It’s 2 AM, I must be lonely

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It’s 2:50 AM to be exact and I’m not really sure why I’m awake.

It was a busy weekend filled with friends and family. My parents and three siblings came to town to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and while the siblings have slowly started to make their way back to their respective homes, I still have 5 days left with my youngest brother, my mom and my dad.

Saturday afternoon yoga has become a staple in our weekend routine, and both my son and I get a lot out of our respective classes, we also enjoy the fact that yoga is something we do together (even if we don’t ACTUALLY do it together – we just do it at the same time).

This Saturday, we brought my sister and brother to yoga with us to share in the experience.

My son was excited to have his aunt and uncle participate in this routine, and while I really wanted my family to come with us, I was also worried they would be uncomfortable, bored or frustrated. I had the same experience when I took my dad to yoga with me – I couldn’t stop thinking about what he was doing or not doing, to the detriment of what I was trying to do.

Needless to say, both my siblings made it out of the class unscathed, and while one struggled more than the other, having brought them with me only affirmed what I already know about myself: I’ve come a long way in getting comfortable with my own discomfort, but still have the innate need to protect other people from it – even when it’s minor, or good for them.

Despite the “who cares” facade, underneath it all I’m a people-pleaser. I derive a sense of self worth from helping other people, and often (very often) put other people’s needs ahead of my own. In fact, during a recent coaching survey at work, I came out in the top decile for the company on “creating an open and trusting environment” among my direct reports.

While this is, of course, a good thing, the fact that my score was so high only corroborates my hidden flaw – I’m afraid of setting boundaries for fear of upsetting others.

It could be worse, of course – I could be self-centered and selfish and spend my life bulldozing others – but my tendency to try to give people what they want just so they will like me sometimes leads to poor decisions, worry, anxiety and frustration.

I doubt my sister and brother will ever come back to yoga with me. It’s not necessarily their thing and I wouldn’t expect it to be. I do expect, though, that it’s time for me to worry less about pleasing other people and do more about meeting my own needs – before I begin teaching and my students start walking all over me.


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