It’s a simple question really. Are you a people pleaser? Would you even know it if you were? Do you by chance know the symptoms or results of being one? Probably not as most don’t. It’s one of those things that is pretty tricky because being a people pleaser always results in someone not being pleased.
People pleasers mean well. The goal typically isn’t like that of the narccisist as that person’s only goal is to elevate their own self for their own gratification all the while living on Deceit Lane. The people pleaser is different in that it isn’t about self-elevation at all; more often it’s about the root fear of rejection. In the end it simply leads to self-destruction.
‘Destruction in what’ way you ask? Destruction in numerous ways. Let’s identify just some:
1- Lower self esteem. Seeking to always please others can’t lead to a healthy self esteem or positive image because the very act of people pleasing only steals the person’s soul. You see; when you allow people to treat you in a way that they want and not how you deserve it will always be a conflict. When the idea or goal is to please others and it doesn’t work most people are left wondering what is so wrong with them that all their effort didn’t come to the fruition that they expected. Never mind the fact that trying to please people who don’t know what they want never works; but most don’t see this because they are too busy trying to be pleasing. In the end; when it doesn’t work the feelings of rejection can only creep in.
2- Unhappiness or discontent-Are people genuinely happy? Perhaps although what’s ironic is that those who have more money don’t prove to be any happier or content than those without. Who knew? If you are on who went to law school because daddy did; are you reeping the rewards of it? Are you truly happy and content with your life? Or would you be happy and content opening a seafood business on the coast of Maine? Trying to please people never leaves the pleaser with the internal feelings of content because pleasing people is a never ending process. One only need to look at any Hollywood star in crisis and see this. Sure some of it may be a marketing stunt; however, it was Miley Cyrus who shared that being a people pleaser won’t make her any happier because there are too many people to please. Of course most can thank the Lord they don’t have that many people to please right?!
3- Broken dreams or dreams never achieved or sought after. Those who are people pleasers put themselves last. The focus is never on the people pleaser; but rather the pleasing. That in an of itself is a pure distraction to living life. Every person was created with a purpose and and getting caught up in the ideas of pleasing others who are going about living their lives and dreams is only pure heartache for the person people trying to be pleasing. If you have dreams and you never wake up or chase after them because you are living an ordinary life people pleasing; then who’s fault it is that you never made it to being extraordinary? It takes guts to go after dreams and live your life! What others think you should do is not worth your time because you are the one faced with the consequences of your decision. It’s not to say that the opinions of others who are close to you have no value; but you have to discern their motives for you; otherwise you may find that their misery loves your company too much. Who have you been trying to please over chasing your dreams?
4- Resentment- Resentment is a funny thing. Typically when there is resentment; bitterness is there too. Perhaps at times anger and frustration; and all the other cousins. When there is more focus on someone else; who is focusing on you? It would be similar to a wife being focused on her needs and the husband too. Where is the focus on the husband? The opposite of course is true and in the end; there is someone not getting the results he or she is seeking. Please also understand that not only does resentment build toward the person; but also internal resentment toward self as well. Wouldn’t this make sense as how many people would be living their dreams of owning a food truck instead of sitting in an office answering the telephone all day because it’s the family expectation?
5- It’s a trap!-People pleasing is a trap. There is no way around it. It keeps the person’s focus in the wrong place with the wrong outcomes; and the wrong perception of self with the wrong internal feelings. It never ends. It doesn’t give life; it steals it. It brings nothing of identity to the person who thinks that he or she is pleasing; and it never fills. It is like a cancer that starts slow and then spreads until its victim no longer has a life; no longer has a purpose; now longer has an identity. It’s a vacuous soul waking up to die one day sooner. What a waste. One day it is too late as too much time has past and all those broken dreams are gone. Vanished. Just like that.
In this world everyone has expectations. Society of course helps the cause and the advancements in technology push things along as well. You have to do this to be cool, you need to wear this otherwise you are uncool, you need to dine at this restaurant because it’s where are all yuppies and guppies go. You need to wear your hair like this because the ‘Rachel’ is back again. This new hybrid is the latest you need; but never mind the fact that you can’t actually get up a mountain in it. Your parents are doctors so why would you be the unfortunate child to go into law instead?
You couldn’t possibly take time out for yourself now could you? Of course not! Why on earth stop and take a moment to reflect on whether or not you are living your life for you; or for those that don’t care? Who has time for that? Ain’t nobody got that time for that! And that- is the biggest problem. A life lived for others who are busy pursuing their own is the biggest strategy to face today. Maybe the time is today to stop, reflect; and dig deep. Are you too busy pleasing others to recognize that in the process you forgot to look in the mirror and see your own reflection?