To Please Yourself,
Quit Being a People Pleaser
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Find it hard to please yourself because you’re so busy trying to please everyone around you? This tendency, known as ‘people pleasing’ has also been called the ‘disease to please.’
If you are so worried about trying to make everyone else happy that you neglect to make yourself happy, this can certainly be a problem.
People pleasing usually comes from a belief that other people’s happiness is more important than your own. This is a harmful belief, as it creates feelings of inferiority. Is there any good reason why you have any less right to be happy than anyone else?
You may believe that to please yourself is selfish, and to please others is good and noble. This is not true! You have every bit as much right to be happy as anyone else. There is also no great virtue in trying to please everyone.
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Pleasing others is not the same as helping or loving them. Often things that are best for others are things that they don’t like. You could please your kids by feeding them candy, or you could do what’s right for them by feeding them a healthy diet. People often don’t like what is good for them!
It is also important to meet your own needs before you worry about other people’s needs. On an airplane, parents are told that in the event of an emergency, they should fasten their own oxygen mask before assisting their child. If you don't take care of yourself first, you will not be in a position to take care of others.
If you are so busy trying to please other people that you don’t fulfill your own needs, you will wind up running on empty. It's like trying to feed everyone around you, while you starve yourself. This is not only very bad for you, but you will not be much good to anyone else either if you are not strong and healthy.
People pleasing is often a way of trying to gain approval, and to be liked. Your subconscious mind tells you that if you try very hard to make others happy, and not to upset anyone, you will get the admiration you feel that you need.
Caring too much about being liked by others is usually a sign that you don’t really like yourself much. You feel that you are not good enough in some way, but believe that if everyone else thinks you are great, then you will feel better about yourself. This is a totally topsy-turvy way of thinking, and it doesn’t work.
Whether other people have a good or poor opinion of us does not improve our self image. Some of the most popular and beautiful people in the world are terribly insecure, despite being adored by many. Your self image comes from you- there are no short cuts, or ways to buy or earn self respect. You have to develop it from within.
It is also much more probable that you will be genuinely liked and respected by others if you like and respect yourself. Our self image sets a powerful example for those around us. If you feel good about yourself though, it won’t matter as greatly what other people think of you. You won’t need validation from the outside as much.
Trying to please others often fails at getting them to like you anyway. Some people are impossible to please. The harder you try, the pickier they get. It can become a power play, a way of getting you to jump through hoops by withholding the approval they know you want so much.
What’s more, by making yourself a doormat in your desire to please, you will more likely lose respect than gain it. We tend to respect someone who values themselves enough to stand up for what they want, and to please themselves. Trying to please everyone else, at the expense of your own happiness is not smart and it is not helpful.
It is impossible to please everyone anyway. Whether you cut your hair short, keep it long, dye it pink, or shave it off at the suggestion of your friends, there will always be someone who thinks it was much better the other way.
As the song goes, “You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.” This is pretty good advice for people pleasers. However hard you try to please everyone, it is not going to succeed. It is also very unlikely that you will gain much by trying.
Get rid of those negative ideas that other people’s happiness is more important than yours, that you don’t deserve to be happy, or that it is selfish to please yourself.
Make it your priority to please yourself. If we all did this, the world would be a much happier place!
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