Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You a #People Pleaser ?


A people pleaser is a person who gives preference to others' needs & comforts at the cost of his own.He will go against his own inclinations & plans to agree with others or comply with their expectations;not once,twice or thrice, but almost always.

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 insignificant 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 are only aimed at concurring with others,people could think of us as fickle & our propensity to bend before others could label us as doormats.


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 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 selves we block people from getting to know our real beings--our likes & dislikes,aspirations,priorities,values,ideals,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.In 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 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.


39 comments :

  1. again a very effective and relevant post, You rightly pointed out that teenagers are the worst affected lot! People pleaser not only loses his/her self-esteem but also trust in eyes of the same people, he/she is trying to please.

    Mam, a little request, please write a post on cultivating self worth (as topic).

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    1. Thanks Meenakshi..it is true teenagers are the worst hit& PP lose just what they are trying to attain.

      Incidentally i too have been thinking about this topic lately & i will write it too...meanwhile there is one which you might want to read http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2010/12/mouse-in-trap.html

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  2. There is a difference between pleasing people because you want to make them happy and pleasing them because you are afraid not to. The first make you happy doing it but the second is only a source of stress.

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  3. Another great post! Enlightening...and needs introspection...I'll work on some points of it!

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  4. I couldn't help but nod to almost all the aspects you have mentioned in this post, Ma'am. I have also been through such a phase, but the sooner you realize that you can't please everyone and you don't need to please everyone the better for your well being. We just need to stay real and stay true to ourselves. Thank you for the tips, much needed. :)

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    1. Yes Akshay it takes time to realize that...nice to see you here....how are you doing?

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  5. I was a people pleaser for a long time. Then I realised that I have my own life to take care of.

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    1. I think most of us go through this phase some time or the other.

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  6. Vikram welcome to jeeteraho & many thanks for your validation.

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  7. You have hit the bull's eye...but sometimes,while being aware of the consequences we do it for our near and dear ones..sacrifice our dreams for the sake of their happiness and much more...
    You have penned down brilliantly.. :)

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  8. Than you odyzz for such high praise.

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  9. Hello Indu.. You have once again come up with a useful and relevant post. I could agree with you more here.. There is a fine and delicate balance between pleasing others and self growth or individuality.. You stop living when you stop living for yourself..

    Thanks for giving us this insightful and meaningful post..
    I look for more..

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    1. Deepak you are right,we ought to maintain that balance between being honestly genial & dishonestly pleasing.
      Thanks for your support

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  10. I guess my comment has reached you and not lost..

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  11. How true and this post coming at a time and age when things and happenings around us are making it easier to lose our originality and individuality make it all the more significant. We need to learn to love and appreciate ourselves the way we are, only therein lies the real happiness for ourselves and for others too.

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    1. So true--if we are not comfortable with who we are no amount of outside validation can cheer us.
      Arti thanks for this.

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  12. I try to put my dissent across in a decent, firm manner never with the intention to pull down someone. People pleaser and me -- not really.

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    1. Yes i have seen this,your personality reaches out across your posts & such a high achiever needs no artificial support.

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  13. Thanks for such a nice and relevant post.....

    http://debnature.blogspot.in

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  14. Indu..I'm intimately aware of this struggle. Wanting to make people happy is not an intrinsically negative quality, I think. The trick is to maintain appropriate balance and keep a check on the boundaries...

    For me, it's hard to imagine being different.:((((
    But loved reading an article taking a strong stand. Let me see...if I can make myself a bit more strong!:))
    A power-packed blog!:)

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  15. Panchali you radiate happiness,you are not a sham...please remain what you are!

    By PP i mean a person who goes out of his way to praise others even when he is not convinced of their worth;so that they may like him.There is an element of falsehood involved.

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  16. Being nice to people need not be a negative thing, though as you have pointed out, it can be taken advantage of and misused. But learning to say no is very important too. Trying to learn and get there. Great article with practical tips. quintessentially Indu :)

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  17. Yes Zephyr being nice is NICE --it is the motive that makes it an asset or a liability.
    A super blogger like you liking a post--it means a lot to me!
    Thanks a ton!

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  18. Hi Indu,

    Very good post with corrective steps too. This will prove to be good for the youth of today, who are absolutely clueless about their lives.

    Quite true, the actual ramifications of this attitude can actually be seen in the professional workspace. A people pleaser will actually end up taking more amount of work from different people and end up totally exhausted at the end of it, if he/she manages to finish the work that is.
    You've made a valid point here, one must learn to say No, but usually we believe that by doing this, we're lowering the image and status we have created in somebody else's eyes.

    Do check out my entry for Get Published.

    Regards

    Jay
    My Blog | My Entry to Indiblogger Get Published

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  19. i am a people pleaser but not because i am scared to lose friends or anything for that matter. as long as i like someone, i don't want to hurt that person but the moment i realize that i am being manipulated or there is something not right about that person, i simply avoid him/her. from then on it's all NO for that person. liked the detailed analysis :)

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  20. Beautifully described. People pleasers are not always comfortable I feel.The stress of being good to all, takes its toll.

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  21. Pattu thanks a lot--you have put down succintly,what i wanted to say.

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  22. Thanks for the detailed analysis.Well explained.
    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

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  23. Very good insights, being yourself is very important if you have to move up in life. At least try to strike a balance first and then go from there.

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  24. A lovely and very thoughtful post as always. I myself have gone through this phase at one point in life where I was trying a little more than usual or necessary to impress others. I agree it does give you some sort of a stress and heart ache which is absolutely unnecessary.

    Loved the way you described it in such detail and so effectively. And those tips... very practical and effective. :)

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    1. Thank you Raj.Coming from you,it means a lot.

      I still remember your detective fiction and the lovely,live,characterization.

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