I run a dance studio, right? It’s our tenth year, and I’m over the moon about the success of the place. When I opened, I thought I would teach dance…nope. It turned out to be so much more than that – love and family, challenges and triumphs, growth and determination, connections and friendships. The studio took on this amazing, beautiful life, and I’m so proud of it all. Everybody else seems to love it, too. Almost everybody.
Statistically, there are complainers, whiners, and miserable people in every crowd. I know that. Over the years, my crowds have been no different. I knew in my brain, but I didn’t really know in my heart and I had to learn, that I will never please all the people all the time. I always recite that bit about being the plumpest, juiciest peach in the bowl while there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches. I’m that peach.
I actually don’t even really mind Those People. Their mess might get me and the staff all stirred up, but generally, Those People weed themselves out. Grouchy, unhappy people soon find the door – almost magically – when surrounded by joy and goodness. It’s just how the universe works, thankfully. But then there are others. They’re the ones who smile a lot, you love their sweet, little monkies…then they zap your ass. Them.
Lately I’ve marveled that audacity is at an all time high. There appears to be this overblown sense of entitlement, this overwhelming need to make demands, and this overinflated ego thing. It’s madness.
Now, hold on. I totally get asking questions. I get needing an explanation of costs or a verification of policies. I even get disagreeing or having conflicts arise. What I don’t get is the vibe. There’s this pushy, insistent, critical vibe in the air now. Folks don’t hold back.
There is also my People Pleasing tendencies. As soon as I’m faced with yet another seemingly trivial complaint, my mind jumps straight to what I should be doing better. How can I fix it? What did I do wrong? Why isn’t what I’m doing good enough? What can I do to make them like the studio, me, the teacher, whatever?
NO! I’m getting street smart (finally!) enough to realize that IT IS NOT ME, but it’s hard. My stupid predisposition for People Pleasing reigns supreme and enters the ring first. Then my Glass Joe, barely trained, bantam-weight mindset that I should just freaking let it go climbs through the ropes. Picture this Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em mental battle going on in my head between the two.
Fortunately, Glass Joe is learning to get back up. People Pleasing is aging, and it is not as good as it once was. I’m trying my best to STOP thinking I am solely responsible for making other people happy, REMEMBER that people are persnickety and bitchy sometimes, and KNOW that what I offer is solid, good stuff (and there are alternatives if people don’t like it!).
Rome wasn’t built in a day, they say, and I guess my ability to quickly and deftly fend off being a People Pleaser won’t be either. It’s a struggle, particularly in a time when people don’t give a flying flip if their complaints and demands inconvenience you, make you feel bad, or cause a ruckous.
Part 4? Ok.
What happens when a People Pleaser gets ruffled?