Disappointment is an inevitable part of life. The fact of the matter is, we can NOT please everyone. Being a people pleaser, this is a difficult truth for me to accept.
I want to please everyone. I NEED to please everyone.
There is nothing in this world worse for a people pleaser than to disappoint someone … especially someone we love. Just imagine what it would be like to be caught in the middle of more than one person we love, knowing that no matter what you do, you’re going to disappoint one of them.
A friend of mine was recently in a position like this. To the most awful extent possible too. But I’m not going to go into specifics about that friend’s dilemma, instead, I’m going to make up a scenario and let you decide which person you would choose to disappoint.
Ready for story time kids?
Main Character – Beulah – She has bipolar, she’s a people pleaser, she’s hurt easily, but can forgive just as easily
Beulah’s Husband – Frank – He is strong and stubborn, has a hard time forgiving anyone. Especially when it comes to family betrayal. But Beulah loves him with all her heart and can’t imagine a world without him.
Beulah’s Sister – Regina – A hormonal machine, very in love with her husband and follows his lead when she can’t think for herself.
Regina’s Husband – Chris – A great man, but a bit over reactive. His fear of losing the baby they’ve waited so long for makes him a bit irrational and he tends to jump to conclusions and misinterpret what everyone says.
Scene: Beulah’s sister Regina just gave birth to her first child, Gilbert. Beulah wants to go visit her on this very important day, but Regina hasn’t spoken with Beulah or Frank in months, they aren’t even sure why. But out of the blue, Regina called up and requested Beulah to come see her at the hospital and apologizing for being so horrible. She doesn’t exactly explain why she stopped speaking with them, but Beulah is pretty sure it had something to do with the hormones and a stressful life situation, as Regina’s husband a little less than supportive, especially since he doesn’t seem to like Beulah or Frank.
Needless to say each character is in a difficult position. But I want to make sure we are on the same page, so let me break it down …
Frank – Clearly Frank is upset over not only how he has been treated, but also how poorly his wife has been treated by someone who is her own flesh and blood. He doesn’t believe there is any excuse for Regina to have stopped talking to them. Not only has he watched Beulah deal with all the hurt her sister’s has caused, but he too has been hurt since Regina and him have always been good friends, in fact, her husband used to be Frank’s best friend too. It’s hard to fault Frank for getting upset with Beulah when she expresses that she does indeed want to go see her sister in the hospital. And he is upset. So upset in fact that he threatens Beulah with a divorce if she let’s her sister back into her life after such a betrayal.
Regina and Husband – Regina and her husband, Chris, had a difficult time getting pregnant. They had to go through fertility treatments and everything. When they finally got pregnant, they were so excited, wanted Beulah and Frank to be the God Parents and everything. But then one evening early on in the pregnancy, Regina started having issues. They were all out to dinner, both couples, and had already been waiting a long time to eat. The food had just arrived and smelled delicious, but Regina decided it would be better to go to the hospital. Frank made an unintentionally rude comment about not being able to eat the meal he was paying for and Chris got pissed off, telling Regina he wanted nothing to do with his wife’s sister or her husband. Although Regina was just experiencing indigestion and nothing was really wrong, her hormones were so out of whack that everything Christ said made her angry with her sister. By the time she was 9 months along she couldn’t even remember why she was mad at her to begin with. And once the baby was born she could only think about how much she wished her sister was there. So she called and apologized and requested Beulah’s presence.
Beulah – Rock meets hard place … Beulah didn’t understand what made her sister so upset she would stop talking to her. In fact, she never even heard Frank’s rude comment. So when Regina stopped returning her phone calls and texts, Beulah cried and was so hurt she became angry. She missed her sister, but was so upset with her she didn’t know what else to do other than be mad. So when Regina called up asking her to come see baby Gilbert, Beulah was shocked. Regina explained what happened with the rude comment and Chris and her hormones. Beulah was still upset, but so happy to be speaking with her sister again. She thought about what it would have been like in Regina’s shoes and decided to forgive her, because she knew the stress of the situation was more to blame than her actual sister. She decided maybe it would be a good idea to go see her new nephew.
Now in my opinion, each person has a valid explanation for their feelings.
Frank was angry that he and his wife had been hurt and cast off. In his mind, what they did was unforgivable.
Regina was full of hormones, and stress, and an overprotective husband who wanted to make sure nothing upset his wife for fear of losing the baby.
Beulah was hurt, but she’d also fought with her sister before. She knew that everyone make’s mistakes and she had done things to hurt her Regina in the past as well. Maybe not to this extent, but enough to know that sometimes miscommunication can make for a very ugly situation. Beulah has forgiven her sister and can’t imagine making Regina go through such an important day without her by her sister’s side.
Unfortunately, she has to make a big decision.
Does she disappoint Frank who has never threatened to leave her before, which means he must be serious? Even though he might just be frustrated and feeling betrayed by his wife for not sticking up for him.
Or does she disappoint her sister whom she grew up with and was there for always.
She’s not going to win either way. SOMEONE IS going to be hurt. The question is, who?
Which person would you disappoint?