Monday, October 29, 2012

don't hide the madness


Watercolor Postcards 

In many of my posts, I have mentioned the fact I am a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist. I say recovering because it is a struggle to hold on to small but important improvements I have accomplished thus far.



My people pleasing patterns started about 10 years ago, when I went from being a loud mouth who would just not take anything to being way too preoccupied with maintaining my job and being liked. I believe in some situations, it is ok to be concerned with keeping your job, but I just got to the extreme where the small mention of my in any” he said she said” just made my stomach turn in knots. This is not helped by my feelings that by making mistakes I just committed the 8th deadly sin.


I frequently ask myself what makes me, and others, fall into the pattern of self-torture when the opinions of others are completely and utterly outside my control. I find it even more conflicting when people see me so opposite of how I see myself. Most of times they see someone who is assertive, with strong opinions, and laid back. I do not see myself as none of those things.

Watercolor Postcards Continue

I believe sometimes the view we have of ourselves gets distorted, as though we were in an carnival house of mirrors. Most dangerous is when how others see us becomes more important than how we see ourselves.

“You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~― Eleanor Roosevelt


43 comments:

Jenny said...

Another wonderful post Ana... with more gorgeous artwork... love your quote... and the carnival house of mirrors expression... beautifully put...

Jenny ♥

Kyra said...

I struggle with the thought about how others view me too, almost every minute of every day. It's an anxiety issue with me, and feeling like everything I do is wrong. The up side to my personality is that I stand by who I am regardless, I'm not really a people pleaser, but I feel bad for not being however it is that I should be.

Francie M said...

Well tgat was iteresting, Ana. One of the most successful teachers that I ever worked with, the one most beloved by her students lived by the "look after number 1 first" rule. She looked after her own physical, mental, spiritual etc. needs first and consequently although she was a people pleaser if was a healthier type of giving than I was ever able to conjur up.

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

Beautiful paintings, beautiful post. I think we overcome approval addiction by learning to love ourselves, the unique individual God has created us to be. Anyway, it's so true that "you can't please all the people all the time" -- pushing oneself to do that is surely an unending, painful struggle. For everyone who may not approve of you, there are at least ten who do -- those others just missed a great opportunity to know a wonderful person :)

CraveCute said...

Beautiful paintings Ana! Being a people pleaser is exhausting! Great post!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

It gets easier over time. When I became much more comfortable in my own skin, and very satisfied with the person I am, I stopped caring about what others think. I've been blissfully happy since then. It takes time to stop being a people pleaser, and time to stop being concerned about others. But it is possible. And it is wonderful when it happens. You're doing great, Ana.

Lime Tree said...

Thank you for you comment on my blog Ana!
Perfectionism is a tough one, specially for artists! It can kill the flow of it. Very nice to know I am not on my quest alone! :D

You artwork is to-die-for, by the way! Awesome, awesome work! :)

Lynn Fisher said...

Beautiful paintings Ana!
People pleasing and the ensuing anxiety...sucks, and it's no way to live. You're smart to know yourself!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Thanks for your comment!. I love your butterflies!. gorgeous, vibrant colors!.

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

I love that E Roosevelt quote and your beautiful butterfly! Your brilliant colors are just gorgeous.

AntiquityTravelers said...

wonderful post! and more gorgeous butterflies - loving this series

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, that is really something that many (if not most) people struggle with. Brava to you for consciously striving to deal with it!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, that is really something that many (if not most) people struggle with. Brava to you for consciously striving to deal with it!

Cindy D. said...

Lovely butterflies, and both so different! I think we all worry about what other people think. Some of it has to do with how we're brought up, I suppose. But you can train yourself not to worry so much. Just try to remember this post you made, for one thing!

Cloudia said...

You have described it quite well. We keep on learning and growing. And I believe that there are compensations for being so sensitive if we appreciate and allow them. A decent respect for the opinions of 'society' is a must, but don't be ruled by over-sensitivity in dealing with those who a much more rough and tumble than we are.


Aloha from Honolulu
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Cloudia said...

Oh! Your sensitve and enrapturing art proves my point! LOVE it.

Josú Barroso said...

Thank you.
Show!

Loulou said...

Great post. It is so important to not be overly influenced by what others think, but it's also so very difficult to do.

I love your paintings. So pretty!

La Dolce Vita said...

I can identify with what you are saying here. My teenage self was like that. I feel that Introverts have lesser capacity when it comes to social interaction. I used to get angry or upset if somebody was rude to me. I would either confront the person and get into trouble or shut myself down totally or try to please people---all these are signs of "uncontrolled emotions" that introverts mainly possess. But Extroverts know much better how to diplomatically handle such situations by being quiet and calm -they don't let their true feelings show...so people consider them well behaved. sometimes, extroverts are not bothered by people /situations but introverts are extremely bothered by similar situations..
So, I feel that by controlling our emotions, by being silent and by talking less/reacting less and observing more, we can stay away from volatile situation.
It is not an easy path to change or control our raw emotions. It is not easy to become silent in a day. But that can be done, over the years through meditation or adopting a different life path like adopting " a spiritual lifestyle "..reading books on spiritualism also helps.
I may be wrong in my analysis but I am saying this from my own experiences, from my own life.

Introverts have so many wonderful qualities yet they also have uncontrolled raw emotions ...so I feel that if a balance is reached somewhere...all will be well...
It was very hard for me to change my "reactional" nature but now I am really less "reactive" , more a silent observer...it took me almost a year to transform myself.
Your painting is beautiful, love the vibrant colors in both pictures. keep it up !

Ola said...

beatiful series!

Blog about life and travelling
Blog about cooking

Jacquelineand.... said...

Beautiful watercolours Ana.

Have I remembered to mention lately how much I appreciate your thoughtful, and thought-provoking, posts? Being a people-pleaser is addictive but each step you take helps you become more beautifully yourself.

Sulky Kitten said...

I love that quote, Ana - so true. being a people-pleaser is a thankless task,nobody ever wins awards or medals for it. There's also something about it that means you lose focus of who you really are and what you want yourself. I agree with Martha - it gets easier with time. Those postcards are so gorgeous. You've brightened my day, thank you!

tinajo said...

Good theme for a post, and pretty paintings to go with it!

Lois said...

Ana ~ such a good post, I have given up my people-pleasing and have been adjusting to the reactions... A weekend away in a festival situatioin was both lovely and twilight-zone-ish. I just don't work well in a group anymore! I am there, but I am separate. That's ok. I hope you are safe and dry.

Shaharoh said...

Your butterflies are inspiring! I love the black and white against the blue. The way you discuss People-Pleasing strikes like an addition and I think it is and agree with you wholeheartedly. I think my people-pleasing stemmed from growing up in a sometimes hostile environment and just wanted there to be peace. As an adult, I've learned to practice not caring what people think and like you am Recovering:)

Nadia said...

Beautiful said Ana! You know what?? Stop torturing yourself by wanting to please the other too much, it pulls down your self-esteem and put's you in an emotional drain.
You're too good for that Ana!
You are who you are and you can't influence others by pleasing.
The only one you can influence is yourself. I do not mean that you can not be nice to others or be a big giver! I wish everyone in the world would be kind for 5 others that they don't know every day and be less judgemental, then there was less trouble in the world.
Love you're art, it's growing every day!

Sherri B. said...

As a lifelong people pleaser, I relate so deeply to what you say...it's a constant battle. Your artwork brightens my day - so lovely! And I hope painting gives you some peace from all the overthinking our brains do! Sending you good thoughts~~

Beth said...

Oh my...your butterflies are so gorgeous! It must be lovely to be surrounded by all those pretty winged creatures in your house. :-)

I am always amazed by how people presume to know who we are based on very little information. In the deep country, where I grew up, people gave you time to reveal yourself. Nowadays, it seems everyone want to instantly decide who you are based on very superficial information. *Sigh* One more thing to make me feel like I don't quite belong in this world.

ArtSings1946 said...

Oh Ana, this reminds me that I have been on a similar journey ... years ago I was brave and courageous and loud also ... and I don't know when it happened but I got so afraid and fear ruled my life, but I didn't realize it at the time. Oh, my head hurts ... sometimes it's so overwhelming just to think about all these things. Thanks so much for sharing dear one.

Love and Light,
Jan

Annette said...

Beautiful art work my friend and the post is great my young and wise lady. Of course the quote is perfect in every way. Hugs and keep creating. xo

Mopsa said...

Interesting to find your blog today, because I just dedicated one post to introversion on my own blog. I'm also a people pleaser in recovery. But I've been like this my whole life!

Your art-work is absolutely beautiful :)

Riot Kitty said...

Good God, you're inside my head! I can totally relate to this...I want to be a people pleaser even when people are going out of their way to not please me!

alteredstatesstudio said...

i used to care way too much about what others thought of me....but, i have given up. i try to find balance- i mean that as long as i am happy with myself than i am good; and i don't care what anyone else thinks. those that know me- accept me for who i am, and those that don't or have such a distorted reality of what they think i am, are not worth my time of worrying. this is difficult terms to come to however- and it has taken me a long time. bless your heart for the post.

Selene said...

wonderful post dear! <3

Lisa Graham Art said...

Well said Ana and true. I always have to work hard to not worry about what others think, and with age this improves. You butterflies are lovely and I especially love the colorful collage piece in the post before. The butterfly just pops with all that color. Nice work!

Melva said...

This post is wonderful and very thought prevoking. It certainly has made me think???????Perhaps I am a me-trovert because introvert/extrovert I am not. So here I am sitting in the middle again...... Oh, forgot to mention your gorgeous artwork super as usual.

gigihawaii said...

This is why I love being retired. I prefer babysitting my little grandson to working in a law office or library.

:.tossan® said...

I dreamed, and I did appreciate the art! Amazing!
"What would man be without art(?)

Elena said...

Oh sweet lady I love the butterflies! And of course your wisdom :)

Red Shoes said...

Psychologically, it's just who and what we are. I am much a people pleaser as well... and I struggle so to stop it...

*sighs*

~shoes~

Jane said...

I suspect a great many of us sensitive souls struggle with this to some degree or other. I've always loved that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt - there's a lot of wisdom in it.

LE CHEMIN DES GRANDS JARDINS said...

Très beau travail. Beaucoup de subtilité et de délicatesse dans les tons qui rendent" très vivants, ces papillons.

Roger

meckimadeit. said...

very thought-provoking .. beautifully interspersed with your butterflies .... love the colour combinations :)
Mecki