Sometimes we take exception to a decision, yet we nod in agreement, or we simply let it pass. we justify our acquiescence as keeping the peace, or knowing when to pick our battles. But something else is going on. we worry about saying no. About ruffling feathers. Or worse. So we keep mum. Or we say yes.
Sometimes we hear ourself saying yes and we wish dearly that no would roll off our tongue, but it seems so much harder, more frightening, capable of unleashing a string of consequences that don’t bode well. Anger. Resistance. Disapproval. And now yes is the habit of a lifetime, the habit of our relationships, the habit of our role at work. If we always say yes, where do we put no? Anxiety, migraines, sleeplessness, the nightly glass of wine, the cigarettes, the growing depression? Sometimes, we spend so many years accommodating – everyone – that we forget to accommodate ourself, wondering when “you” got lost in the mix. our life is filled with many good things, but something doesn’t quite fit. You don’t quite fit. You’re not unhappy exactly, but nor would you say you’re happy. But then no one’s happy, right? Or so you tell yourself, seeking solace.
But There’s absolutely nothing wrong with pleasing people, including ourselves. If we’re willing to make sacrifices for the sake of another, who are we to say that’s wrong? But the fact is, people pleasing isn’t about pleasing others, but fending off our fear of rejection. Those of us who would consider themselves people pleasers are generally individuals who feel the need to be accepted by the world around them. And not just a general acceptance, but that of each person they come in contact with. And to maintain this madness, we seek to please with abandon. Let me just start by saying that I’m one of the biggest people pleasers out there. Show me a possible moment of displeasure and I’ll jump in and fill the need as fast as I can in hopes of both harmony among those involved as well as positive feelings toward little old me. I’m not a saint by any stretch, I just have the disease to please. In the long run, we’re pleasing nobody.
One of the great misconceptions among people pleasers is this idea that we’re ‘good people’ who are just trying to make everybody happy. As I stated before, it’s not so much our great concern for another human being, but our obsession with the way others may perceive us. As a result, we tend to say yes to everything and rarely stick up for ourselves. Even if someone blatantly wrongs us, we are usually the ones who absorb the hurt and then stand in the corner, fuming to ourselves. It’s not a pretty site. The fact is, when we try to please everybody, we end up pleasing nobody. Tired from the burnout that comes from the over extension of ourselves and frustrated by the fact that we keep letting others take advantage of us, we quickly become ineffective in helping others and often times end up resenting everyone around us. Then, when we finally run into a situation where our help is truly needed, we are too depleted to help out. Also, our ability to decipher a real need from that of someone trying to take advantage of our people pleasing nature, is quite skewed. In our minds, every ‘need’ is a requirement for us to act and in time, this wears us down to worthlessness.
Different people pleasers Among Us :-!
Its often said that people pleasing is a woman’s issue?
Think about it. Who do you know that’s most likely to capitulate, to compromise, to self-sacrifice – even to step into the doormat role on a regular basis? Who puts everyone’s needs before her own, believing that it is the better path – or the only path? Do these behaviors begin in our homes as children? Do they find reward in the classroom, in the adolescent dating waters, and then the workplace? Are you rewarded for pleasing, but at great cost to self-esteem, and even, ultimately, earning power? Do we eventually learn...