Watching “Friends” recently, I got to episode 12 of season six, The One with the Playboy, and I couldn’t help but laugh because I could strongly identify with Monica. I used to be Monica. I used to care what people thought of me and I turned myself inside out and upside down so they would “pick me.”
I also, at times, was totally Rachel from this scene. Because I was so concerned with being liked, I had no opinion of my own and would roll over and play dead any day before actually having any sort of opinion that could be considered as my own point of view. I conformed to everyone around me so I could be picked, so I could be liked. (more on that in my post about sparkly poop)
What I really loved about this episode is how Phoebe responded when Monica and Rachel attempted to get her all riled up like they were. Her acceptance of their name calling is sheer brilliance! I resonated with it because, after journeying through the land of High Maintenance Pushovers, I have come to the place of acceptance of who I am as a result of my #IAmACatch process. Her response is how I respond now and if there is any sort of fight in me “against” what the person has said, I know there is some element of truth, some nugget within me, that believes it, but doesn’t want to.
For years, now, I have been willing to accept other’s judgment of me and know that I can honor their experience of me, but I don’t have to be who they see me to be. It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes I’ve wanted to yell “Nuh-uh! That’s not who I am!” But, there is no need to defend the truth. Maybe I am a high maintenance control freak. Maybe I am a pushover. Maybe I am a flake. Whether I am or not is beside the point. That is how they experience me. It doesn’t mean it’s true. It also doesn’t mean that it’s not true. What matters is what I think of me.
When you live your life from a space of needing others to validate your existence by picking you or by not having an opinion so they’ll like you, you create an energy of ongoing dissatisfaction and self-distrust. Your strength and your power lies in knowing that your need to have things in a specific way or wanting to be liked or flowing with spontaneity is actually quite delicious!