So tell me-are you a people pleaser?Are you scared to contradict anyone?Do you think that you will lose that person's friendship & approval if you do so?Do you say 'yes' even when you want to say 'no'?Are you always cautious that what you say or do should not annoy anyone?When faced with a situation,do you weigh the different options in terms of how, those you know are going to take it?It could be a simple matter of getting a new hair cut,trying on a new apparel,joining a hobby class or vocalizing what you feel about a topic under discussion.The situations could vary in a thousand ways but your overriding concern does not.You only do what you think will gain you others' approval because you think that if you please them ,then only will they like you.To some extent we all do this now & then,but here i am talking of those who are hooked up on others' appreciation & endorsement to such an extent that they feel lost without it.
A little clarification about what i am trying to say.Those who spread happiness with their words & deeds are certainly worthy of praise.But when we turn into chronic people-pleasers we expose ourselves to unhealthy outcomes.People can easily manipulate & exploit us.Our anxiety levels increase or decrease according to how they treat us.If someone gives us a perfunctory response we fret what it was that we did wrong.We are convinced of our worthiness only if it is validated by others.What's more,since our responses keep are only aimed at concurring with others,people could think of us as fickle & our propensity to bend before others could change us into a doormat.
I have been through this phase & faced all the ramifications.I think it stemmed from a basic lack of self worth.I did not think that i would be liked or approved of, if i simply let myself be me & acted natural.On the one hand there was this urge to please those who i thought mattered,while on the other i also tried to ape them.I believed this would fetch me recognition,make me popular & push me up a few notches in society.I did not like myself but i was aching to be liked by others.But--
Obsessive people-pleasing is detrimental to our growth & evolution.It is one thing to imbibe qualities which we admire in others & make them a part of our personality, but another to put up a facade in order to be liked by them.Pretense of any kind is not only tiring,but also a latent form of deception.By hiding our real self we block people from getting to know our real being--our likes & dislikes,our aspirations & priorities,our values & ego ideals,our pet hates and insecurities.If people do not get to know our real selves,how are they going to appreciate or love us?
We have a certain mode of thinking & behaving wired into us.It has been subtly attuned to our life conditions & needs.We grow & adapt as time passes but it ought to be according to our requirements & not fashioned after others' doings & expectations.I n our hurry to be socially accepted,we could be tempted to skip over our principles,responsibilities & liabilities too.The dangers of such a folly increase manifold when teens or youth succumb to peer pressure & step into blind alleys.This sort of people-pleasing is indeed the worst kind because young impressionable minds could unknowingly jeopardize their whole lives by getting into injurious habits.Therefore--
Not only young,even we adults quite often tend to follow the herd in order to be accepted by that group.Being seen at the right places,with the right people,doing the right things is a way of living for many of us.We forget that in this way we are killing our individuality.The discerning would conclude that we lack originality,depth of character & courage of our convictions.We also we miss out on an opportunity to strike upon our chosen path & win accolades for our own beliefs & initiatives.
Some guide-lines to break this habit
*Learn to say 'No' without being rude.It won't do to go off on a tangent & become too contrary.
*If you are asked for a favor about which you don't feel right but you cannot say an outright 'No',then ask for some time to think about it.This will convey the message gently.
*Do not lose sight of others' wishes too.Obviously you cannot have your own way in group activities-you have to go by the consensus.
As far as the boss is concerned,he is always right.
*In order to come out of the shell of excessive congeniality it is also important to say your say.No one will be offended unless you say it belligerently.It is even possible that hearing your views, some quiet souls out there might come out in your support.
*And remember you too have acumen.You could very well come out with a solution to a problem or a significant insight about a topic under discussion.Therefore don't just nod your head & say yes.
*As you become more vocal those who thrive on sycophancy or flattery can be expected to distance themselves from you, but is that a loss?
*Giving up people pleasing will enable you to recognize your true friends & supporters.The opportunistic manipulators would have flown away.
*Life will become less complicated & stress levels will decrease when you begin to function from your true self.
*As you begin to take a stand & become more self confident,you reduce the chances of being abused or manipulated.
*The best outcome of breaking the shackles of people pleasing is a leap in the quantum of self esteem.When we show signs of spunk & originality then we will get real recognition which will augment our self worth.
*As you become aware of your intrinsic value, your self confidence too,is sure to increase.This will give you real happiness as compared to the rewards you got from people pleasing.
We all have a touch of the people pleaser in us but when carried to the extreme,it becomes counter productive.We revel in the appreciation extended to us,but the moment it is withdrawn we fall flat on our face.How to find out if we are just a normally congenial person or a people pleaser?Here is some help--Check this site for some interesting insights on this subject.It also has a teaser to help you decide whether you are a people pleaser or not.