Friday, February 16, 2018

How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

    Good afternoon from the once again snow-covered hills of Buda.
    As most of my friends and family know, I really like for people to be happy, especially in relation to me. It is very important that I always do the right thing, whatever that may be, and I struggle with wanting to somehow ensure everyone else's satisfaction with my performance in life. This is not always possible, nor should it be our focus in life. Below are some helpful tips on how to overcome the issue of people pleasing.

1.)Move to a foreign country.

     I don't speak the language. You don't speak English. You want to read my gas meter, but I
    don't know where it is.
    There was a sign on the road back there that looks like I'm approaching a railroad crossing, but   
    now someone is yelling at me in Hungarian and motioning with their hands that they want me to
    move my car...
    I'm sorry I am going slow, but I am deathly afraid of being pulled over by the police here.

    See Hungarian driving laws here.

Could you please pour my latte into a disposable paper cup? Because I forgot that the standard is a real, latte glass, and you expect me to sit and read while I enjoy my coffee. In America, the standard is "to-go".  I'm not saying that's right, but I am feeling guilty about making you, Mr. Barista, change my coffee into a paper cup.

I forgot to label my produce with the SKU, so now you, un-smiling-grocery-checker-lady, can either wait while I go weigh my bananas, or you can put them back later.

2.) Have Three Children.
I think, instead, that should just read, "Have children." Just TRY to keep everyone else in the world happy while you pinch your misbehaving two year old. Somebody won't like the misbehavior, but somebody won't like the discipline. Good luck.
No matter how much I try, those little people are bound to sin at some point today, and I feel like if they mess up or bother someone or breathe, I will receive "the look" from some perfect person at some point in my day implying that surely I could do better. Nope. I am leaning hard on Jesus, I'm already tired tomorrow, and the doctor said I should run instead of take prozac (Hahaha. She's got a sense of humor, that one does.). If you want to enter my circus, these monkeys will become your monkeys.

3.)Hire a house cleaner.
    Y'all. Okay, so this is an area where I'm still a work in progress. The non-people pleaser
    Katelyn would be like, "Hello! Here's my house. Thank you so much!"
    I am so worried about how my mess will reflect on me that I literally just lied to the new house
   cleaner. "I'm so sorry about how messy the house is. I've been sick for, like, two weeks."
   If you add the word "like", it can be hyperbole, right? It felt like I was sick for two weeks, but it   
   was one..., and it was a month ago.  Really I was just trying to throw my husband and kids under
   the bus for the messy state of my house. WE ARE ALL TO BLAME! And why am I apologizing
   for my messy house and all the work they will have to do? Why am I seeking their approval? I have
   just guaranteed them job security. In fact, one pulled me aside a few minutes ago and said very
   kindly, "If you call my number, I can come more often." Sounds like a win for all of us!

   So there you have it, friends, my tips for how to stop being a people pleaser. Let me know how these tips work for you and if you have any other tips and tricks you would like to add.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Foreign Exchanges

   Sziastok! (*Howdy, y'all!)

    January somehow disappeared, and I've been told we are already to the 3rd day of February! Between sick kids and then succumbing to "The Budapest Plague" myself (a really bad cold... possibly the flu), the last few weeks have left me feeling disconnected from "normal" life. Strangely, I draw comfort from knowing that Texans are dealing with the flu, too... like it's not an issue isolated to my current setting. That probably sounds terrible, like, "Yay! Y'all are sick, too!" I guess a common problem just makes the distance not feel so great. 

   Something I absolutely love about our time here is all the amazing people from all around the world that I get to do life with. We live in Hungary, so obviously there are many Hungarians with whom we interact on a regular basis, but the diversity within my social circles makes my heart happy. I regularly enjoy coffee with women from The Netherlands, Romania or Canada. A hug from my friend from India is a welcome greeting in the middle of the week. Last week Clark and I ate haggis and danced to Scottish folk songs at the Burns Supper with our Scottish friend. "Hello, mate!" from a New Zealand-er always makes me smile. Waving at my English friend when it looks like no one is in the driver's seat of her car is a bit unnerving, but then I remember her car is from the UK. In my short time in Hungary, I have made acquaintances with people from every corner of the world, and in getting to know them and a small bit about their culture, my life has been so enriched. 
    Being that we non-Hungarians are all in a land foreign to us, we have arrived on fairly neutral territory. There are perhaps European similarities from country to country that might afford one expat a slight advantage over another, but in general, we are all here representing our unique cultures, not trying to assimilate or blend in with the Hungarians, just trying to live well among many people different from us. And the varied struggles to maintain our individual, cultural norms somehow unite us. 

  Another blog for anther day would be about how different Texans are from the rest of the United States... 

  Sending Texas-sized hugs from Budapest!