Maybe I Shouldn’t Care so Much

I have been talking to my husband in recent days about the struggles I am still having with depression.  I confessed how I often feel bad that I haven’t done something “good enough,” or that I worry if I may have inadvertently made someone else uncomfortable by something I said or didn’t say.  I often worry if contributions I make are really valued by others.  I wonder if my efforts at church and in my family and even on the blog are really helping anyone.  I get down on myself far too often.  These is one of my biggest and most persistent negative thought patterns that I often have to work through.  It isn’t always easy to remember that I am enough–even though I know it is true.  It’s a battle I seem to have to fight almost every day.

Whenever I talk to my husband about this, he always half-jokingly says that I need to not care so much–I need to be heartless, like him.  This always makes me laugh because he is the furthest thing from heartless you can get.  However, I have watched a change in him in recent years.  He went from being more like me–always worried about not doing things just right and trying to accommodate everyone’s every need–to being his own advocate.  He speaks up for himself.  If he doesn’t want to do something, he says he doesn’t want to do it.  Instead of losing himself in a sea of worry about whether or not he’s meeting his own expectations and everyone else’s, he just does what he wants and does so confidently and without worry.  I love this and want so badly to emulate it, but I’m not sure how!  And– I guess I am afraid to.

I am afraid if I’m not focusing on doing everything just right, that I might make a big mistake.  I am afraid if I’m not focusing on how everything I do affects others, that I might hurt someone.  I suppose, overall, I m trying to prevent failure.  I don’t move with confidence through life.  I carry a heavy burden of self-doubt and self reproach.  And I’m tired of it.

Maybe I shouldn’t care so much.  Maybe I shouldn’t care at all.  If I really think about it, my dream would be to move through life the way I see best, without caring or worrying about failing–without caring about the expectations of others.  I need to be my own advocate, like my husband is for himself.

As I was typing this post up, this quote came into my mind:


“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

I desperately want to be a more confident and happy me.  I am tired of keeping myself down.  Maybe I need to stick this quote to my bathroom mirror, for starters.

As for my next step–I’ll keep you posted.  I need to tackle this one thing at a time.

Is there anyone else who has struggled with this?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and your story.


45 Replies to “Maybe I Shouldn’t Care so Much”

  1. I also struggled with what other people thought about me and worried about making anyone mad at me. This would consume so much of my time for people whose minds I probably hardly ever crossed. I would walk on egg shells around everyone, afraid to step on anyone’s toes. That’s not a life. Since being married to an asshole (haha) for 4 years, I have learned to say what’s on my mind and that the right people will love me for it. I would much rather be happy with who I am and say what I feel than be someone I’m not and have anxiety about it. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you need to talk, I’m always available. Being a Christian and being straight-forward with people is a very thin line. I hate to see anyone struggle with this because I know how it felt.

    1. Yeah, I worry too much about other people’s reactions and rely too much on the approval of other people to feel good about the things I do and who I am. You are right–that is not a life. I feel like being able to write about it and putting it out the open helps me, because it makes me acknowledge that this is a real problem that I have and I need to do something about it. It makes me want to get a therapist to work through it. It just affects me too much. Hearing of your success in overcoming it gives me hope that I can do that as well. Thank you so much for commenting!!

      1. Anytime! You can do this! It won’t be easy but it is totally worth it. And this is what I love about Word Press. We can share the hard stuff and there’s a lot of support all around us. Take care and keep us updated! I wish you the best!

      2. Thank you so much!!

  2. hubbys right. you need to care for you and let everyone else come second. you are important. they can all advocate for themselves. and I love that quote too. xoxo

    1. Thank you! Yes, I know he’s right. The hard part is changing me. But I know, if I have the right tools I can do it. I’m considering working with a therapist to help me change my thought process. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment!! <3

  3. I too deal with the “never good enough” mentality. I think mine steams from my over controlling OCD dad while growing up. I never thought I was good enough bc nothing I ever did made him happy. I’ve carried this on into my marriage and it drives my husband insane. He has never said anything in affect of I’m not good enough, but he unknowingly makes me feel like it alot with his actions. Examples are, if I do I laundry and put his clothes away, he will be fussing wanting to know where they are. We’ve been married 14 years and he would do that the first two years all the time, so now I’ll do his laundry and IF I feel like it I’ll fold it up, but I never put it away for him. Another issue I have is I know that I’m not the best cook. In fact I hate to cook. So when I do cook he has something to say about it, or all of a sudden he doesn’t like that meal. It really messes with my head. I have really had to learn to pick my battles. I know he doesn’t mean to make me feel this way, but it’s hard for me to just turn it off. I hope hearing someone else’s story helps you put yours more into perspective.

    1. That makes sense. I think knowing what mine stems from might be helpful in helping me work through it. Thanks for sharing your story. I am grateful to have really supportive people in my life. It’s basically just me, making myself feel inferior. I need to figure out how to overcome this tendency. Thanks so much for commenting!

    2. Same here! I think I’m a much better cook than my husband because I don’t use every spice in the cabinet on my steaks. It’s just over-kill. However, he seems to have issues with some things I cook. I have 2 little mouths to feed, so I don’t have time to cater to his picky-ness lol He either eats or he doesn’t. And that’s how we’ve done it for years. lol I’ve had to talk with my husband about how some of his comments make me feel. He’s doing a much better job. You are not alone, my friend!

    3. Hi. I have a passive-aggressive, just-barely-can-be-called-negatively-manipulative husband, too. I’d just like to butt in and recommend marriage counseling. That crap undermines any personal progress you make in a mental health journey.
      K, you can go back to your conversation with Chelsea now.

  4. Ohh yea I can relate big time. My whole life Ive worried about how I’m pleasing others and who I’m not. I think that’s why I’m in the state I’m in now. I to would lovre t o be like my husband, he just seems to go through life without letting anything bother him.

    1. I’m sorry, yet glad you can relate. Makes me feel less alone in this. My husband is the same way. Somehow I need to tap into that strength for myself. Thank you so much for commenting!!

  5. I too struggle with this at times. I tend to find myself navigating life based off how other people might feel with my actions instead of just stepping back and thinking about how it’s going to affect me. I’ve gotten a tiny bit better during the last few months, but it’s still a major problem for me. I stayed in a friendship for the longest time because I was so scared to hurt the other persons feelings and until a few weeks ago I was still catering to that person despite knowing I no longer wanted them in my life. Since cutting them off my anxiety and stress levels have been down. But every now and then I feel a tiny bit of guilt for it and it’s because I’m still thinking about how they feel.

    1. Oh man–this totally sounds like me! It’s terrible, isn’t it? I had a similar situation with a friend–she basically treated me like garbage and I kind of let her. I ended up working through it and finally decided some healthy boundaries were in order. That was really helpful. It’s hard though. I worry about hurting people as well. I would like to get a better handle on this and I think talking about it with people like you helps me to start moving in that direction. Thank you so much for commenting and helping me feel less alone in this!

      1. It really is terrible! I’m glad you were able to work through it. And thank you for sharing this post! I’d never talked to anyone about this problem and reading this made me feel understood!

      2. Thank you Steph!!

    1. Thank you Lady Lazarus! <3 <3 It's so nice to hear the words. Sometimes I just need to hear them from someone else, you know? Thank you!

      1. Agreed. Sometimes it’s just about someone caring enough to say them 💜💜

  6. It seems so easy to get caught in that spiral of “good enough” and pleasing everyone around you. I’ve found as I’ve gotten older, I can sometimes care less than I used to, but I’ve also discovered that I am a caregiver – it matters to me the people around me are happy and have what they need. I’d say this…..start with something small. Practice that for awhile. Once you can say no, or care less, or worry less about that small thing, you move onto something bigger. And repeat often, “I am enough!”

    1. Such great advice. I like the idea of starting small. I could pick one thing I want to care less about and move on from there. Thank you so much for this helpful advice. <3

      1. I hope it helps in some small way. I’ll be thinking of you. Good luck!

  7. I resonate with this so much <3 my heart goes out to you. Depression is a tough thing, and it's hard for those, who have never struggled with it, to fully understand. However, you are enough <3 There is no one out there like you and that's what makes you a wonderful asset to this world.

  8. I have struggled with people pleasing until one day I realized no one ever tries to please me. Along with that comes living up to expectations which are a guaranteed fail every time. People put too much stipulation on receiving help that in the end, it makes you regret lending a hand. First, you must relieve yourself of your own expectations and remind yourself that you are enough. Once you achieve that, it is easy to tell others no.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head here: “relieve yourself of your own expectations and remind yourself that you are enough.” I think having unrealistic expectations is part of this for me. I was told by a friend once to lower my expectations drastically. I was really good at it for a while and then I started feeling so much better and up went my expectations of everything again. Very insightful comment.
      I think it’s time for me to examine my expectations and also the “why” of what I am doing. Am I really doing it so others will approve, or is it for a better reason? I need to focus on the better reason and forget the expectations of others. Thank you so much!

  9. I feel like I could have written this! I am constantly battling myself with whether or not I am doing enough– even despite doing quite literally all that I can. I am a people pleaser to no end, but in the last few years I have gotten better at saying NO. My husband also tells me that I need to stop worrying because I doing far more than most are. I also get very emotionally involved with every little thing so when it doesn’t go just right I go slightly crazy. Thank you for writing this, because even though I know I’m not alone on this, actually seeing it helps.

    1. You’re description here is me to a “T.” So nice to hear that others can relate. I am so glad you commented! Thanks so much for taking the time! <3

  10. Man, that took a while to get through the line. We all need to just talk to each other and stop pleasing all those other toxic people in our lives. 😉
    Awhile ago, I took that color personality test thing; it told me I’m a mix of red (more of a leader-type) and a blue (sensitive to others). This combination, it said, was the most difficult one. We’re always taking charge to get things done, then beating ourselves up afterwards with regrets of whose feelings we hurt.
    Whether we can all fit into color categories or not, I’m this way in most situations. Sounds like you are, too. My super professional, mature advice is to get some (actually) professional direction. ‘Cause honestly, the hubs can draw lines right and left; we have to be the nurturer for the kids AND the bad cop about bedtime.

    1. Chels (can I call you Chels? 😉 ) I like your comment about the color system because that actually does sound like me and that makes sense. I really do think I am going to check out getting some therapy for this because this has been going on long enough and– I need help to figure this out. I deserve better than this from myself! Thanks so much for your comment, Chelsea! <3

      1. You’re definitely farther along than I am.
        I have difficulty summing this up succinctly, but you can’t just say, “Okay, I’m not going to feel.” Instead, we need to go with not feeling to the point of detriment.

  11. This is a big problem for me. I’ve always the good student, the sensible one, the successful one in my family’s eyes. It was this idea that I couldn’t disappoint anyone that caused me to have a mental breakdown and stop drawing (I failed to find a job in Illustration after university). I’m still trying to move past this impression that everything I do has to be amazing, and am slowly getting back into drawing (six years later!). It’s a constant struggle, but I feel like I’m starting to feel a little more relaxed. Although there are days when I feel horroble and like everything I do is crap, we just have to accept the fact that we all have days like those and move on. Great post!

    1. I went through this as well! When I was feeling really well years ago, I took on a lot of responsibility in our church. I went above and beyond in everything until I started to burn out. I came to the same realization you did, that everything I do does not have to be amazing. It made me feel so much more relaxed as well. I am grateful you commented! Thank you for sharing your story. You are right–some days are crummy, that’s just apart of life. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment!

  12. I was given a piece of advice a long time ago which has stuck with me: No-one can MAKE you feel anything and you cannot MAKE someone feel something. We are not perfect, as human beings, and the more we try to please others, the more we lose ourselves. All you can do is be yourself and people will love you or not but that is their choice :O) x

    1. That is great advice! And you are so right. This is important to remember. Thank you for this great comment! I’m glad you stopped by today.

  13. Just had a bad day with lot of self doubts and mistakes. Earlier a day like this would have made be depressed for weeks and scared to face the next day. Whole day I was anxious. By the time I got home I was in tears and really irritated with myself for not standing up more. It took a nice soothing bath and a lot of talking to myself to focus on whatever small things I managed to achieve today. It’s ok if I didn’t say everything but I did say what was needed.
    Shutting everybody for sometime and giving myself that space helps me a lot! It helps see things in a different perspective.

    1. Last night I was talking to my husband about this same thing–I need to take more time to take care of myself. Time to shut everybody and everything else for a while and just relax–just like you said here. I am glad this helped you and glad you thought to do this. Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve been through. It helped me. <3

  14. I went through the same for many years and there was not even a single person who could understand me. I always knew that nobody else could change me but me. I’m much better than who I used to be.
    I’m sure you’ll be able to do better. Trust yourself.

    1. Thank you for sharing this. I have often felt like no person could understand really until I made this post and had so many people share similar experiences. Thank you for your encouraging words. It helps!!

  15. I woke up at 2:45 am, in a hotel after a very long and extremely hard day of work. My brain immediately starts running over the days events and I start thinking this exact thing! I let a lot of stuff go and use the excuse that it’s not worth the “argument” with some people. There is a time though that I know when I should speak up, it’s getting over that feeling of not wanting to offend anyone or not wanting them to think I’m a jerk. It’s unfortunate that most times the other people in the situation obviously don’t feel the same. I have been up for a few hours now running this exact thing through my mind and have decided today I’m going to have to draw the line and explain how things are going to be to these fellow work mates. I decided to check out the blogs and see if there was anything that may help my anxiety today and this is the first one that showed up this morning, so I understand where you’re coming from and I too hope I can get to the point where I don’t care as much. Not that I want to be a jerk but I do for sure want to be able to speak my mind because no one should be taken advantage of. Thanks for your post!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this. I really appreciate knowing that I’m not alone! I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m glad that you and I are at a point where we are ready to move forward with more confidence. I hope that things go well for you! I’d love to hear how things progress for you. If you think of it, drop me another comment and let me know how it’s going. Thanks so much for commenting!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.