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To wish I wasn't a people-pleaser

(13 Posts)
yellowDahlia Fri 14-Oct-16 12:36:38

I need help with feeling less guilt and a bit more selfishness for me and my family.

We're just back from spending a couple of days in London, just the four of us. This doesn't often happen because we either holiday with DH's family (In summer) or have no spare cash for trips (until fairly recently). I was looking forward to a couple of days back home sorting the house/kids until it's back to school and work next week but now i just feel riddled with guilt.

Once we got back yesterday BIL and SIL sent us messages basically asking why we didn't let them know we were down south, we could have met up, stayed with them etc. They live fairly close to but not inside the city. They often make a point of saying we need to go down and visit their new house. (They moved 2 years ago, we haven't been down since a bit before then).

But honestly, when I booked this break it was for the four of us to spend time together doing touristy things, on holiday together. I didn't think of it as a chance to visit with them - it didn't cross my mind blush AND they're actually coming north to visit here in the next fortnight as DHs parents live close to us too.

I don't appreciate the guilt trip but it's eating me up, I feel bad sad They didn't even know we were down there - I assumed the ILs would have told them (MIL certainly tells them most other things!) but I reckon they didn't mention it because they thought we should be visiting with them too. Now it seems like a big conspiracy and I honestly didn't mean to exclude them, I just wanted to put my family first and for us to have a little break on our own.

Maybe I should have chosen somewhere else to go, maybe we should have just changed our plans and visited them. I'm starting to wish we'd just stayed at home tbh.

M0nstersinthecl0set Fri 14-Oct-16 12:41:25

Not that you need to justify this. But could you tell them this was a trip for the four of you to do x/y/z and when you do arrange a trip to see them you want to give them a good but of attention not a fleeting hi and bye?

AnythingMcAnythingface Fri 14-Oct-16 12:41:42

youtu.be/HZm4B4foybM

This will change your perspective on everything!

yellowDahlia Fri 14-Oct-16 12:48:20

Anything that looks interesting, have just watched a wee snippet but will definitely take a look when I have more time. Also reminds me to read that book about not giving a f**k!

AnythingMcAnythingface Fri 14-Oct-16 12:53:30

It's so true - it's like a secret hiding in plain sight and anyone can know it and do it! Since applying it to my life I'm a better mum and a better wife, and better for my extended family ... and I'm bloody happy too! Authenticity even when it causes authentic conflict is so much better than the tension that comes from fakeness and trying to please everyone! grin Literally changed my life.

yellowDahlia Fri 14-Oct-16 12:55:08

It's annoying me more than usual I think because I'm getting better than I used to be - I've started to not give a shit more often. But I feel a bit mentally worn down at the moment - busy with work and family life recently and low in confidence about my decisions. A massive guilt trip about something which I thought was a Good Thing for us is not what I need right now.

AnythingMcAnythingface Fri 14-Oct-16 13:00:03

This is a really deep concept I've been working on so stay with me.

If you take full responsibility for your emotions then no one can make you feel a certain way. They behave a certain way and you choose to experience and emotion based on their behaviour. That is it is your choice to feel bad.

Now flip that concept around. If know one can make you feel a certain way with out you allowing it, then it must also be true that your actions cannot affect another person without them deciding to be affected in that way.

I've accepted and took responsibility for my life, and given up all the responsibility I was carrying for other people's lives.

So now I am free to do whatever I choose. And I know instinctively what is right... all of the negative behaviours I was displaying was coming out of the bitterness I was feeling for not allowing myself to be my good authentic self.

It's so freeing, and it feels dangerous at first, but it's the exact opposite.

yellowDahlia Fri 14-Oct-16 13:31:21

M0nsters I've been thinking about your suggestion but I'm just not sure it would wash. They're always hinting that we should go and visit them and this was the first time we've been in their 'neighbourhood' for a while. I think they would have been keen to come in to the city to meet up, no matter what. Although as it turns out BIL was in another country for a football match for both the days we were there hmm

frenchielala Fri 14-Oct-16 13:38:50

Why not say sorry you missed them and arrange a time to go and visit? If it's been two years and you are yet to visit but they visit you, maybe you're due a one? Or is the problem you don't want to visit them at all?

yellowDahlia Fri 14-Oct-16 18:08:15

Ok it's evening time now and now I'm just feeling annoyed that I've lost a whole day to fretting over this.

How we spend our holidays and our money is our business so BIL/SIL can piss off with their guilt trips. This is the whole reason I wanted us to have a holiday on our own anyway - so I don't have to worry about pleasing everyone all the time!! That's what happens when we go away with all of them plus ILs every summer - the whole trip revolves around what they want, are they happy, are they arguing, where do they want to go... I can't believe I've let that bleed into our own holiday. Lesson learned. Next time I will make sure we travel further away and be clear about it from the outset, so we won't be accused of some kind of family betrayal.

Phew. Rant over. I'm off now to listen to that YouTube talk..

AnythingMcAnythingface Fri 14-Oct-16 22:42:35

Did you find that talk helpful/nonsense/somewhere in between?

yellowDahlia Sun 16-Oct-16 12:52:44

anything finally got round to listening to the vid this morning and it's been useful. The core idea of being completely independent of other people's opinions chimes with me - it's good to be reminded that the idea that what someone thinks about me is actually nothing to do with me!

In this case, what BIL/SIL are thinking perhaps has more to do with their values and their current state of happiness or unhappiness than our actions. Certainly BIL's text to DH seemed to me to reveal a lot about his anger/frustration at being far from home and not able to see the rest of the family as much as he would like. Seeing family is important to him and I know that, but this holiday was important for us to spend as a family of four, without having to factor in the timings, plans, wishes or four other people. We wanted to concentrate on spending time with our daughters and we did that, job done, memories made.

I feel reassured that in planning this trip I was putting my family first. However there's still a bit of me niggling about it - should I have compromised a bit for the wider family? After all, these aren't just random strangers or work colleagues, this is family and if there's an issue it might affect our relationship with them.

I text SIL yesterday to try and reconnect with them and be open and honest about the whole thing. And I suggested we'd visit them at some point soon. I figure if they know our side of it and still aren't happy then that really is their problem. No response so far. hmm

girlywhirly Sun 16-Oct-16 14:18:15

I haven't watched that video, but what stands out for me from your posts, is that you compromise with BIL/SIL when you go on holiday all together. Do they consider what your family would like to do or do they dominate all the decisions, expecting you to comply? Do they consider how unpleasant it may be for others if they are arguing?

You are fully entitled to do what you want when it is a trip for your nuclear family, and proximity to where BIL/SIL live shouldn't figure in it.

Do you have time separately from them when on the joint holiday? I think you would feel a whole lot happier if you could have a day away, or the odd morning or afternoon otherwise you will end up feeling resentful. It's always difficult with people who think everyone should do everything together and are very dominant, and make you feel rubbish for not wanting to.

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