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self-mastery journal

people pleasing adventures, part 2: he ditched me.

(for part 1, click here.)

Along with McDonald, I had another friend. Let’s call him John.

I connected much more with John than I did with McDonald. Our shared interests were guns, legos, and video games. We played SWAT games in my backyard with toy guns. We also built crazy-cool spaceships using pieces from all of our lego sets, because fuck the instruction booklets. And when Halo 2 came out, we played co-op through the entire campaign more than five times.

The problem: He was part of another clique, one that was not welcoming to me. While McDonald latched onto me with his endless Bwe’s, I desperately vied for John’s attention, because I didn’t want to lose him to the clique. The tug-of-war lasted seven years.

Shortly after I ditched McDonald, karma served me a nice hot cup of “fuck you too.”

One night in late October, I went with John and his clique to volunteer at a haunted house. John never told me I had to bring a costume. So while John and the clique dressed up, I had to stay near the entrance and shake a ghost to scare people. The job was painfully boring, and customers made fun of me.

During break, I looked around for John and the clique. When I couldn’t find them, I asked a co-worker. “Oh! I’m pretty sure they left,” he replied. “They never told you?”

I was devastated. Here was the one friend I actually wanted to be around, and he ditched me. To a people pleaser, the disapproval felt like death. A day later, he called with an apology, but I couldn’t accept it. We stopped being friends.

A common trend with people pleasing: Put someone on a pedestal, lick his boots in exchange for approval, and it’s almost guaranteed that he will throw you by the wayside.

John was the first of many to ditch me.

(for part 3, click here.)