How many times have you said no only to go back on your decision when pressured by another person because you didn’t want to disappoint, to upset or to anger that person?
This week I experienced such a situation and had an epiphany of sorts.
Do you know what people pleasing is?
- Saying yes to something that you don’t want to do just to keep someone happy and have an easy-going life; different from peer pressure because it doesn’t have to be a peer
- Being uncomfortable with a situation you’re in but carry on regardless solely to keep someone happy and have an easy-going life
- Putting everyone else’s needs before your own, then feel exhausted and not take the time to practice self-care just to keep someone happy and have an easy-going life
- Saying no for some reason but feel guilty or feel the need to make excuses afterwards just to make someone happy or have an easy-going life.
That more or less sums up people pleasing.
Before this recent event, I had never considered myself to be a people pleaser but at that point I really had to do a bit of introspection. I realized that I have done many things that I didn’t want to do just to keep someone happy and have an easy-going life; because I didn’t think I could say no; because I didn’t want people to be upset or whatever.
Before, I mostly thought that I was kind and helpful and I say mostly, because at one point I had been thinking that I was simply morbidly passive. I mean that made sense to me because the words fine, okay, sure, yes, alright are always part of my daily vocabulary.
I most certainly do not like the idea that I could be a people pleaser but the shoes seem to fit and I believe it has to do with how I was raised. My mother is a notorious people pleaser and tends to make concessions for me because she thinks people need to see me in a certain light or so I’m not disliked. I wish she wouldn’t. I wish she had taught me how to stand up for myself; that it was okay to have a different opinion; that it was okay to be respectful and kind while being confident and self-assured.
I think this is an important life lesson for pre-teens and teenagers.
Kids need to be taught how to love themselves and be confident so they don’t grow to become doormats or people pleasers. Because of this, I am so focused on making changes in my life to be the best role model I can be if and when I have kids.
If you are a people pleaser, don’t do it anymore. It’s time to assert yourself.