We, those who are preoccupied with your feelings, will no longer feign contentedness in a world that refuses to acknowledge our sacrifices. While it has historically been our purview to neither acknowledge our needs nor express them to others, instead vaguely banking on some kind of telepathy, the lack of undying gratitude we’ve thus far received has compelled us to state our case plainly. In return for our altruism, we humbly submit the following demands:
- We martyrs to the cause of martyrdom heretofore commit to bending over backward to help you, regardless of whether the aforementioned help is beneficial or welcome.
- We resolve to apologize ceaselessly, regardless of fault. Though we would appreciate it if you, in turn, would resolve to tell us it’s totally fine.
- We will heartily agree to any favor you ask of us. This will not preclude us from resenting you privately and publicly, though always behind your back, for an indeterminate period of time.
- It is our God-given right to fix your bad mood. You are henceforth forbidden to be grumpy or pissy or even a little hungry without it becoming a whole thing.
- White lies will be deployed with impunity.
- We are prepared and willing to let our imagined version of your own needs make your actual life far worse.
- Any future plans you suggest will be met with enthusiastic assent. But we are so bummed; it turns out we’ll be sick that day :(
- We will not be at peace until things between us are cool.
- We reserve the right to be unabashed chameleons whose opinions on politics, our mutual friend Shaina, and the television show known as The Boys, are as changing as the tides/whomever we happen to be around at the time. Let it be known that those who dare call out our inconsistency shall be considered sworn enemies.
- We will build strong fortresses of resentment toward those who dare take advantage of us, even though we beg them to take advantage of us at every turn.
- We refuse to go to therapy, for we do not think anyone needs treatment simply for being a nice person. However, in the event that such a possibility were to be entertained, we would stop at nothing in pursuit of getting our therapists to like us.
- We will not be silenced. We will not be authentic.
- The history of our lived experience is such that our entire sense of self-worth rests upon your opinion of us. We, therefore, refuse to submit to the tyranny of anyone, anywhere, not liking us even one little bit.
We petition the ranks of the assertive, the self-aware, and the confident to tear the blinders of self-advocacy from your eyes and bear witness to our cause. These are our demands, and we fear no consequences, aside from rejection, honesty, gossip, email sign-offs without exclamation points at the end of them, bluntness, glances that could be interpreted as disapproving, and criticism.