I am sure we have all been there - working like a mad thing, trying to impress the boss, because they are the boss. Maybe trying to please someone who we view as influential, and may help us with social advancement (probably at school this would have been the football or hockey captain, and in later life, a leader or head of an organisation). Maybe someone who we have fancied for years, or even just someone we see in a shop who we are attracted to.
The thing to consider here, is, do they really matter? Do we really need to impress them? Maybe, just maybe, our energies are mis-directed, trying to please and impress the wrong people, often at the neglect of those who really matter.
There is a simple question to ask yourself, which we will come on to later - a surefire way of realising whether it is worth suffering angst, fear, anger, disgust, sadness and a whole load more emotions just to make this person happy. Stay with me - all will be revealed.
Lets take a quick look at some of these people :
The Boss - the person who we feel has ultimate say over us for 40+ hours a week (and also then influences many other waking hours). Are they really that special and meaningful in your life? Do they warrant the awe, respect and jerry-mandering which you afford them? Is it really ok for them to talk to you like that? Yes, they pay you, but never forget, they pay you to do your job, not to be an emotional punchbag, not to take all your burdens home with you and take it out on your loved ones. They certainly don't (usually) pay you to damage your health - that one and only body you will ever have - by heaping extreme stress on you. And guess what, there are other jobs out there!
The Sports Captain (or leader of an organisation) - typically, the person who people gravitate to, not necessarily for who they are. but what they are. To their office, appointment, rank or role, in the hope that some of their apparent success may rub off onto them. Maybe in the hope that they may get further advancement, even take over the role one day. But what if they don't? Hours, days, years trying to impress someone, pampering to their every whim, putting them most evidently before yourself and your nearest and dearest for what? For the hope of something, for greater popularity maybe? Who knows? One thing is for sure, you will not be alone in your pursuit of this person, and as the race for approval hots up, so may the conflict of emotions (and sometimes integrity). Of course, respect these people as people, but that is very different from putting them on a pedestal just because of a title.
The Heart-throb (or attractive person you pass) - typically, and very stereo-typically, we can generalise here - and apologies for the massive political incorrectness , but I'll balance it out!
See how a man reacts differently to a busty pretty lady in a short skirt and flowing hair, compared to someone in more modest clothes, who is perfectly respectable, but not looking like they have just stepped out of Vogue. The behaviour of the man is totally different. But why? What drives this bizarre impulse to behave differently to someone just because of the way they appear. Honestly chaps, I have never come across anyone who managed to impress anyone passing them in the street so that they fell instantly in love with them and rode off into the sunset. The older the man gets, the worse it seems. Stop it fellas, it is never going to happen, so why not try paying equal respect to everyone.
To balance it out, take the annual charity fundraiser - 'firemen riding exercise bikes in Tesco without their shirts on'. Sorry ladies, the same as the example for the men, it is probably unlikely that a muscle bound 25 year old fireman is going to neglect his charity bike ride to run off for the afternoon with a 50+ lady pushing a trolley full of shopping. Stereotypes abound there of course, but you get the drift - why suddenly change your behaviour based on how someone looks or what job they have? Why do you feel the need to impress them?
So what is that magical question we can ask ourselves? It is simple, yet morbid. When you are turning yourself inside out, making sacrifices time and time again, changing your behaviour, putting your health and the stability of your family unit at risk, ask yourself this...
Will this person be at my death bed?
Now, not exactly a cheery thought, but think who will be there, and maybe focus the energy, attention, commitment and desire to please in that direction. Just that thought alone may bring you some clarity amongst the angst of demanding work and social relationships.
At Serenity, we give our clients a sense of perspective, a reality check, then give them the comfort and support to follow their convictions through, safe in the knowledge that their time, emotions, and money are all directed in the right place.
At Serenity, we give our clients a sense of perspective, a reality check, then give them the comfort and support to follow their convictions through, safe in the knowledge that their time, emotions, and money are all directed in the right place