I am a…jellyfish.
Through a couple of thought-provoking conversations I’ve had over the week, I’ve come to the realization that there are few people who understand the type of person I am. I am going to give you a small look into my world, but be advised, it may not make sense or seem rational to you. It will seem wimpy and whiny. It will make you look at us (or me) and think, “Get yourself together girl! Seriously, stop letting people walk all over you!” But it’s a real picture of who we are.
We are called many things… peacekeepers, harmonizers, people-pleasers, fixers, the list is quite extensive. You probably have met one of us and not even known it, or quite possibly, acknowledged it. We boost your ego and make you feel self-important. We work to make you happy, even at our own expense. We make you comfortable and make your life smooth flowing. Even if you’ve treated us horribly, we will go to desperate measures at times to be accepted by you. We have an undying desire to be loved unconditionally, to be praised for our efforts, and most of all, to have harmony and peace in our lives, but more importantly, with others.
We are often contradictory in our behavior because our inner mind is at war between creating happiness and peace for others, and fulfilling our own needs and validating our self-worth. Yet, sadly, we have very little self-worth left at the end of the day. We spend so much time trying to make others happy or validating them, that at the end of the day there is very little left for us. We can continue in this manner for so long, and then finally, reach a breaking point. We will try to assert ourselves, but at this point, in our minds, we have made you so superior to ourselves, that if you dismiss us when we try to gain something for ourselves or when we ask for acceptance or recognition of our needs and desires, we will immediately back down and feel our thoughts and feelings are not as important and we don’t matter. And so, we learn to push our emotions or needs and wants down deep inside, telling ourselves that you are, in fact, superior. That if we assert ourselves and ask for what we need, the result will be that we are shown that our needs or thoughts are not valid. That we are not worthy of the things that we ourselves give to others.
Whether you know it or not, you have learned how to acclimate yourself to this type of person. Many of you have learned how to get what you want out of us. This is not saying you are mean, or without kindness, just that you are an assertive person who knows what you want out of the world and others, and we are not. Some people are narcissists, and have learned to manipulate us, and believe me, with us, it’s not hard to do. These people can have us caught in their traps so quickly that our heads are spinning and we are tied to them before we know it. They know just how to make us feel secure and warm fuzzy, and when we are confident enough to think that we might have the upper-hand, we are dealt with a blow so breath-taking it knocks us back down to the ground. Then we give double what we gave before, just to gain back more of the harmony we lost from our carelessness.
We can become very bitter people, but still believe in a rose-colored world. As a result, many of us gain a sarcastic humor to our personality. We surround ourselves with very few people, and rarely venture beyond that circle. It is not uncommon for us to occasionally reach beyond our circle to gain some self confidence back, but not on a regular basis, and certainly not if we don’t have a common connection with the other people. If you have hooked us, it is very hard for us to slip from your grasp. We can easily be pulled back in. You might call us gullible or an invertebrate, but it is difficult for us to cut ties with others because we still believe that someday, somehow, we will gain your recognition and acceptance.
This all sounds depressing, as if we are jellyfish, meaning, we have no backbone and allow others to walk all over us. I tell you truly, that is not our desire. We are dreamers, and wish for a world that is a better place. We understand reality. The real world. The way people work. But it is our own selfish desire to be more to others that causes us to continue in an endless pursuit. Maybe it’s because we cannot fulfill our self worth on our own. Maybe it’s because we have put so many others on a high pedestal and we can’t see the good qualities that WE possess. I do know that one day I hope I am able to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I am a good and decent person whose thoughts and feelings are as important as anyone else’s, that I am not a selfish and bad person for wanting unconditional love and occasional acknowledgement that I am right, and that no matter what, I love MYSELF unconditionally. And that’s all that matters…