Sheryl Sandberg said “If you’re pleasing everyone then you are not making any progress.”
There is immense power tied into knowing and accepting who you are at the core. Few things in life will create a bigger impact. Once, you acquire an understanding of your personal truths and authenticity it’s easier to see how it trickles down to everything in your world.
People pleasers will do everything possible not to disappoint usually at the cost of their own well-being. They often allow themselves to be the sacrificial lamb in order to seem agreeable, adaptable, chill or drama-free. There’s an overwhelming need to have the approval and love of others. It can become a real dilemma when the urge to please becomes a deep-rooted necessity to feel good. It bears a similarity to an addict’s fix of food, shopping, alcohol or drugs. The satisfaction brought by putting others first is a momentary emotional fulfillment. Inevitably, the pleaser will experience the emptiness that follows after giving into demands that don’t necessarily fit their happiness.
Pleasers are givers with certain personality characteristics that emerge during younger years. They frequently grow into the role of perfectionists governed by demanding and critical parents. These are people who mostly gravitate towards controlling characters. Personalities that can be self-centered, uncivil and unappeasable. Pleasers serve as a magnet to these difficult people who will feed off their “kindness.” Women are natural caretakers brought up to put others’ needs ahead of their own. Many of us have experienced the painful discomfort over-indulging will bring forth. You want to cater to everyone else’s needs but forget that your own are the most important!
The “Yes Monster,” (people pleaser) has been an alter ego most of my adult life. I was raised with the highest of expectations, although I wouldn’t have it any other way. The pressure on my plate drowned me at certain times but the life saver in my pocket has come in handy! My mother was a people pleaser for a big chunk of her journey. She worked to please her mother and husband – my father in order to earn their love and acceptance. Her divorce served as a call to arms helping her break the chains that shackled her during most of a marriage. It took a significant amount of mental strength to free herself, as it has for me. The work to remind myself is ongoing, never stops. It’s impossible to please people all the time.
Reading, self-analysis and soul-searching has helped me grasp an understanding of the things that need to be done to stop the behavior. Honestly, it isn’t easy to quit cold turkey. There are still days I have to check myself to make sure I’m not betraying who I am. There are 3 things that must happen to change the behavior. Easier said than done, my friends! It is all repetition and a conscious effort. Don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Jump right back to the list below as soon as you realize you are trying too hard.
- Learn the Force Behind the Word – NO! It’s a word you will need to say often if you want to gain the ability to live life on your terms. Explanations are not always required. It gives the impression you’re excusing yourself which opens a door to the idea that you are contemplating changing your mind. Being firm and final will give you a chance to do things you really want to do. Leading you to feel better about life in general.
- Remain Conscious of your Needs, Motivators and True-Self: Being self-aware is essential to training yourself to do things differently. Once you’re able to recognize the behavior it’s a bit easier to stop and modify the action. Don’t choose to ignore the reality staring you in the face. Be thoughtful and respectful of the person you are, deserving of better. It is of the essence you understand that while you are outperforming that person won’t feel a need to try as much. It’s quite simple, he won’t have to because you are clearing the path to any conflict that could arise. Your good intentions are counterproductive. Now, isn’t that a slap in the face!
- Embrace, Value and Accept Who You Are: She is worth your approval and love. If you can do all those things everyone else will follow suit. There is no other way, it starts with YOU.
Personal progression comes from overcoming challenges. Your best self develops as you learn to deal with conflict becoming stronger with each hurdle. Remember that you are the #1 person in your life. You will always be left feeling hollow if you don’t fill your tank first.
It is time to say, “I am enough and I choose ME.”
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