“I don’t even know who I am anymore.” Have you ever heard someone say that? Maybe you have even said it yourself. What makes people feel this way?
On that post I made the comment, “Sometimes it takes the observations of others to help us better understand ourselves, to see our quirks and to realize what we should change about ourselves.”
Sue’s reply gave me a lot to ponder. She said, “How much of ourselves should we change before we become someone that we’re not? I understand if it is something ‘huge’ but the little things that irritate people. Are they irritated because of something that they are unable to control in their own lives or because it is something you need to change. How much change do you think we should make to please others?”
How much of ourselves should we change before we become someone that we’re not?
In any type of relationship, some amount of compromise is necessary in order to keep it running smoothly. However, there is a fine line there. Everyone has flaws and those should be worked on, especially in a relationship. But, not all the issues can be placed solely upon one person. It’s a guarantee that both parties have problems of their own. No one is perfect.
We shouldn’t have to completely change ourselves to compensate for the flaws of someone else. If we do, then we will eventually change so much of ourselves that we end up becoming someone we’re not.
Are they irritated because of something that they are unable to control in their own lives or because it is something you need to change?
Is it me?
When problems arise, it is very important to examine ourselves to see if the problem lies in us. Usually we know if what we’re doing is wrong and needs to be changed. The question is whether or not we will accept it and work on it.
Perhaps you have low self confidence, low self esteem or anger issues. Maybe you’re overly emotional or a constant complainer. Whatever the issue may be for you, if it is disrespectful, unnecessary or unthoughtful, then it should be changed. We should always be working to improve ourselves.
Is it them?
Let’s say that you’ve changed everything about yourself that you know to change. You speak more positively, you control your mouth and your anger. You have learned how to manage heated conversations in a mature manner and you’ve learned which buttons not to push. In your mind you’ve conquered, or are working to improve, everything about yourself that you can think of.
However, you find that it’s still not enough. You’ve made all those changes, and yet all of the problems are still there. You can continue to change, but that would make you become someone else.
One would hope that the other person would be making changes themselves, but what if they’re not? What if they refuse to accept that part of the problem could be them? Maybe instead, they always place the issues on you. It’s your fault.
What do you do?
Many people at this point either walk away or give in. By give in, I mean that they submit to whatever they must in order to keep the peace. They walk quietly, speak with caution and sometimes become silent altogether. The person they once were, is soon gone.
This is what I call, living in the shadow. You live in the shadow of someone else. Everything you do and every word you speak, is done in a way that is best suited to their liking; in a way that will not cause contention. Now, you are only a shadow of the very person you have worked so hard to please. The very person who cannot be pleased.
So, how much change do you think we should make to please others? Change only what is necessary. Don’t change so much, that you lose yourself in the process.