People Pleaser


Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. Sometimes. I wish I could just wake up every morning so sure, so certain about things that are constantly consuming my mind. School, work, grad school, finances. The worrying becomes tiresome, and I can’t help but sometimes scream into my pillow or pick the cuticles around my thumb till my fingers bleed. A nasty habit, I know. 

I hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head, “you can’t make everyone happy.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? How am I supposed to leave the house knowing that there is someone out there criticizing something about me. Staring at my Instagram thinking, who the hell does this girl think she is? Laughing. I can’t be the only one who’s paranoid.

But I’m a writer. I’m a creator and a truth teller. My entire life is a book out on display for anyone and everyone to read. People call me vulnerable for that. They say that I’m brave for being “raw;” like I’m some kind of fish wrapped up in seaweed and sticky rice. Every word laced together, creating something one may call art. I step back and wince, observing the piece and think, “well, if it’s not good, at least everything I said was still true.” 

I’ve never been one to question my skills as a writer. I never had doubts or discomforts when it came to sharing my work. It feels new, this insecurity of mine. After these months, weeks after weeks of sharing column after column, why am I now so insecure?

It’s been difficult accepting that my work may not always be liked. That I might not always be liked. At school, all writing majors must take at least six workshop classes during their four years. They have a good number of genres to choose from: horror fiction, poetry, creative essays, even biomechanical writing— whatever that means. 

This semester, I decided to take script writing, I figured it was the most different structure out of all the genres. Unfortunately, it’s been a little bit harder than I initially expected. 

“You’re writing your stage directions like a novel.” If I had a nickel for every time my professors told me that this semester, I could finally pay off the balance on my credit card. 

“You need to be more direct. Tell your actors what to do. They will tell the story to the audience.” 

Every Thursday for two and a half hours I sit and stare into my laptop screen at a desk that squeaks every time you move the slightest bit. I listen to my teacher and classmates tear my work apart. I’ve never had problems when it came to my writing. I never used to question my skills and suddenly now I’m unsure if my writing is worth being read.


I sulk in my chair and stare right though my laptop. Reading over line after line. Editing. Revising. Back and forth. I can feel my eyes begin to sting and I finally become aware that I haven’t blinked in the past 5 minutes. I come home insecure. I walk right into my room and look at my reflection in the mirror. I start to judge myself. I question my outfit, my hair color, my choice in sneakers. But then that other voice comes back into my head, it’s my mother again. “Why do you even care what they think?”

There is a respect that comes with honesty, it outweighs the nerves and panic. It’s difficult to show that kind of vulnerability, to expose yourself in ways that you never thought of. We’ve all heard how social media is fake, but is it bleeding its way into our everyday life? How often are we looking at ourselves from the eyes of another human being?  

It’s difficult to find that type of vulnerability nowadays. When we do find it, it feels like a weighted blanket. When we find something like that, we trust it. Like a friend or your family. So why not be real, be vulnerable, and trust yourself. Trust your gut. Do what you want to do, and trust in yourself that you are making the right decisions. There is no use in comparing your life to someone else’s or comparing your skills to others. 

It is impossible to please everyone, so why not just please yourself.