I have had trouble with being a people pleaser for years now; honestly it feels like I have been one for centuries and I’m not even 16 yet! Ever since I can remember, I have prided myself on making people laugh, making people feel good, and serving as people's personal therapist. I was used to it and I thought friendships were supposed to form by doing so. For the longest time, I let people use me like a tool to fix their problems and an eraser to “erase” their problems. (Why didn't I charge them?)
It really dawned on me that I was being used when Covid-19 first hit. A little before Covid, around 2019, I moved to Virginia as a lonely, shy pre-teen who missed her best friend living all the way back in Europe. As an upset, angsty pre-teen, I shut everyone out, listened to the oh-so rebellious Billie Eilish and binge watched Stranger Things. That whole summer I felt lonely and made zero effort to meet new people. When school came around, I just minded my own business and did school work. Soon, people began realizing that was good at schoolwork. I get good grades, but most importantly, I complete it on time. Now, don’t get it twisted; I am not "smart smart." I’m not the kid you should cheat off of during a test nor am I the type of kid who spends hours studying at home. I am just blessed with the talent of being good at school (knocking on wood). My peers saw the A’s and B’s on my papers and ran to be my friend in hopes of influencing their own grades. Little naive Katie just wanted friends! So I gave them answers. I let them vent about everything to me. It got so tiring I would go home and feel drained. My so-called "friends" continued to vent to me and called me their “therapist,” and peers still asked for answers.
Around March, coronavirus visited and the whole world shut down. We had switched to online school. I wanted to stay in touch with my “friends” and face time them. I called and texted only to receive no answer. Once again, the only time they texted me was to get answers to questions, when they could’ve used Google like the rest of us. One day I was sick of it and I realized over half the people I spent time with at school were just using me for their own benefit; they didn’t really care about me or how I felt. It hurt really bad. It was like I had to start over and meet new people. A year worth of heartbreak melting inside of me. I was lucky enough to have found some of the greatest people on this earth: my besties!
Being a people pleaser is tiring and not worth it. What I’ve learned is that there are over 7 billion people on this planet and they don’t all have to like you. And you don’t owe anyone a free therapy session or homework answers. Be friends with people who make you feel good, people who you feel you can “let your hair down” with.
This article is for the people out there who continue to be used, you are worth so much more! And this article is also for my true friends Talia, Javi, Sara, Rey, and Parker back in the States, I love you guys so much and I miss you all!! <3