Frankly my dear friends, I don’t know why you give a damn about many things in life!
Women have been conditioned in our society to pour so much of their emotions into understanding and caring about others…they forget to fill their own cup!
Now, let me begin this blog with myself. I think I have struggled in this area for a major portion of my life until I read life-transforming materials and was introduced to psychology. To not give a damn does not mean you need to downplay the needs of others or turn insensitive towards people you know. It means you ignore all the things that do not add value to your life or those that take away your internal peace. It also means you stop caring too much about too many things.
We are often conditioned to be kind and helpful towards others. Now, you’d say that’s a good thing! You may love to offer a helping hand to someone and finish their homework. You may offer to share your belongings with someone who needs support. However, if you constantly care for others to the point you neglect your own needs, all you will be left with is a heart full of resentment. Now, you don’t want that, do you?
Welcome to the world of People Pleasers! If you’ve been caring too much and are feeling neglected, here are some signs that indicate you have played this role in your life.
Signs of being a People Pleaser
People Pleaser definition as per the Cambridge dictionary: Someone who cares a lot about whether other people like them and always wants others to approve of their actions.
You may tend to lose your opinion before others: You are a good listener and you are polite in your conversations. However, you may tend to constantly agree with everyone around you. You need to reflect on this behavior to understand what drives you to this behavior (is it a need to gain approval or are you experiencing fear?)
You have a tendency to say ‘Yes’: You find it difficult to refuse any task or say no to someone even if you do not agree. People Pleasers often say yes to everything which leads to feelings of regret. You need to reflect upon this area to know what is stopping you from being assertive.
You are apologetic all the time: It’s good to apologize when you make a mistake. It’s not good to repeat apologies where you take the entire blame and apologize out of fear for something you’ve not done. You need to reflect upon why you feel guilty and the reasons behind the need to apologize frequently.
You are afraid most of the times: You feel afraid to express your opinion and worry about what people would think if you display your authentic self. You need to reflect on where this stems from and if it is rooted in childhood behaviors.
You seek validation for your behaviors: You need to feel good about yourself and this is dependent on the people around you. You need approvals for every step you take in terms of decisions in life. You need to focus on rebuilding your own strength while understanding the main cause behind this behavior.
A lot of our behaviors are deeply rooted in the growing-up years. Parental conditioning and societal conditioning create a set of beliefs (many of which may be unhelpful) where we often feel afraid to put ourselves out there for being considered loud, and arrogant for not caring about others.
There is always a fine line between caring and overstepping our own boundaries. Let’s find out the areas you need to stop giving a damn about and move ahead with conviction.
10 Things Women need to Stop Giving a Damn About
1. What people think about you
I had to start with this one! I think one of the major struggles particularly in our country is the worry around what others think about you and your decisions. You need to ask yourself, “What are your expectations for yourself?” It’s here where you will find the answers.
2. Past failures
The past lies behind, the future is ahead of you. Your past failures taught you a lesson. However, if you let your past hold you behind or keep you away from trying something new, you’d need to reframe your thoughts to look ahead without worries. You need to hold yourself with strength and remember the lesson you’ve learned.
3. Success or the lack of it
Yes, it can be overwhelming with posts on social media that only talk about success stories. Everyone seems to be celebrating something! If you are in a tough phase in life, these posts may either motivate you to do better or pull you down. Either way, your success is defined by you. If you’ve been recently promoted, and you feel happy, then celebrate it. If it’s taking time off for your self-care, go ahead and do it. Success is different for everybody and you need not let a common benchmark define your success story.
4. Fashion rules and body types
Women have been subjected for too long to fit in a frame as defined by the media. I have spent many years working with the media that churned out stories on how women need to appear, what to wear, what they need to buy to feel good, and what defines a successful woman. You may choose to break the rules and love yourself for who you are while embracing confidence in what you wear. What holds importance is your emotional wellness which is directly impacts your physical wellness.
5. Toxic people
A toxic person can create a whole lot of problems in your life. However, we as women are conditioned to approve this toxicity and normalize it. Toxicity can be within families, friends, in the office, and even among your neighbors. It’s important to identify toxic people, understand the impact, find solutions, or move away when it goes beyond normal tolerance levels.
6. Social Media
I’ve mentioned earlier how social media can impact the way people think and feel about themselves. Different people choose to browse social media for different reasons – casual browsing, research, motivation, entertainment, and more. The problem occurs when you use the metrics to define your worth. This is exactly the reason why you need not bother about social media!
7. Endless possibilities
When you celebrate your success, the world will clap with you. It’s in your difficult times, you’d notice how many people will come up to you with solutions and advice to save your existence. It’s ok to seek support. But, if you get caught up in endless possibilities of how your life should be or could have been, you will not be able to create your own path. You need to focus on self-reflective activities that bring you closer to what you seek.
8. Society-induced timelines
Let’s face it. In India, everyone seems to decide what the other person needs to do. It could be a concerned family member or an interfering neighbor. Never give anyone the power to choose your decisions for you. The perfect job or marriage can wait. You need to focus on what is your true purpose and enjoy life in its truest form.
9. People who hurt you
Every person has a past and it shows in their behaviors. If you’d understand the basics of psychology, you’d observe a person’s hurtful behavior has nothing to do with you. It says a lot about them. You need to stop giving importance and bring a shift in your thinking. Instead of focusing on the pain, you need to ask yourself what this behavior is teaching you about the person who is attempting to hurt you.
10. Following the majority
It’s natural to develop a tendency to follow the herd early on in life. However, as we develop our thinking, we also need to focus on finding our core values and beliefs to be able to define a path. You need to be ok with having a different set of values that may not blend well with the majority. You have to focus on developing your own path and be comfortable with your progress.
As women, we tend to be emotional and sensitive towards the needs of others. It’s a wonderful quality to have! I see emotions as a source of strength. However, there may be times when these emotions and sensitive nature might be manipulated by others. There is a fine line that you need to draw between caring for people around you, and looking after yourself.
What choice are you making today? If you wish to share your story, do drop me a line! I would love to hear from you.