Saturday, 23 March 2013
In her new book, Jacqui Marson describes how one Christmas she ignored a broken arm for ten days to keep other people happy and not let them down.
She says she always wanted to look "lovely", even if inside she was seething with resentment or frustration and bottling up all her real feelings.
She felt ashamed to ask for help or say no. She always did what authority figures asked her to do. She always took on too much. She simply couldn't resist other people's demands.
Gradually she learnt how to stop pleasing people and be herself, even if it meant disagreeing with them and not being what they expected. But it was a hard struggle.
I'm not as bad as that, but there's definitely a part of me that wants to say yes rather than no, that wants to be nice rather than nasty, that shies away from conflict and hostility.
Saying no or being nasty doesn't come naturally to me. I have to consciously decide that's what I need to do and then do it. I always feel a bit uncomfortable and awkward about digging my heels in and taking an opposing view. I'd much rather smile and agree and keep everything friendly.
I've been told often enough that I take too much notice of other people's opinions, but the fact is I want people to think well of me. I don't want them to be secretly despising me. I can't just say, I don't care what they think. Whatever the reason - pride, ego, vanity - I do care and I cross swords reluctantly.