The People Pleaser

For better or for worse, if there is one thing about Kaitlyn that is always true, it is that she is a people pleaser.  She is always more concerned about Amber’s feelings, or my feelings, or the feelings of everyone else, that she sometimes gets extremely worked up over little things.

Take, for example, this morning.  I heard what I thought was the usual complaining from Kaitlyn each morning as she was in her room whimpering.  I just figured that since she is not a “morning person,” she was upset that she was being made to get dressed for school; it is a daily occurrence in our house.  Amber was in her room with her, and I decided to join them.  It turns out it was something way bigger than just having to be out of bed and moving around.  Kaitlyn was in a full-blown meltdown, tears running down her face.  Like every other time it happens, it broke my heart.

I should back up here for just a minute, at least for the sake of context.

Kaitlyn is, in addition to being a people pleaser, a planner.  She is very detail-oriented when it comes to planning things.  She already has pretty much our entire cruise mapped out for us, and has since almost Christmas, even though it is not until the summer.  For the last few months, she has been quietly planning her birthday party, with the details coming together more en masse over the last week or so; this might be a good time to point out that her birthday is also in the summer, and is after our cruise.  There is plenty of time for planning.

Because she has a summer birthday, we have to make sure to get invitations out before the end of school in May, so Amber and I do have Kaitlyn start to narrow down her choices ahead of time because she will change her mind at the last minute if we let her.  She has already made up her mind on her theme, and she is proud of what she came up with; she and Amber have been piecing together details every night since the theme was finalized.

Back to this morning, and her tear-filled meltdown.  Apparently she told some of her friends at school about her party and what the theme was going to be, and they did not respond the way she had hoped.  While she was proud of her theme choice, some of her friends told her that it was more for babies (it is not, at least in my opinion), and that just upset her to no end.  She was heartbroken that her friends were not as excited as she was.

Amber and I had to act quick, or today would be a long one for her.  We jumped into action, telling her how much we loved her theme (that didn’t matter to her), and how the theme of the party was supposed to make her happy.  We told her that her theme was more about the decorations we were going to use, and that the bulk of the party would be in the pool.  I reminded her about the Brave themed party we went to recently, and told her that there were plenty of boys there having fun, even though that is a princess movie.  That seemed to help, as did the role-playing she had Amber do in the drop-off line at school.  She had Amber play a first grader, and she asked her if she would like to come to her pool party; when Amber said that she would absolutely love to come to her pool party, Kaitlyn was finally happy again.  Crisis averted, at least for now.

One thing we know for certain is that we have ourselves a very caring little girl.  She is always more concerned about everyone else than she is about herself.  She is more worried about her friends having fun at her birthday than she is that she will have fun at her party.  She would rather establish a deep personal connection with someone than merely get a present from them (don’t get me wrong, she loves getting presents, but she would rather be engaged in doing things with friends and family.  Like most aspies, she is not really a materialistic person.).  She always wants to make sure everyone is involved and is happy.  She wants to make her intense interests your intense interests because she wants to have that deeper connection; with Kaitlyn, if there is not a deep connection, there really is no relationship in her mind…if she had a Facebook account, her friends list would consist only of actual friends.

We really do count our blessings every day that we have the daughter we have.  She is a genuine, sweet, intelligent, caring, and authentic person, and you know exactly where you stand with her at all times.  Like me, if you ask her a question, be prepared for an honest answer, not just the answer you were hoping for.

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