I like to wear skinny jeans, but I don’t want to be referred to as skinny. Those words almost slipped out of my mouth when an acquaintance had called me “skinny” and laughed. I was very uncomfortable, but I found myself laughing along. We were in the midst of other people and I had to let it go. Every other time I’d retaliated, the mood turned sour. Who wants to be a spoil sport? And besides I was tired of objecting the word, just when did the word “skinny” become a compliment? I could only shut my mouth. After all, I didn’t want to be rude.
It’s wonderful being considerate, however it can become problematic when there’s no moderation. You become so docile to the point of blending into the background. What you say does not matter. The simple task of dressing up becomes reliant on the opinions of others. You stare yourself in the mirror intentively wondering what other people will say. I’ve lost count of the times I had dressed up and then went back to change the outfit a few more times before finally getting ready. I needed it to be satisfactory.
Overtime, indecisiveness became habitual, leading to much frustration. Slowly but surely everything becomes about everybody else, and never you. You perceive their happiness as being a result of your self-sacrifice. You don’t feel fulfilled, but of course you can’t say anything. You have to “consider” how it will affect them, besides, they seem fine when you’re not saying anything, anyway. And while attempting to please everyone, your already damaged idea of being considerate is only further devastated. Your detachment now begins to reflect in all your personal interactions, breeding unbearable tension between you and your peers. Ultimately, everyone is dissatisfied, and you’re left feeling empty.
It got difficult to concentrate and tiredness was a regular state. I lost interest in my usual activities and couldn’t remember why I found pleasure in them in the first place. And at this point I couldn’t care anymore, no matter how hard I tried. I felt guilty and gradually my mood soured. I became easily irritated and got aggressive. Happy people made me angry. These people I loved seeing happy; the reason I existed.
At first, I tried to put up a front. Pretended to care, but then got disgusted and even more exhausted. During the day I put a smile on my face fighting to be the “me” that I felt I lost and at night I cried myself to sleep as reality glared at me. I had become what I truly despised. I wanted it to end. Thoughts of drowning and silently disappearing consumed my mind.
The thoughts were frequent until one night, someone approached me; a neighbor. She had noticed I wasn’t “myself” recently and asked what was wrong. Believe me not, I wanted to let it all out but guess what, my day-fake smile came into play with the words “I am fine” coming out of my mouth. She didn’t believe me. I didn’t realize it until she wiped the tear that had fallen upon my cheek. She looked me in the eyes and asked again. I hesitated, but she waited. I started quietly and before I knew it I burst out crying, saying things I thought I couldn’t. I talked, talked and talked until I was too tired with my face soaked with my tears.
I slept well that night and continued talking the next day. I wasn’t thinking anymore and just let it out. It was all about me. The reactions I got were mixed. Sure, a tiny bit of me was bothered but I didn’t stop talking. I liked this me that could talk and ‘till today I speak my mind. Not that I wasn’t considerate anymore but it’s getting balanced now. Although I still struggle with old habits, I see and feel the progress.
Are you being overly considerate to the point of completely ignoring yourself? At the end of the day it’s not worth it. Please try to stop it. Just like a habit you can gradually but surely change it. There are certain times when you need to speak your mind even though it will hurt the other person at first. Hey, they will never know what’s going on when you say nothing. Bottling it up is no solution as it will surely overflow someday and you, including the people you think you are being considerate about will be hurt as they see you in pain; especially your closest ones. It takes a happy person to make others happy. When being considerate, sometimes you need to consider yourself first.