doing well at what they’re having me do. I want to help this company: there’s got to be a reason I’m here in the first place. I want to please my bosses and my family: I know they mean well and want what they believe is best for me. However, I also want to be joyful and fulfilled in my work, and right now that isn’t happening. Maybe I’m just frustrated that I’m not an instant success at it, like I’ve been with other things. Maybe I’m scared that I won’t learn from the mistakes I’m making and that I’ll commit a fatal mistake that will cost the company or its artists.

You know when you know what you’re doing is not what you should be doing? It’s like that for me right now, or at least, I think it is. Hopefully something changes in me or in the nature of my work over the next four months. I can’t stand being discontented and always feeling like I should be doing more, or something else.

I know that what I’m going through right now is for my own good. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s just damn hard to keep plugging away.

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6 thoughts on “People-Pleaser

  • December 1, 2006 at 6:30 am
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    I guess you’re just experiencing a mild case of stress. Ok, it might not be that mild. I personally feel liked being pushed back against the wall every after two months. So I’m forced to crawl out of my workstation and hit the beach or the local pub.

    Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

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  • December 1, 2006 at 9:23 am
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    You know when you know what you’re doing is not what you should be doing?

    I know! I’m feeling that way right now.

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  • December 4, 2006 at 3:06 am
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    It’s just depressing when I don’t have anyone to show me the ropes until I make a mistake or come up short. And then they tell me “This is how it should be done. Don’t do that again.” I mean, I know it’s good to accept correction, but I do better with guidance and positive reinforcement. (Not to mention it doesn’t cause as much heartache as reprimands.) Hindi naman matigas ang ulo ko eh.

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  • December 4, 2006 at 3:49 am
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    It’s a matter of how you look at criticisms. Feedback should always be taken constructively. Personally, I feel quite stimulated if my supervisor tells me outright that I got the bottom of the suck barrel on a particular week, and that I was the one who was pulling the team down. It provokes me to push myself to do better.

    Like what you said, you cant please everybody, as much as they cannot please you. Lahat ng klase ng tao makikilala mo sa trabaho.

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  • December 4, 2006 at 8:35 pm
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    i guess that’s the drawback being in a company with a thin organization. most of the time pag bago ka, talagang mangangapa ka. there’s no one you could look up to as a mentor. you’ll just have to learn along the way, which can burn you out.

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  • December 6, 2006 at 9:53 am
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    One can’t always have the ideal situation when it comes to employment, but that’s to be expected with a first job, especially in the first few months. As long as you’re learning skills that you can use in the future and you are helping the company (no matter how small you think you’re helping them), then it may be worthwhile to keep “plugging away”. I’m sure your situation will improve once you gain more experience and your bosses eventually will give you more responsibilities that are more challenging. my two cents.

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