“If you live for people’s acceptance,you will die from their rejection.” Lecrae
You are born a person who is humble & polite with everyone; a good human being, not hurting anyone. In the process you somehow starts getting uncomfortable with conflicts, you like people being happy with you. Gradually you can’t afford displeasing them, you’ve to make them happy at any cost. It becomes a self inflicting game of keeping everyone content at each given moment of time. The web grows from being at toes for one person to many. You start weaving stories, drowning in lies to cater to the needs of people around you.
My observation & research have shown a strong connection between people pleasing and self esteem. A person going through a low self esteem phase would love when people are nice to them. You make sure that you agree with whatever they say,do or think. You generally are the favourite sidekick, giving yourself an identity too. It sure does bring a short-lived sense of belongingness turning soon into strong feeling of worthlessness.
The problem sprouts when you are close to two people having contradictory mindsets. You do the same routine, manipulating your words & actions as the need be. The saddest part is, apart from being a manipulator, you lose yourself!
Self bashing becomes our life style. We get stuck in this vicious loop. Our fear of disappointing people stops us to even do rational thinking. We suffer but we oblige.Sometimes, we helplessly see that we are being taken advantage of and do nothing about it.
People pleasing is a dangerous addiction, here are few ways to try sobriety :
- Identify & stop the cycle of manipulation: You certainly can’t be a ‘Yes Man’ to all. Understand how sometimes you twist facts or information to make everyone happy and avoid conflicts.
- Work on your self esteem: You don’t need others approval to feel good about yourself. Find a way to uplift your self esteem, sometimes a professional support helps.
- It is okay to displease/disappoint people: As they say, you can please some people all the time, all the people for sometime, not all the people all the time. You’ll have few who won’t be contented by your actions, but that means you do have a voice of your own. Be proud of your identity and savor it.
- Get comfortable with conflict situation: With the flourishing of your identity, you’ll face contradictions and conflicts. These are essentials for growth as a person. With conflicts come clarity.
- Stop mincing words: You have a mind & voice, which means you’ll think and that will be expressed through your words. Please don’t try to hide your opinions in a gift wrap. Say exactly what you mean and sometimes not in so many words. People need to listen to YOU.
- Self Care:They say; the way we mistreat ourselves, if somebody did half of it we would kill the person. It is high time to make yourself priority. You need to please someone, let it be you.
It will take time, you don’t change overnight. Be positive, patient & persistent…be you!