I think I’ve come so far. Comfortable in my independence…Proud of my growth. And yet one thing remains the same. I struggle to say no to strangers. Not to friends. I can set limits and boundaries with those I love and am comfortable with. But not with new people. Those first few interactions? I smile when I don’t want to, apologize when I’ve done nothing wrong. I agree to speak, to sign, to listen. Hell, I even offer up suggestions of ways I can lend my time, of things we can do, of ways we can be friends. And I do this, without thinking. I don’t take the time to process whether I want this person in my life. I automatically switch into people-pleasing mode…the one where I just want you to LIKE me. And then, I can’t turn it off right away. Even when all I want is to walk away. So I do things I’d rather not. I play a role I’m not interested in. Until I finally shut down and hide.
What a silly thing to struggle with. Yet every time….