Something I have often been told is my biggest problem is that I always put everyone else first.
And it’s not just by one person have I been told this, in fact In the last month ive been told this by 4 people.
I have to be honest and say I don’t really care about me, what is important to me is making sure everyone else is happy, even at my expense. I’m not an argumentative person really, I just want an easy life. I find it hard to say no in situations where someone needs help, this has often been used against me.
I swap shifts at work with people when I really don’t want to, I hang around with people when all I want to do is lie in bed. At university I would help people with all of their technical problems, id help them burn their work to DVDs, id explain how to use specific programs. Id go to my unpaid internship and do the same there and then I would teach classes freely because I knew about some of the equipment used then the paid teaching staff.
Last year was a big learning curve for me in the putting people first department. When I finished college and made the step up to university, I offered my free time to help out with the course I had just completed. The first year was fine, the second was ok, but by the third year I was becoming more and more angry. I was taking time out of my education to teach and to give free services and more and more was expected of me. My ideas were no longer being taken on board, which was upsetting, especially when I had a better knowledge of the course than the majority of the staff. I had sat through some of the lessons in that class for 5 years, I had seen them taught by more than one person. But my advice was not valid due to my lack of accreditation.This for me was a bit of a lesson in how sometimes I really am too nice for my own good. Upon leaving that place I truly realised how much better I felt. On the plus side, I have 3 years of teaching / classroom assistance experience.
Putting other people’s happiness first has probably contributed to my depression in some way, but it’s hard to change, especially when seeing people happy is really the only thing that makes me feel I’m doing a good job.
The Elephant in the Room