Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Don’t Be A “People-Pleaser”

The desire to be appreciated by others is an intrinsic need for many of us. However, trying to make everyone happy with what I do or expecting everyone to be pleased with me is a dead end.

If my happiness or personal satisfaction is contingent upon how others will feel about whatever it is I do, I am positioning myself to a life of dissatisfaction. The fact is that it is impossible to please everyone. And that is not because there is some deficiency I have but because everyone intrinsically is wired differently. The way they perceive something will always be unique to their situation.

I cede my personal power when I operate with a fa├žade of goodness because I want to be liked and accepted. When I do this, I become a “people-pleaser.” The desire for acceptance takes precedence over the need to have an impact. Every time I do this, I erode my self-worth.

Through my various coaching conversations, I have realized that the desire to please others manifests in many ways.

  1. You pretend to agree with everyone, even when you have a different internal view. You don’t feel comfortable disagreeing.
  2. You have a habit of apologizing for the smallest of issues. You tend to blame yourself, or you are worried others will blame you, so you rush to apologize even when it is not required.
  3. You try and avoid conflict of any sort. You are worried and struggle to take a stand on any issue.
  4. You feel very uncomfortable if anyone is angry with you. You can’t stand the notion of someone being unhappy with you. You feel personally responsible.
  5. You continuously seek validation and praise to feel good. What others think of you dictates your self-worth, and you feel good about yourself only if there is some positive validation from others. 
  6. You feel overworked and overwhelmed as you cram your schedule with activities that you think people around you want you to do. 

Self-belief and confidence are essential to subdue the “people-pleasing” attitude. Confidence comes from recognizing the valuable person you are. Your value has to be an internal benchmark and not what someone feels about you. Once you start feeling good about yourself, you will see the urge to please others and be liked will begin dissipating. 

Trying to please everyone is statistically impossible. You don’t have the power, nor does anyone else. It could be your family, your friends, colleagues- no one has the right to rely on anyone else to make them happy. If you desire to be the go-to person that people depend on, certainly do what you have to do. But don’t become a “people-pleaser” in your quest to create value for others.

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