I have to admit I’m a people please – to an extent. My friend and I were having a conversation and I kept going over the fact that I was missing an event. I exhausted all my options and reasoned with myself as to why my choice was the best choice. I had already made up my mind but still something was pushing me to keep looking at the options. By the end of she said “you’re such a people pleaser. You don’t need to attend everything.” It resonates.
Now, I’ve always been concerned with others. I like to do things and be there for people whenever I can. It’s just who I am. However, being there for people and being everywhere for or with people are two Very different things. I often conflated/conflated the two.
So, the question one might ask is “as I people pleaser”? I’m sure you could google a definition of people pleaser to help outline some parameters. I would define it as giving into desires, wants and need before your own without consideration of place and time. With any definition, while left up to interpretation, I like to clarify my intentions with on some things. When I define people pleaser in my own terms, it is a. obviously through experience, but mostly as an observation and response of my own behaviors and moving outward to those around me. When you question certain things about yourself, you realize how much of a part of your life a certain way of thinking or doing is. It often defines who you are, its comfortable and familiar which often makes you feel good or bad about your response to the situation and at times could be more harmful to your overall wellbeing than beneficial.
~ Everything you to areas in your life is applicable to you too ~
Even in my mid-twenties I have a hard time saying no. It’s simply just who I am. The funny thing is, when people tell me no I have no qualms. I understand that life happens and sometimes we just don’t feel like something or can’t do something. When it comes to me however sometimes no just isn’t an option and it should be. Everything you apply to areas in your life is applicable to you too. You can also say no when necessary.
This conversation is applicable to all areas of your life whether it is related to work, friendships, relationships, parenting, and school. I get that pleasing people for some is second nature. I get that we are so conditioned to believe that saying no and putting yourself or your interest first isn’t in your best interest. That compromise means pleasing others. That there is fear in missing out on something or that someone will be upset with you. And sure, some people may feel upset with you but instead of making it your job to make others see your position. You have every right to decide how you’re going to spend your time, your energy, money or whatever else it requires.
Let’s me be clear – people pleasing is not only about yes or no, or I don’t want to do this because x, y, z or anything that creates contention because you just don’t feel like doing something. The point of this conversation is to suggest that there need to be balance in your life when it comes to people pleasing. It speaks more to who you are and the way you manage and define certain things in your life. Sure, we want to be there for people as much as you can. You want to impress your boss or your teacher. You want to compromise, be understanding, forgiving etc. in your relationship. However, in doing all of that, you must also ask yourself what’s missing from my life where I’m always trying to please others. Now it may simple or more complex.
Being a people pleaser isn’t a bad thing at all. You must however find balance when it comes to putting others before yourself. Although it may seem like you haven’t done enough or you could reason yourself into doing something, our mind often speaks the language of ________ (insert your name here). With that being said, you have to begin to decipher the times when you’ve been there for people and the times when it’s ok to be there for yourself.
Identifying these areas in your life isn’t as simple as the words on this page. It’s not always obvious nor easy to understand because it’s tied to so many other things. Being your best self requires that you consider yourself in process. You can only be your best self in all areas of your life if you give yourself credit and consideration. This is balance.