Wednesday, 20 July 2016

STEP #8 ON THE JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS ~ STOP PEOPLE PLEASING

Step #8 on the Journey to Happiness ~ Stop trying to please everyone, stop worrying about what other people might think

PEOPLE PLEASING 101

If there was a university course on People Pleasing, I would have graduated with an A+ distinction. Along with worrying about a myriad of little things in life, I spent a considerable amount of time worrying about what other people might think. I often made decisions based on what I thought other people would want me to do.

There is an element of "goodness" in wanting to make other people happy, but it comes undone if it isn't balanced with having a strong sense of your own self worth. When I made decisions it was lack of confidence that made me look to the opinion of others rather than trusting myself and that is not a healthy way to live.

PLEASE LIKE ME

I remember back to my high school years where it was so  important to be part of a group, to fit in and to be liked. It was the same in the church youth group and also when I started work. I didn't want to be the odd man out who thought differently or who questioned the status quo. I wanted to be everyone's friend and not cause upset if I could help it. Very altruistic - and also a little cowardly now I look back on it.

Young people today are so confident and sure of who they are, they almost err on the other end of the spectrum where they'll commit to something..... "unless they get a better offer". They don't really care what other people think about them - they're just happy doing their own thing in their own time.

BEING TRUE TO MYSELF

There's nothing wrong with wanting other people to like you, but not at the expense of being true to yourself. You can't be happy if you are being what other people want you to be...... or what you think other people want you to be (which is a layer even further down the slippery slope of lack of self worth).

If you feel strongly about something - whether it's important or trivial then be brave enough to own it and the possible consequences. When I finally started to step up in this area, I needed to find the balance between the "nice" girl who goes to church and the "slightly off colour" girl who has tattoos and likes gossip magazines, young adult fiction and doesn't always want to toe the line.

You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you.

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

It took me many, many (too many) years to realize that people aren't judging me, they don't care if I'm exactly like them or not (they'd probably prefer me not to be!) People who are my friends love me for "me" not for who I think they want me to be. There is a fabulous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt ~ You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” 

If I don't have to try to keep everyone happy, if I let them worry about themselves and just get on with being "me" then I can relax. I can accept myself. I can be happy. Why didn't I figure this out years ago? 

AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT


People pleasing can drain you dry, you are always second guessing yourself and squishing yourself into different molds depending on who you're with, and as the famous meme goes...."ain't nobody got time for that". 

I certainly don't have time for it any more - I'm too busy discovering who I am and getting to know that person. I like that I'm a bit of a crazy mixture of "nice" and "not so nice" girl. My daughter-in-law thinks I'm going to make a bit of an 'out there' Nan when little Sophia grows up and gets to know me - and I don't think that's a bad thing at all!


This post was shared at some of these great link parties

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar or follow me on facebook

Step #8 on the Journey to Happiness ~ Stop trying to please everyone, stop worrying about what other people might think

28 comments:

  1. I have thought so much about this because I'm a middle child and I think I am supposed to be the people pleaser. I am not. I never have been. My younger sister – – there are three of us – – it is definitely the pleaser of the group. The older I get the more I begin to wonder if there isn't some chemical/brain chemistry component to all of this as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely believe there is a personality slant that lends itself to this Carla - and often environment nurtures it. Being the oldest child made me more responsible and wanting approval.

      Delete
  2. This goes right along with Carol Cassara's post today about being able to say 'no' when you need to. There's nothing wrong with being nice or considerate of others, until you do it only for them to the exclusion of your own feelings and self-worth. Great post. It made me realize that the midlifer has a lot of wisdom to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read Carol's post too Cathy and could see the intersections - it is definitely a problem with women of our generation and something we're dealing with and making progress on all the time :)

      Delete
  3. So interesting and I think women have this dilemma more than men. We're conditioned to put others first and in some way, that's nice. But it can also backfire. Many women have to learn who they are later in life because they've been trying to please others for so long. Thanks for this great reminder to be true to ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Laurie - it seems to show up in women far more than men and less in younger women - they seem to have a better sense of self and boundaries than previous generations. It's really a matter of getting the balance right isn't it?

      Delete
  4. Thanks for describing me - or perhaps the younger me - perfectly Leanne. You just reinforced all the reasons we need to just accept who we are and be happy with that person rather than pleasing everyone else. Great job - as usual xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it describes a lot of us Sue - midlife comes along and opens our eyes - better late than never :) xx

      Delete
  5. How right you are. Fortunately, I never developed that bad habit. Thankfully.
    Carol
    www.carolcassara.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are my role model for midlife women who know their boundaries and their worth Carol - how you got there so early is a mystery to me - but also a great encouragement!

      Delete
  6. It's amazing how many women are People Pleasers and how it negatively impacts their confidence and self-esteem. As I get older, I care less and less what people think. It's very empowering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Lois - it is empowering to claim your place in the sun and know your own value. Midlife has it's benefits :)

      Delete
  7. I used to be a people pleaser, but I learned a long time ago that it takes too much effort and is a waste of time! And it's so freeing not to have to worry about it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been a bit of a slow learner Sheryl but I'm getting there!

      Delete
  8. I love that quote about the limited amount of time others actually think of you. We all get so wrapped up in thinking WE are top of mind for others, and it's so not true. We must like ourselves and not really give a hoot (or too much of one) who else likes us. I'm pretty good at stressing that with my daughters, though admittedly need to be better about following my own advice. :-D Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - it's something my daughter is much better at than I am. It's definitely tied to self esteem and mine is gradually improving and that frees me up from seeking it elsewhere!

      Delete
  9. We are very, very lucky if others actually take time to think about us at all. I like to do unexpected things to be nice to people I truly care about... but only occasionally, so as not to create expectations. Especially expectations that we impose on ourselves. Great reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that's why random acts of kindness have such an appeal Nancy - you give and receive pleasure but it takes away the expectation of returned favours - an interesting thought :)

      Delete
  10. Such great advice here. I know many people pleasers and they are not always the happiest people. Darn exhausting if you ask me. Thanks for sharing on Be Beautiful today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for inviting me to join in Michelle - you're right about people pleasing being exhausting - some people might find it easy, but squeezing yourself into other people's comfort zones is very tiring.

      Delete
  11. I struggle with this too. It's hard when you were raised that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seep into your thinking and your outlook when it's the way you've been taught to think. But we're never too old to learn a new way of doing things and to take the good from the old way and move forward with a new slant to it.

      Delete
  12. This has always been a huge problem for me. And I don't know why. I like being different. But I also don't like to be lonely. In high school and in college it was hard for me because I didn't fit in. So I would always tone myself down so that I had friends. Life has its way of teaching you that you have to ignore what other people think. We've definitely learned that the last five years. I need to trust myself more and try harder to ignore what other people will think. And I try to remember that it really is none of my business what others think of me. If I let it bother me too much I'm spinning my wheels in life and not going anywhere. That's the worst thing ever. Wasting the time we have worrying about what others think of us. Great post, once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nikki - and if it's any consolation, I think you're fabulous and you've definitely found your place in the sun. When we're younger and trying to be what others want us to be, we cheat ourselves of so much don't we?

      Delete
  13. Hi,
    I'm the Yearbook teacher. I can't anger anyone. I have my students be my voice if needed. They won't be there in a few years, LOL.
    Janice
    Thank you for bringing your post to Blogger's Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always good to be able to shift to a whole lot of new minds to influence for a year or two Janice - who knows what you're creating and sending out into the world - it's a bit scary really!

      Delete
  14. That's not a bad thing at all Leanne. Out there Nan's are some of the most fun people I know.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm planning on being one of their number for a long time to come Sally - thanks for the encouragement!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...