Post # 1
So my whole life I’ve been an overachiever, type-a, get it done type of person. Since high school I’ve received straight As, gotten into all the graduate programs I applied to, gotten each job I’ve applied for, etc. Yes, it has been nice. But at the same time, I work very hard to achieve each thing.
I feel like each thing I accomplish becomes less meaningful to my family and friends. For instance, I just received a job offer for a great job that I’m very excited about (this will be my first “grown-up job”). I called my mom very excited and she automatically started listing the negatives of the job and when I asked if she was excited she said, “of course I am but I know you’ll get any job, that’s just how you are.”
My friends all say I’m lucky and they act like things just fall on my lap. My FI tries a little harder to be excited but he, too, says that good things just happen for me. My family just expects greatness of me. Another example– I got a $5000 scholarship last year and, instead of being excited, they said, “Well that won’t cover a full year’s tuition.”
Anyone else have this problem? How have you gotten people excited for you again? I feel like I need to fail something so they realize that I’m not invincible.
Post # 3
I’m not really an overachiever, but good grades were always easy to get for me. So, it was assumed I would do well and go to college and get into grad school, etc. My brother never did well in school, so when he got, like, a B it was a big deal. When I was younger, it annoyed me. Now, I don’t care.
Post # 4
@jeg14: You are one of my people lol. I just got into medical school, and everyone I assuemd I would (even though it’s really tough!). However, I don’t expect anyone to be super excited, proud perhaps, but not bursting with joy. The things you do should be for you, not to make other people stop and look at how accomplished you are. That is a bummer about your mom not being very excited, maybe she just wanted to make sure you thought of everything? I’m not sure.
However, you should be very proud of yourself. Part of the problem for go-getters is that people expect it from you. It’s also a hard “personality” to be (I can relate!) because you never feel like you can sit still, and the way you celebrate is to move on to the next thing lol. My best advice, that I struggle to take, is to relax and enjoy yourself and the things you do. Accomplishing things is great, but if you keep looking for excitement from others it may not be there (and it still doesn’t mean they aren’t proud of you). Big accomplishments aren’t good for much if you can’t relax and enjoy the ride!
Post # 5
My BFF tells me on a regular basis that sometimes you have to be your biggest cheerleader. It sucks, it really does but as you grow older it’s a needed skill to have. You know how hard you worked and you know that everything you accomplish is not just “luck”. Be proud of yourself and keep yourself motivated to continue to strive for each thing you want. Others are just not willing to put in the work because they are not as driven as you.
Post # 6
I don’t really consider myself an overachiever, but getting good grades and jobs has always been easy for me and I’m a hard worker by nature. It probably does look lucky to some – I’m happily married, I got top grades, I have my dream job, etc. None of those were by chance. I worked to maintain a healthy, happy relationship; I studied and did my work in school; and I got an advanced degree and searched long and hard to find this job (while working elsewhere).
It’s hard sometimes to watch family or friends get praised for lesser accomplishments and be told that I don’t know what it’s like to have to work hard – or better yet, be instructed by my parents to congratulate my siblings on minor achievements when I know they have no idea of anything going on in my life.
I’ve learned to (a) accept it as much as possible and let my and DH’s excitement be enough and (b) take it as a compliment that everyone believes I will succeed.
Post # 7
@jeg14: I totally know how you feel. I’m the over-achiever in my family, but because I have two younger brothers who have a history of screwing up, my achievements and successes–getting a $10,000 scholarship to an MA program, getting engaged, getting asked to present a paper at a prestigious conference–tend to get swept under the rug whenever one of the boys does something “socially acceptable”–get and keep a job, pay their bills on time, etc. I think, as you said, it’s just something to do with the level of performance and other people just not being able to keep up.
But don’t let it lessen any of your amazing achievements! You know how hard you work to get stuff done, and that’s what should matter most. 🙂
Post # 8
I don’t think you need to fail anything, but I do think you maybe need to consider how you set up the volley here.
It sounds to me like you accomplish something, and then expect praise from it. Nothing wrong with that, we all do it. BUT for your it seems integral to the accomplishment?
That won’t go on for the rest of your life, so I’d start looking into changing YOUR reaction – it’s the only thing you can change! It also sounds like your family looks for negatives, so keep that in mind before you decide whether you want to share certain news – I know even one small negative comment can deflate my balloons!
You don’t need to be any less excited, but I think in the long run it would be best if you could get yourself to a point where you don’t need anyone but yourself to be excited for you – that way, when someone else IS excited for you, it’s extra special!
Anyway, congrats on the new job! Hope it’s awesome! 🙂
Post # 9
@jeg14: I think you should be asking yourself why you need their validation. Who cares if they’re not impressed?
I’m an overachiever like you, and a big learning experience for me after college was realizing that I had to stop looking for that external validation. It just doesn’t exist as much in the work world. Sure, you may get a good performance review every year and an occasional “good job” from your boss, but you’re not going to be praised on a regular basis. In fact, you may end up with a boss that dishes out constructive criticism a ton, but rarely praises you.
So I’d focus on being proud of yourself, regardless of the reaction you get from anyone else.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I had this problem too. What I found really annoying is that when I applied for something that was extremely competitive (like they take 2 out of thousands and all the otehr applicatants are super qualified too), my mom especially would act like I’d get it and wouldn’t really understand when I would try to explain to her how slim the chances were.
Post # 11
@jeg14: I say this with the kindest heart…I Hate you! jk jk I wish I was like you. I am Type A but sometimes I visit Type B. I have been in that situation though with my family cause I always got good grades. It was expected, no matter what. If i got a B, it was “Why didnt you get an A” *Eye roll*
Post # 12
I hear you, OP. I’ve always been the straight A student, lots of scholarships, leadership positions, etc. I have accomplished what I’ve wanted in life and worked hard to do so. That doesn’t stop my mother from picking up on every negative she can. Sometimes I want to point out that when my brother was my age, he was getting arrested for bar fights and giving alcohol to minors (but he turned out great!). But ultimately, that’s not going to accomplish anything.
Just know that you’re doing all you can and you’re doing it well. Shake off the negativity thrown on you by others. I know it’s frustrating though.