I’ve been a people-pleaser my entire life.
For most of my childhood, I said yes to any classmate or friend who asked for my help. This habit carried on into adulthood, where I took on tasks I didn’t have the capacity for. I went above and beyond for friends and co-workers, even at the cost of my mental health and well-being.
I hated saying no to people.
Side note: Here are the horoscopes and self care. Post continues below.
Because of this personality trait, I often found myself in one-sided friendships with individuals who didn’t have my best interests at heart. People who lied to me, who took advantage of my kindness. And in my twenties, rather than being alone, I kept friends in my life who weren’t actually very nice to me at all.
Out of all the "friends" I had that weren’t actually friendly, my old housemate Stephanie* was one of the most toxic friendships I ever had.
It took years of mistreatment before I finally stood up for myself and said I’d had enough.
Stephanie was never a close friend of mine before she became my housemate.
I was very desperate for someone, anyone, to take the spare bedroom in my apartment and help me pay for rent.
After I interviewed two or three horrible potential tenants, especially the one who kept a pet snake and two spiders, I reached out to Stephanie who I knew was looking for a place.
And just like that, this friend of a friend became my roommate.
Stephanie was quiet and distant, but she kept clean and didn’t make any noise late at night. Eventually, she and I warmed up to each other, and we started spending time together outside of our two-bedroom flat.
Everywhere we went, I noticed Stephanie liked to talk over me in conversation. She didn’t really ask me what I was in the mood for when we talked about getting dinner or drinks.