Are you a people pleaser?
It feels like a lifetime ago but there was a season of my life where I would sit with a bowl of ice cream and watch television. That season that there were several shows that would allow ordinary people like you and me perform and then possibly get a contract, a job or whatever. I am sure these shows are still on.
Why You Should Stop Being a People Pleaser
What I remember most are the outtakes from people who really had no talent and should not have been there in the first place. Unfortunately, they had lived a life where no one had told them that they might not be cut out for a life in whatever industry in which they were dreaming. Confession time! I would laugh hysterically at some of these, at least until the day I awoke and realized how blessed I was to be surrounded by truth tellers and not simply people pleasers.
These men and women throughout my life let me know where I was strong and where I was weak. Now they did this gently and encouraged me to get training if my weaknesses were critical for me to overcome. But their honesty was a protection from untold embarrassment. Yes you will hurt people but you need to stop being a people pleaser and here are four good reasons why you need to do that today.
How To Stop Being a ‘People Pleaser
It is not honest
The path of people pleasing looks peaceful and nice. If it was a nature trail from the trailhead it would appear flat, beautiful and easy. But around that first turn it turns out to be a challenge for the fittest person. If you ran into that situation you would wonder why they did not tell you such things in the parking lot. You would feel that someone or some organization had lied to you. It is no different when we work to be a people pleaser.
Today people are offended at the drop of a hat. There are days where I honestly feel as though I should simply lock myself up in my house and talk to no one so that I can keep from offending anyone. But that would be a dull life. Some in this situation will go about their day kissing up to their boss, their parents, their teachers or whoever they wish to ensure a peaceful day.
The only problem with that is that if your goal is peace at all costs you will need to lie. Your boss will ask what you think of his imbecile idea even though he has already decided. Your parents will want you to visit them on the same weekend that you were planning to simply vegetate in the backyard after a hard work week.
You will either have to lie to them or to yourself. Either way dishonesty will reign. You will have to deny who you really are because someone will not like the real you. What is difficult is that you never really know what about you will offend someone so you will become a shell. Honesty is the first victim when you strive to people please.
It is a trap
On the people pleasing path you are looking for peace. The birds chirping and the cool breeze cooling your body as you stroll along. But what you are not seeing is just below the surface there are trap doors and roots sticking out to trip you up.
As you stroll thinking that you are the nicest person on the face of the Earth someone is waiting to charge you more or get you to do their work for them. But because you want to bring peace you will say nothing. Now I am a believer in peace. I strive to live free. But when I get into people pleasing mode I am silent when I should speak and I speak when I should be silent.
In the wee hours of the morning I am then awaken by the thoughts of what I should have said or done. I become a captive to my own thoughts. Freedom is the second casualty when you work to people please.
It is exhausting
I hate to say it but once you go down the people pleaser path you will find it difficult to get off of it. It seems that around every bend there is someone else out there waiting for you to please them.
Additionally, because of the law of diminishing results those things that you did that pleased people today will not work tomorrow. Every day you will have to find new ways to please them. The reality is that they will never be fully satisfied.
You will give unending energy and strength to make them happy and your people pleasing only makes them hungrier. You are like salt water to a thirsty person. Energy is the third victim of being a people pleaser.
It prevents real success
The worst result on this path is that it prevents real success from taking place. All day long the big city worker spends his day in a cubicle and feels guilty. His bosses come up with ideas and visions that he knows ca not possibly work.
Now this is not pessimism but because of your experience at the back dock or in the mail room where you used to work, you have knowledge that seems to be missing from the CEO’s quiver. But you would rather look like a team player than show any dissention. If you speak up you will upset your boss, or worst yet you might get some extra work.
The company is counting on you to speak but instead you remain silent because you want to be liked. What if you rose up and gave the right information up the chain of command? What if your information is what it took to save the company? You will never know because you were silent. Success is the most disastrous casualty in people pleasing.
You are sitting there ready to go while your wife or girlfriend is preparing for the night out. You have been ready for a lifetime but she continues to prepare herself. At this point you have done all of the Facebook scrolling that you can handle. Deep down you are getting a little agitated.
Suddenly she appears and asks you that dreaded question, “Do I look fat in this dress?” While I have learned the hard way that it is good to not always say the first thing that pops into my head, saying something like, “No your fat makes you look fat,” will not get you husband of the year award.
So in that case maybe you should simply shut your mouth and be a people pleaser. But in most cases your best option is to balance truth with love and speak truth. When you do so you will gain new friends in truth, in freedom, in energy and in success.