Have you ever wanted to do something but thought against it because of what others may think or feel? What about needed or had to do something but did not want to do it because of the opinions and feelings of others? That decision that you so desperately wanted to make but decided against it because the rationale didn’t line up with another being…? Is saying “no” hard to do? Yes, I’m sure we’ve all been there at least a few damn times in our lives. But when it happens very frequent, you just may be defined as one thing – a people pleaser.
Are You A People Pleaser?
According to Sherry Pagoto, PH.D., a people pleaser is someone who never says “no” and who spends a great deal of time doing things for others. Someone is considered a people pleaser when they put other’s needs and wants above their own. They make sacrifices and choices that will make others happy, even if it interferes with their own happiness. Pagoto explains that this is due to two things: Fear of rejection and Fear of failure. Fear of rejection is when someone fears someone will leave or stop caring for them if they do not do what they want them to do. Fear of failure is when someone feels that if they do something wrong, they will disappoint and/or be punished because of it. If this sounds anything like you, you are a people please.
The Present State of People Pleasers
Okay, so you were offered a new job. You think this may be a great opportunity for you in addition to it being a good paying job. You have small children and your husband is not a big fan of daycare and would be happier if you just stay home with the children. He is happy for you and your new opportunity, but he would prefer you to be home so that the children don’t have to go to daycare. You really want to take the job but decide to decline because you know it will make your husband happy. People pleaser!
You were never interested in going to college and actually have other plans for your future. Your family REALLY wants you to go. You know it will make them happy and proud, so what do you do, you go to fucking college. People pleaser!
It’s 1 am and you’re finally laying down after a long, stressful day. Your phone rings and it’s your cousin bitching about his problems and what he can’t do and how he needs help. He asks if you can give him a ride to work at 5am. You say yes as usual. People pleaser!
The people pleaser does what others want and act like it’s not a problem so that they can be pleasing. In reality, they really just want to tell everyone “Fuck No!” or maybe even “Go Fuck Yourself!”
Oh, don’t worry, because a people pleaser will most likely never say what they really feel in that moment.
The Future for People Pleasers
Being a people pleaser can make it near impossible to progress in life. A people pleaser puts so much time and thought into pleasing others that there is barely any time for them to even think about pleasing themselves. Because of this, progression is very difficult. Having to consider the opinions, feelings, perspective and thoughts of the people around you can keep you from doing what you want to do.
Taking a job, fixing a relationship, getting married, moving away, or deciding against having children are all things people pleasers think twice about. If any of these things are something that conflicts with the rationale or feelings of another person, the people pleaser will always consider the other person’s feelings above their own. This makes it difficult to progress. Think about how happy a person can be if they just considered themselves. Some people may think of this as selfish, but what the hell is wrong with someone being selfish about THEIR future life? After all, they are the only one who is stuck living it in the end.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with selflessness. In fact, it is a great quality an individual can have. Having a good heart and doing things for others is a beautiful thing, just be sure to think about you also. Don’t miss out on once in a lifetime opportunity because of fear of rejection or fear of failure. You can please others, but please yourself first sometimes. Put your feelings and thoughts before others sometimes and you will be much happier. Don’t be a people pleaser, as it will not get you to where YOU want to be.
Check out the following link for tips on how to stop being a people pleaser: https://psychcentral.com/lib/21-tips-to-stop-being-a-people-pleaser/
Live and Learn,