I'm Finally Putting Myself First (After A Lifetime Of Being A People-Pleaser)
Romance

I’m Finally Putting Myself First (After A Lifetime Of Being A People-Pleaser)

I spent a lifetime letting people walk over me. I spent years and years trying to do whatever made other people happy, whatever would make them like me better, but now I’m choosing to focus on my own happiness.

And no one can handle the shift. No one can believe I have the nerve to treat myself as a priority. They miss the days when they could get whatever they wanted out of me. They miss having control over me.

Now that their power has disappeared, the name calling has started. Now that I’m finally starting to give a shit about myself, I’m getting dubbed selfish, inconsiderate, heartless, unreliable, a bitch.

I find it funny how other people are calling me rude — when really, they’re the ones being rude for assuming they have a right to my time and energy. I don’t have to do anything for them. I don’t owe them anything.

It’s rude for them to harass me, to try to get something out of me, to try to manipulate me into giving them what they want. It’s rude for them to try to make me feel bad about the way I’m treating them when they’re treating me even worse. It’s rude to assume they deserve something from me, because they most certainly do not.

My whole life, people have told me it’s okay to say no, and now those same people are the ones pissed at me for saying no to them.

I’m sick of coming up with excuses for my behavior. If I don’t want to spend time with someone, I don’t have to spend time with someone. If I want to cut someone out of my world, I can cut them out of my world. I shouldn’t have to list out the reasons why I’m allowed to make the decisions I have made. I don’t need to explain myself.

It’s not like I’ve suddenly turned into some horrible monster. I still place my loved ones high on my list of priorities. I still check in on my friends. I still set aside time for the people who need me the most. If they call me in an emergency, I’ll still drop everything for them.

But I’ve stopped wasting my time with people who only bring me down. I’ve stopped doing favors for people who never show their face unless they need something. I’ve stopped giving a shit about people who aren’t involved in my life until they randomly decide they want to be my best friend.

You can make me look bad (and feel bad) about not treating you right, but I don’t owe you anything. Not a call, not a text, not a smile.

I’ve been told to surround myself with people who make me feel better about myself, people who encourage me, people who are on my side, and to get rid of the people who only bring drama and stress. But doing that is easier said than done. Some people just won’t get the hint. Some people just won’t let me rest.

I don’t care if pushing certain people away makes me look bad. I don’t care what other people think of me anymore. And that is a huge step forward for me. I used to care more about strangers than about myself, and finally, that is changing. Everyone else might think that’s a bad thing, but I’m going to call it a good thing. TC mark

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Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection. Follow Holly on Instagram or read more articles from Holly on Thought Catalog.