Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hate: Disappointing People

I’ve been an emotional hermit for the past couple of days.

I am not the hermit type, especially not with my emotions, but a series of run-ins with friends and colleagues had me questioning a lot of things about myself, and about my decisions. I needed to figure out what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. And I really needed space to think—without noise—to figure all that out. So into the cave I went.

The recurring themes were:
  1. my propensity to overschedule myself 
  2. my inability to deal with disappointing people (in a healthy way) 

Singly, these things are not bad. They are good problems to have, in a way. But coupled together, they are a formula for disaster. Which is why my brain tends to go through cycles of feeling how Pig-Pen looks.

I’ve been overly busy since I was in middle school. I do it because I need to, not because I love to. I need to... because if I give myself too much downtime, I over-think everything and fall into depression. My brain doesn’t work in idle. It starts eating me alive. And so I learned (at a young age, even) that doing a lot ultimately makes me happier.

But I have a hard time disappointing people. It crushes me, you could say. And when you’re busy you have to disappoint people a lot... scheduling things months in advance and sometimes having to say no to things you wish like hell you could do, but you just can’t.

Things have been building and I think I’m finally realizing that one of these things has to give. My gut tells me that I just have to get better at disappointing people. I can’t act like the world is going to end when I say no. In some ways, by BEING crushed, I make people feel more disappointed in me. Does that make sense? I watch my fiance say no all the time. He does it in such a non-emotional way that people don’t even think twice about it. Cool. No biggie. Move on. Maybe by getting emotional about it, I make others feel things they shouldn’t.

What advice do you have for me? Books to read, therapists to talk to, private islands to escape to... I’ll take it all. How do you cope with letting people down?

1 comment:

Marie Young (Young Creative) said...

Great thought-provoking post. I wish I had some advice for you, but I have an overactive responsibility gene that puts me in the same situation. Just know that we still love you even if you tell us no.