Pleasing Some Of The People Some Of The Time
Life, and the myriad ways it affects us individually is impossible to control. Everyone involved in an event receives and processes it in a unique way. I imagine we have all tried and failed to ‘please all the people all the time’.
Trying to please everyone therefore – if you do the math’- is ‘impossible’. At times I’ve gone to the N’th degree (what does that even mean?) to please.. only to have one small word – amongst my many – cause offence. Sometimes I’ve said too little, ineffectually .. only to have someone say it made a difference. Sometimes my mere presence, or lack of it, has caused angst/offence/loud snorting.
I don’t advocate an irresponsible approach to communication; tho’ heaven knows (unproven theory) I’ve frequently managed to be irresponsible. With ease. Recently I’ve oft’ lain awake/woken early remembering the many people with whom I’ve lost touch, or fallen out of regular contact with over the past 40 or so years .. musings usually accompanied by lashings of guilt.
Anyhow to move on – as guilt is a manipulative time-waster of an ’emotion’ – it gradually dawned on me (usually at dawn) that I was on a hiding to nothing if I expected to remedy this situation in its entirety – and still have a life to call my own. On further consideration I realised that while I’ve been worrying about what these people will think; a good number of them hadn’t called me either.
My conclusion: communicate with as many as I’m available to give time to. In-between being a grand-parent, a partner and an all round fool to boot. I have no problem apologising where I know I’ve been neglectful or lacking in some way. I’m drawing the line tho’ at self-abasement or self-immolation.
Recently I had a very dear friend ask generously after my health, life, general well-being; I said I was well and happy. I heard later that they had gone to another source to find out if what I’d said was true – as they either weren’t sure/didn’t believe what I’d told them personally. I was initially enraged (drama-queen); then I realised that it was their choice as to how to receive what I was telling them. I give up wondering how things will turn out. I was telling the truth; but I can’t orchestrate or control the reaction I get. No-one can.
Pleasing all the people all the time is going to take all your energy and all your..well..time.
It’ll probably lead to copious consumption of caffeine/wine/doughnuts – and other mind-altering substances. I heartily recommend a diet of light-hearted insignificance. It’s amazing how much guilt weighs. Nearly as much as me – once I’d eaten all the doughnuts I’m now giving up. Because it’s just occurred to me that I’ve been sugar-coating my actions and words to try to please everyone.
I’m not going to get to all of you; and I’m not going to promise we’ll have intense lengthy conversations, on impulse, any time of the night or day… unless it’s a life-threatening situation in which case I’ll do ma best. I ain’t so young anymore you know.
So – if we’ve lost touch with each other; I’d love to hear from you. I just hope I get to you first. Or this is going to involve way too many doughnuts.