Stress. Not getting enough rest. Sinus problems hit me hard when my allergies react to the climate change and the environment. I greatly love the outdoors and furry creatures. I love having a nice landscape and a clean house. But oh, the price I pay for exposing myself to pets and mowing and cleaning. I’m just overly sensitive to everything, I suppose. It makes me want to cry just thinking I have some disability or something. Every year I get sick. The sinus problems and stress knock my body out for a couple weeks. It is discouraging to feel frail and weak. It happens every season.
Does every person equally pursue self-awareness as much as me? I’ve always kept journals, and reflection is a valuable practice, but since being accused of having an ASD and confirming it myself with online self-diagnostic tests, I seem to be bent on researching the subject and learning more about myself. In meeting new people and forming new work relationships, I have considered whether or not disclosing personal information is necessary or not. I explained to someone today about all the “problems” my mom had with me growing up. She said I was hard to live with and got irritated when I cringed at her touch. I could write the most heartwarming notes when I was moved in love, but unfortunately broke hearts with my words if I were offended. I explained to this person that sometimes I may not be very attentive to the words I speak or the tone I use, in which case I honestly want to be notified when I am being perceived as being “rude” because that is not at all my intention, and I would like to correct the misunderstanding rather than risk hurt feelings when I am completely unaware that my behavior could be the cause. I told her that my heart ached when I thought of all the people who felt burdened by my differences and sensitivities, so much so, that I want to be upfront with new people in hopes that their expectations won’t be so high, and so I won’t feel like that great of a disappointment.
Imagine being able to sense people’s desires of who they want you to be. Imagine being able to morph your personality to accommodate that person’s expectations because you want that person to feel comfortable, and perhaps you are a codependent people pleaser. Now imagine after a period of time goes by, you lose the initial ability to keep pleasing this person. Once you feel accepted and comfortable, the guard comes down and the true personality is revealed. Of course, everyone wants to be accepted for who they really are. You begin to expose the “real” you, little by little, to see if that person can handle it. Everyone experiences this in relationships, I’m sure, but with all the analyzing, I wonder if others are as equally disappointed when they learn that someone is not who they thought. I desperately want to protect people from feeling disappointed that I am not all they thought I would be, but who is? Maybe we are all searching for someone to complete us. Maybe we all experience disappointment when we see each other’s flaws. It’s impossible to please everyone. It’s impossible to be everything to everybody. And yet, I still encourage people from the beginning to understand that I am very flawed, but I sincerely care about not offending anyone. I want others to know I truly care about them. I still have to maintain enough self-respect that I also care enough about my wellbeing to protect myself with healthy boundaries. I have been accused of being selfish and having poor boundaries, so yes, I self-analyze and try to improve. Nevertheless, I also keep in mind that sometimes people see the world as they are. Sometimes when a person thinks he/she is describing me, that person is actually giving me a glimpse into how they see themselves.
For the record, I might add, people pleasing is exhausting. Good customer service, being accommodating, whatever it is called, is challenging sometimes. Especially because, when I am sick, I don’t care about my appearance. When my hormones are raging, I’m stressed, or don’t feel well, I lose my filter and can’t seem to control my behavior. And so, I hope that during these times of my imperfection, weakness, sickness, and frailty, that my coworkers and loved ones might make some accommodations for me. I want them to understand, so it is easier for them to forgive me. I want to help them understand, as if they have any interest at all in knowing how I tick. But sometimes I think knowledge makes all the difference in the world, and if I can educate someone about how desperately I want to be accepted and feel connected to other people, perhaps the more mercy I can receive when I struggle with being socially correct. I feel like I live in a constant state of embarrassment over my social mistakes. I feel like the world is either laughing at me or mad at me. This probably explains why most of the time I hide behind a mask of humor, but maybe we all wear masks sometimes.