I am a pleaser.
Over the decades of my life, I have become less a pleaser than I used to be, but I am a pleaser, just the same.
One of the problems with being an evolving pleaser is that now, when I find the gumption to do things my way or say what I think, I am often overcome with remorse.
"Why did I say that outloud?"
"What was I thinking!"
"What will they think?"
I know lots of people that never waste a minute worrying in this way. They happily and unashamedly announce to the world their opinions, insights and arguments, never worrying about fallout.
Recently I was visited by a woman I didn't know well, someone who wanted to get to know me better. As we talked about "how I was doing" I recounted my experience with cancer, work, children and other things that woman talk about. Then she asked me a more personal question and before I answered, I thought to myself, "I'm going to be candid."
I got the feeling that she was a little disconcerted at my "telling it like it is." Maybe surprised at what I had to say, she was very sympathetic but I thought I caught some alarm in her eyes.
Of course, immediately after opening-up, I regretted it. Now she knew my "secret", would it stay a secret? Would there be fall-out. (I realize you're probably wondering what in the heck I'm talking about, but I have to be a little circumspect here. )
On the one hand it felt good to be...I guess you could say, honest. I know it didn't please her. It sent me into my usual speakers remorse and wondering what got into me. So, this evolving into a more honest yet tactful person is hard work, much easier just to say what people want to hear.
But I will keep at it, in a nice way.