Before we start, let's first vow that we are going to be honest with each other because you cannot overcome this inconvenience till you whole-heartedly accept that you, too, are a victim of this prevailing sentiment. Time to say it out loud. "Pleasing people."
Like I said before, we have to be honest and let me tell you, I am slightly guilty. And so are you. Name any celebrity, I'm sure they are too, and so is your neighbor. The question is, who isn't?
Everyone is one way or the other leaning on someone else's approval. To some extent, we are all people-pleasers. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is as natural as wanting food and shelter.
However, the problem spikes up when you start trying to please people. You start dreading the thought that someone might disapprove of what you say, what you do, or who you are. So, you start finding peace in people's opinions; their thoughts matter more to you than your own. You inoculate yourself against conflicts, confrontations, and criticism. You try and, I am sure you have, on multiple occasions, become someone's go-to person. In a wonderful article in Tiny Buddha, the author talks about the importance of detaching from other people's opinion of you. As a funny motivational speaker, I did years of stand up comedy to get to the point where I don't rely on other people's laughs or assessment to be successful.
Someone who would gladly take up more work and sit late, someone who changes their plans in a matter of seconds, someone who will always be there for you, regardless of whether they are doing the same for you or not. Someone who always says, "yes."
And someone who will never say NO.
If it makes you feel any better, I know exactly how it feels!
But, what you fail to notice is that while trying to make everyone else happy and satisfied with who you are, you are slowly losing yourself. The person who you are, or was, is gradually fading away.
Do you know Harriet B. Braiker? No worries, I know this for sure, that she was an intelligent woman because she referred to this process as "a disease to please."
Believe me, when I say this, pleasing people doesn't work. And allow me to expand upon why it is such a bad idea after all.
You Attract Fewer People
One of the significant setbacks in being a people pleaser is that you value a whole lot of people, you start climbing mountains for people who wouldn't do the same for you. Instead of appreciating what you do for them, people think of you as an eager puppy at their heels. They do take as much as they can, but they fail to return the same amount of dedication and time they got from you.
You Stop Loving Yourself
This is my biggest concern. The world we are surviving in today has a cloud of opinion were giving yourself time and loving yourself as an individual is considered selfish. When all you care about is making people happy, you start disconnecting with yourself. And with their slightest criticism, you tend to fall in a depressing spiral, and your confidence shatters, you begin breaking, and there is nothing worse than that. You are all you have, and you have got to love yourself more than anyone else.
You Become Open To Manipulation
I don't want to sound rude, but this happens. Making yourself unoccupied for people's sake makes them think that you are always going to be there no matter what they do to you. That is taking advantage, and it is unfair, ethically, and even as a person. You shouldn't allow them to put you in a position where you can't say no. Remember that.
When Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You wouldn't worry so much about what others would think of you if you realized how seldom they do," she sure was right. Make this your mantra, and it's going to be easier!