I’m Not A People Pleaser And It’s Okay If You Aren’t Either

This may come as a surprise to the lot of you (sarcasm), but I am not and have never identified with being a people pleaser. It’s something I’ve never quite understood; a phenomenon that baffles me and usually makes me angry or annoyed. To feel an innate need to adhere to any and everyone you cross paths with in life sounds exhausting, ludicrous, and impossible. Not to mention stupid and dumb.

This isn’t to say I’m hard to get along with, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. It also by no means insinuates that I’m a bitch. Why does the opposite of a people pleaser have to be a raging, “don’t fuck with me” bitch? That’s almost as stupid as the idea of emotionally pleasing as many people as you can every day.

I’m just someone who doesn’t take shit and doesn’t feel the need to make every person in my life happy. Because, let’s face it — I’m only one person out of (hopefully) a handful of persons in their lives that influence their daily mood. Why should it all weigh so heavily on me? If it does, that’s on me – not them.

I also don’t do stuff I don’t want to do. There was a time I was semi-vulernable to peer pressure – most likely in my teens like everyone else. But even then, I had strict AF parents and pretty much spent my Friday and Saturday nights at the local picture house (movie theatre) with them. I tried a cigarette at age 16 while being more or less pinned up against a fence while my friends cheered me on, and I drank one beer and thought I was blacked out. But, in general, I didn’t drink and party and have sex until, like, last year (lololol JK). So perhaps because I made it through the worst, most influential stages of my life without getting beaten into an unidentifiable lump of peer pressure and people pleasing that’s why I came out the way I am now? Just speculating, but it makes sense, no?

I found this article online that gives the reader character traits of people pleasers to check themselves against and deduce whether or not they fit the mold. The bullet points were:

  • I try to be who someone wants me to be.
  • am afraid to rock the boat.
  • It is hard for me to know what I want.
  • I avoid speaking my mind.
  • I find it easier to go along with what someone wants or with their opinion.
  • I fantasize about a strong person taking over my life and making it work.
  • It is hard for me to express my feelings when they are different from someone I’m close to.
  • It is difficult for me to say No.
  • I avoid getting angry.
  • It is hard for me to take initiative.
  • I try to be nice rather than expressing how I really feel.
  • I want everyone to get along.

I mean this sounds MISERABLE. So, basically, you’re suffocating your true self on the daily just to avoid conflict and confrontation? Why are you so scared to be you and do what you want? And who says that speaking your mind or voicing something that is opposite of what someone just voiced means it’s automatically going to cause conflict? Unless you’re surrounding yourself with argumentative, know-it-all assholes, not every opinion or feeling you have should solicit a fight. Yes, if you’re avoiding speaking your mind openly about Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice or whether or not Obama rules or drools, fine. I get that. No one wants to mess with that stuff — not even me, and I love to chat and talk. But being that person who agrees to a Mexican dinner even though you hate Mexican food or being the friend who has to commute an hour to work and back every day, but offers to drive your other friends around on a Friday night is bullshit. 

And, again, I’d just like to drive home the point that the opposite of a people pleaser isn’t an impossible-to-deal-with asshole or bitch. That’s extremely extreme. To me, the opposite of a people pleaser is someone who knows what they like, who they like, and how they like stuff and who doesn’t allow any of this to be shaken up unless for good reason. It’s someone who isn’t afraid to say what they’re thinking and speak up when it’s necessary and when they don’t like what they’re hearing.

In short, it’s someone with a backbone. 

Personally, I feel life is much too short to go through it agreeing with everyone and calculating your actions and reactions to appeal to the masses. Life is too precious, too fast, and too personal to let those around you control it. And, look — I’m not saying don’t be nice and agreeable. That’s not what I’m saying at all. You should be nice and agreeable, but not if acting that way is you forsaking your true feelings or thoughts. For instance:

You shouldn’t be nice to a friend who has clearly wronged you but they’re a part of your bigger group of friends, so you feel the need to “play nice” and fake it whenever they’re around. 

You shouldn’t agree to take your friend to the airport if it’s laughably out of your way, but they guilt trip you about it.

You shouldn’t be nice to a significant other who cheated on you or dumped you or treated you like shit just because you don’t like not liking people.

You shouldn’t agree to doing everything your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife wants to do just because you’re nervous to make him or her annoyed or you feel that it’s selfish and wrong not to want to partake in their interests. Compromise, people.

You shouldn’t be nice or do favors for people who would most very likely never return the gesture.

Surely you catch my drift by now? Being a pushover or a doormat or someone who is literally petrified to their core to ever upset anyone for any reason for fear of being hated or having to confront the issue is no way to live. You can have a heart and worry that your actions and words might hurt others’ feelings, of course. I mean, you’re a human after all. But if I’ve learned anything from writing and putting myself out there on social media for all the world to see if they want, it’s that you cannot and will never be able to please everyone. Ever. I could write a post about sunshine, butterflies, puppies, and how beautiful life is, and people will still hate me and what I stand for. And I’m totally cool with that, because this:

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You may not agree with any of this, and if that’s the case, then GOOD! Because that means you aren’t a people pleaser or, if you thought you were one this entire time, perhaps… just perhaps… there’s an inkling of hope for you and your people pleasing ways. 

xox,

emma

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emma’s thing And the “What Your Workout Attire Says” Post

I never do this.

That is, I never feed into the negative responses any of my writing may or may not solicit. After all, I heard once that if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing it right. However, this one article has continued to serve as a sharp ass thorn in my side that, after last night, I can no longer ignore. 

Back in July, I wrote a post for my blog called “What Your Workout Attire Says.” In it, I am my usual irreverent self, smack-talking some outfit choices but also praising and applauding a few as well. I decided to bestow the piece upon Thought Catalog as a contributor, leaving the fate of its success in their typing fingers. 

Within minutes of the piece posting to the Thought Catalog site, it was a hit. But what I didn’t realize until I looked closer was it was a hit for all the wrong reasons. One of the female producers had decided to completely change my original title – okay. That’s fair. That’s what producers and editors get paid for – to hopefully make decisions that make things better. However, in an effort to make my piece controversial, negative, and more in line with their “we’ll sacrifice just about anything creatively for clicks” M.O., Thought Catalog revised my title to:

8 Things Women Really Need To Stop Wearing At the Gym” 

No. That’s not what I said, guys. That’s not what I wrote, what I meant, and in no way embodies the overall sentiment of my piece. Yes, I say hater-ish type things about some outfits I list, but to reiterate, I also praise a handful of workout garb, too. 

Of course, none of this matters because most humans are drawn in by title alone. Thought Catalog knows this, which is why most of their articles come in easy-to-read list forms and probably why they formulate titles with intrigue that often in no way relate to the article to which they are attached, but that will ensure clicks – because, really, that’s all that matters, right?

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, Internet readers don’t bother to read the actual body of the message but rather become outraged by the title and minor skimming. There’s nothing I or anyone else can do about that – it’s out of our control and just the nature of the beast when newsfeeds are being inundated with “17 Bizarre Ways To Tell Your Boyfriend You’re In Love” a thousand times a week. 

I’m not apologizing for the piece itself – I would never do that. I wrote it, I by no means think it is even close to being one of my best pieces, and sue me – I have opinions about women. I’m not a woman-hater; in fact, I love women and think our judgmental tendencies are hilarious. That’s why I play into them and write things I believe the majority of other human women have most likely thought at one point or another but daren’t ever say out loud. When people hate my work, 9 times out of 10 it comes down to not sharing the same sense of humor/irony/understanding of over-the-top sarcasm for shock-value. And I’m okay with that.

But to the women via Twitter who call my piece pathetic, and to the hundreds of commenters via the Thought Catalog site who say things like:

You’re a dumb ass bitch, get a life and stop judging women in the gym. Obviously you don’t realize the problems women already face in the gym with staring and being perceived as weak. Get a life you fat bitch.”

I’m sorry you took everything I wrote so personally. And I’ll be the first to admit that bashing things like no shirt and scandalous clothing is just my insecurity over in the corner, getting upset and wondering how my stomach will ever go away. But such hateful comments don’t exactly make you look like a saint, either. You scold me for having no #respect and #judging and not being a woman’s woman, yet you write these 140-character thoughts chockfull of hate and go to town on comment sections, saying some of the ugliest things I’ve ever read? Come on, now. That don’t make much sense.

This entire debacle goes to show that the title really can change everything. Mine was innocent and, in fact, perhaps more intriguing by the vague nature of it. “What Your Workout Attire Says”? Huh? What does she mean? Like, if it could talk to me? Does this include men? Where is this going? I liked my title. My title was good.  But make a title like Thought Catalog’s, and watch as pageviews roll in all at the cost of someone’s originally innocent piece of content. They should’ve just named it

“8 Things Stupid Slutty Bitches Really Need To Stop Wearing To Workout by Emma Golden, Someone Who Should Be Hated For This Article Or Maybe Not! OMGDRAMA CLICK HERE TO DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF SHE’S A HUGE BITCH OR NOT!”

No? Too long? Oh well. Guess l gotta work on brevity.

xox,

emma

 

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27-Year-Old Dances To Beyoncé and KILLS IT

I’m getting a little burnt out on all these viral videos of 11-year-olds, 7-year-olds, and have-yet-to-be-born-fetuses “crushing,” “killing,” and “nailing” dance routines. It was cool when Charlize Glass was the first 12-year-old to remind us of how terribly untalented the majority of us are and how we’re going nowhere in life when she busted the most moves to Beyoncé’s “Partition.” And it was equally as cool when Taylor Hatala did the same to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” because what else would an 11-year-old white girl ever dance to besides the most inappropriate song of late 2014? 

BUT I’M SICK OF IT. Cool! You’re young and still only have nipples where your boobs will one day be and you can dance really well and have your entire lives ahead of you to make something of that. So allow me to parody this new viral video craze of young dancers with my own interpretation and slightly angry dance to say HEY! 27-year-olds and the like can “crush” “kill” or “nail” it, too!

I give you the random dance routine video to end all random dance routine videos:

xox,

emma

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15 Things To Be Prepared For When You Date A Girl With Curly Hair

I originally wrote this for Thought Catalog, and with my newly trimmed hair, I felt inspired to share via my blog today. Curly hair can be hard. It’s exciting in its very nature, but haircuts are usually boring as hell. What can I do? I can’t layer it, I can’t make it a bob, I could color it but I’ve never done that in my life and don’t really plan on starting now. So, my appointments are always the same: a “clean-up,” in which my hair stylist trims about 1.5″ off the bottom. In a straight line. And I let it hair dry. The end. 

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Most days, my hair has a life of its own, so that’s why I wrote this list of things one should know before they commit themselves to a curly-headed lady.

1. I shed. A lot. You will find my hair everywhere: In your car, your bed, the kitchen, probably even somehow embedded into your dog’s fur.

2. Some days, I’m going to absolutely adore my hair. Others, I will talk half-seriously about buzzing it off. Don’t ever let the latter happen, but also don’t scoff too much at it.

3. If it’s raining outside, you’re about to see a difficult side of me you haven’t before. I’m going to need your assistance with an umbrella and my rain jacket and my overall, sour attitude about frizz. I’ll most likely be pissy about “not even bothering” – just be patient with me.

4. About 75% of the time, my hair will be pulled back in some sort of style. I know you love it down, but you try walking around the entire day with a mass of uncontrollable creatures bopping around your face.

5. You will never be able to run your hands freely through my hair. That’s not how curly hair works. It’s a romantic thought, but try it and it’ll be a mess of awkward. Your hand will get stuck, and I will tear up from the embarrassment and pain. Just don’t.

6. I look like a completely different person with wet hair. Know this.

7. Even if you abhor the smell of my hair product, you must not carry on about it. It took me a very long time to find the perfect product that works for my curls, and if it comes down to it, it’ll be the product over you. So watch yourself.

8. Some days, I will have worked so hard at my hairstyle that I’ll freak out if you come within a few inches of touching then subsequently ruining it.

9. Other days, I couldn’t care less about the state of my hair and will welcome “rat’s nest” jokes and copious amounts of touching/messing it up.

10. I might shower every day (emphasis on “might”), but I do notwash my hair every day. If this disgusts you, you’re an uncaring, ignorant fool who needs to GTFO.

11. If we do sexy time with each other, expect me to need an hour in the shower afterwards to condition and comb through the literal knot we’ve created in the back of my hair. Post-coitus shower time togetherness is not a reality unless we were gentle and calm in the bedroom, but how much fun is that?

12. You will never notice my “bad hair” day since it all looks the same to you, but I will know how out-of-place these few curls are and be in a bad mood about it for at least a few hours.

13. If you ask me to straighten my hair just once so you can see how it looks, I will question what you stand for, if you really know me, and if dating you has been a terrible mistake.

14. And if, for some reason, I do straighten my hair and you obviously like it more than my curls, I will dump you on the spot.

15. Coming back full-circle to #1, I don’t know how or why, but you will find my hairs in your butt crack. Let me take this opportunity to say I’m so sorry in advance.

xox,

emma

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