By Penelope Loves Lists Founder Meredith Monday Schwartz
Periodically, I get into these weird obsessive jags. They can be about a topic (am I doing a good enough job as a mom?) or a physical symptom (is one arm longer than my other?), or a food (brussels sprouts every day for a month) or a person. This time, it was the latter.
I started thinking about a person I’d met a while ago and with whom I connected immediately. I was excited because, frankly, it’s not always easy for me to make new friends. I like this person a lot and we’d been talking frequently for a while. Then, I noticed I wasn’t hearing from her quite as much. Then, not at all. I’d reached out, but hadn’t heard back.
Putting my big girl pants on, I thought “Well, she’s busy, I’m busy, who knows what’s going on in her life? I’m sure it has nothing to do with me.” Then, the big girl pants started to come off a bit and I started thinking “Maybe she’s mad at me. But why? What did I do? Or not do?” Obsess, obsess.
Then, it devolved into full-on, Level 10 friendship insecurity. And that’s an ugly stage. I thought “I was wrong. There was no connection at all. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me.” Yeah. Ugly.
And, all the while, the non-8-year-old part of me is sitting back being flat out embarrassed by this mess. Thinking “You’re a successful business woman with a wonderful husband and several smarty-pants kids and a great family and tons of supportive friends and a fun blog and what’s your deal, Mrs.?” (My non-8-year-old self sounds suspiciously like Sharon Osbourne.)
It’s not as if I don’t already know the selfish and damaging nature of being an Over-achiever People Pleaser who always needs everyone to like her. I do. (By the way, I loved Lisa’s post on that issue.) Through this entire thing, I was absolutely aware of the insane irrationality of my thinking.
Obsess, obsess. Nothing life-changing, just low-level churning. Obsess, obsess.
Then, one day out of the blue. I get a voicemail from her. It’s a long message saying she’s just calling because she misses me. She’s thinking of me and loves me and just wanted me to know I am important to her and she’s so glad she met me and when can we get together?
All that wasted low-level mental energy. Spent. Gone. Never getting that back.
And you know the absolute kicker to all this? I’d like to believe that, having learned this salient lesson, having even freaking BLOGGED ABOUT IT, that this won’t happen again. That next time, I’ll not waste a moment thinking negative thoughts. That I’ll just assume everyone loves me all the time.
Won’t happen. Ugh. Sometimes I annoy the heck out of myself.
Does anyone else do this?
Originally posted in June 2010, but still so eerily accurate even today. So much for personal growth. – MMS
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