are you pleased. do you please.

Yesterday we dreamed of moving back to the States. Or, rather, Serkan placated my nostalgic oohing & ahhing about how cool California is. He hunted down health insurance quotes and apartment prices. I had to leave him on his mad hunt to go teach English to a navy officer. When I returned with growling belly, sniffing the air for what wonders might be cooking, I found him on the sofa where I left him, now looking for river rafting and sea kayaking jobs. Bless his heart, he got more excited than I did about all this planning!

Then while he went to play (real) football, I searched which rivers would be closest to "home," and I also got sucked into the craigslist job hunting supertrap. Writing jobs. Editing jobs. Design. I've broadened my perspective so much, I'm not even sure where to look anymore. So, why not start with the job that requires a personality test, right? 
{suitcase chair by REcreate}

Who doesn't love answering zany personal multichoice questions? I scored high on adaptability, a tendency to "march to my own drummer," novelty seeking and empathy. But I scored absurdly low on my "desire to please others." This was of course the first question I clicked on to learn more. Because. I do want to please you.

 {photo by Parker Fitzgerald}

It turns out that it's probably a "good" thing to score low here. Though I don't want to say good, because in such tests no answer should be wrong or right or good or bad. As in life, it just is. Still, my reaction tugs the pantlegs of a question: Why so intent on wanting to please? 

Have you ever felt somewhat unsuccessful in trying to please someone else? Or in some way felt like you've disappointed someone you care about deeply? My reactive desire to want to please must stem from such longings. Most importantly is the fact that even if I'm not successful in pleasing you / others, part of me wants you know that I do want to please you. And yet. From my high score pattern,  I likely want to convince you that I can please you in my own special way.

{photo 1 & 4: unknown: please tell me if it is yours, so I can credit it.}


its simple love said...

Sounds like an interesting test! Where do you find such a thing? And yes, I am currently doing the craigslist thing. Bah. And you live in PATAGONIA, CHILE? What the what? i lived in Peru for four months and loved it, though I missed American food like crazy.


Claire Kiefer said...

Definitely. I'm right there with you on the jobhunting, as mine may be coming to an end at the end of the month (still no word on possible funding). It's so scary being in limbo! I've been on craigslist a lot today doing the same thing . . . crossing my fingers that if I do lose my job, I'll at least be able to find another one quickly. And I LOVE this talk of you and Serkan moving to the States! Best idea you've ever had! xoxo

p.s. mailed a letter to you today.

its simple love said...

Oh, and I use to care a lot more what people thought, I still have do but not as much as I use to. It's freeing not to be so wrapped up in pleasing others. When you care too much what people think you lose connection to your own wants and needs. Evil slippery slope.


Abby said...

I feel as if it is so difficult to please others, and even harder to please oneself, sometimes. I don't know if it is true, but I might be in what is the early stages of a relationship, and I don't quite know where I stand. I'm terribly bothered by the thought that I might not be making him happy, but hopefully as time goes by we'll be on surer ground and I won't have to worry any more.

koralee said...

Thank you so much for visiting me the other day...I am so happy to have found you. Your blog is amazingly lovely and I adore your writing.
Ok...really I soooooo want that chair..who is the brillant one that would come up with such greatness...I wish my mind thought like that. I will now be on the look out for suitcases.
Happy jobhunting my new friend. xoxo

georgia~gigi said...

What a beautiful post! I love the suitcase chair how charming!
I am by "nature" a people pleaser! It really is alot of work, I try really hard not to be one!

Daphne said...

lovely blog, will add you on my blogroll for sure. :) xx

this free bird said...

This is another great post. I'm like you in a lot of your score result areas. As a child I had a great desire to please - because I did well and heard the praise, I came to want to hear it consistently - I believe anyway.

As a young adult that was a difficult thing to overcome. But I can gratefully say that I did. In a healthy way, of course I want people be pleased with/like me - but in the greater sense, I really couldn't give a rip if I come across someone who doesn't seem to warm up to me. Not my problem and I don't care. Life's too short to live up to the expectations of others.

Live and let live, I say!!

xoxo - Carrie

Faiza said...

Have been caught up in the people pleasing cycle mostly because I work with terrific people all day and part of my job involves making sure they are pleased.

What have I learned so far in my short life?

When I am truly pleased with me (which is not a constant state but getting there) the need to please others is no longer a goal.

Nicole said...

i really love your blog! super insightful!

Heather {A Measure Of...} said...

@Rachael, Where did you live in Peru? I've been living here for about 3 years (but traveling during the winter, which is now). I so miss good, healthy whole food, and the variety! I agree that we need to be clear/er and not lose track of our own dreams & needs, too!

@Claire, Oh, I hope hope hope that they figure out funding. It would be insane to cut such a valuable program. I know that you are so talented, strong, daring, you will find a job quickly. But it will be at a loss to all the students that you teach. I can't wait to get my letter! :)

@Abby, Enjoy the beginning of your relationship! The thing about tying to please outside yourself is tricky. If you smile from deep within you, it will be infectious and others will smile too. In the same way, if you are happy, you will make others happy without even trying.

@Koralee, Thank you for joining! I'm happy to have found you too!

@Gigi, It certainly is a difficult lifetime habit to break.

Thanks, Daphne!

@Carrie, Ha! You are so right: life is too short. It's nice to hear the praises, of course! But not so nice to need to hear them. I guess this stuff ingrains itself in us during childhood.

@Faiza, It's so true isn't it? We kind of know better: to be pleased and content with ourselves; to be. Although accessing this state constantly can be a struggle. I like that you write: getting there.


Mary Ann said...

Hi Heather, pleasure to meet you here and thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading your blog and I admire your writing. Love traveling and you must be having a great time there. Regarding your post about pleasing people, I think I just need to find the middle ground and making sure that I make both ends happy and not totally sacrificing my beliefs. So the favor should still be on my side as long as I know it is fair. Hope to see around soon. Have a great day! verbena cottage

Mary Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Closet full of hopes and dreams said...

Oh, me and my husband are also talking a lot about maybe moving to the US. And I'm also on the hunt for a job. It is sometimes interesting and sometimes outright depressing.... But I'm still hoping and dreaming! :) Thanks for your very sweet comment! I really appreciate it! I must say I think I'm kind of a people pleaser, but I have gotten less so with time. I think when you get a little older you realize there is no way pleasing everyone and more importantly, no point in pleasing everyone.

The Zhush said...

Good luck with the job hunt, don't be discouraged, and don't put too much weight into those tests!


Related Posts with Thumbnails