If there is one cause of unhappiness, it is people pleasing.
Why? Not only does it take all our energy, but it also zaps the life out of us. The aim to please seems to be normal to most of us. We feel happy when we please our boss, our partner, our friends, and our family. Unfortunately, such happiness is fleeting. In the long run, we end up short-changing ourselves, and we become miserable in the process.
While it is great to want to make other people happy, we should not make it a habit to the point of forgetting our happiness and ourselves.
How can we abandon the habit of people pleasing? By doing the following:
- Never let guilt rule your life.
Guilt is a natural feeling, but it becomes unnatural when we let it become the driving force of what we do. Do not feel bad if you cannot give what others ask of you all the time (unless it is your job, of course). There is a limit to that. Do what you can, and that is more than enough; no one should expect and ask for more. Do not go out of the way just to please people when you know it will make you depleted and miserable in the end. Also, remember not to feel guilty about taking care of yourself first. If others deserve to be looked after, you deserve it too, if not more. Saying no is not a sin, especially when it is what your gut tells you.
- Never fear the unknown.
When we develop a fear of something we have no idea about, we tend to cling to other people, even when deep inside, it is irrational. Be brave and know that you can face anything that would come your way. You are independent and do not have to please anyone just not to feel alone. Besides, the ones who genuinely care will stick with you until the end, not because of anything but because they mean to and they are true to you.
- Never be deaf to your needs.
You happiness, needs and contentment are as important as those of others’. It is not wrong to look after yourself first. No well can ever provide water if it has already gone dry. Similarly, you cannot provide something if you have nothing left for yourself. When you find the balance between your needs and others who matter to you, people pleasing will be forgotten, for good.
We hope you have learned something from this. Tell us, are you fond of pleasing people or do you prefer to do as you please?