Anyway, the thing is, 6 months ago I could not have written the above paragraph (well, I guess I could have physically written it, but I wouldn't have meant it). I've been a people-pleaser my whole life. I have always cared way too much about what people thought of me. I would sometimes give so much of myself to everyone else so that they would be happy and like me, that there was very little left to make myself happy. I think maybe whether I admitted or not, I equated putting my happiness first as being selfish. If someone were to disapprove of something I was doing (like the situations above), I would pretty much automatically think that I was wrong and should change what I was doing.
Does this mean I think I'm always right now? As much as I wish I were always right, I know that I'm not. But there is a difference between taking others' opinions into consideration, and just taking their opinion as absolute fact. My opinion matters too. There is also a difference between helping other people out because it is just a nice thing to do, and helping people out to the exclusion of your own needs because you should and so that they will think highly of you. I know that sometimes my needs come first, even if other people disagree. Not all the time, but not none of the time either. Sometimes people will disagree with what I am doing to change my life, and that's okay. It doesn't mean I have to change my behavior to suit them. It doesn't mean we are enemies. It just means we have a difference of opinion. I can't change how other people act. I can only change how I react to their behavior (wow, that sounded kind of smart). In the end, I am the only one who has to look in the mirror and be okay with myself (because it would be really creepy if other people were looking over my shoulder at me in the mirror). For the first time in a long time, I am putting myself first and making healthy changes. And while it feels great to have so many people cheering me on, the truth is that even if there were no one cheering me on, I would still know that what I am doing is the right thing. For me, that is really something to celebrate.