A co-worker/friend (gently) called me out the other day. She said the reason I’ve been bringing the fun at work and going out of my way to make people happy is so I will get that in return.
So what if I am? Is that such a bad thing? It might be if I was doing it subconsciously or if it wasn’t genuine. But if by helping someone else have a little fun, I in return have a little fun, that doesn’t sound like a problem to me. It’s not as though I’m peppering people with unearned praise and fake niceness. There are people at work I don’t enjoy, and I don’t go out of my way to compliment them or include them in the behind-the-scenes silliness.
I’ve mentioned my therapist-diagnosed tendency to be “needy.” It’s something I’ve learned to recognize and deal with before it becomes an issue. The flip side to neediness – because everything has a flip side – is empathy. I think I’m pretty tuned into what other people need, and I consider that a gift. Perhaps I’ve honed this skill in order to fulfill my own neediness. I don’t think I’m overcompensating. I’m just using a trait I have.
That said, I think we all work with that guy who is a complete ass, who loves to call everyone out for their mistakes, but once we get to know him, we realize he is overcompensating for insecurity. Or the woman who drives us crazy micromanaging every little task, but look a little closer and she’s completely out of control of her own life.
I think it becomes unhealthy when we don’t realize it. Or maybe I’m wrong and all my co-workers are whispering, “Look how hard Candace works to be our friend. Hahaha!”
I will cop to overcompensating for what I don’t have by shopping. I realize I do it. It’s a tough one to break, but I will stay strong! The security of my emergency fund and Roth IRA is too important to me. I was in a total want-to-shop mood yesterday. Instead of hitting up anthropologie, I stopped at Target and bought lotion and toothpaste. Ohhhh, yeah!