I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
It is unhealthy behaviour to put ones own needs aside and favour instead to please everyone around us. It is very destructive and can cause depression, resentment and can cause our lives to spiral out of control. It is a dangerous trap to fall into. People pleasing has different degrees and some people are more prone to this behaviour. When we do not have healthy personal boundaries and when we feel the need to be liked and will go to most any lengths to please others, it is time for a change.
Growing up in a family with a dominant parent or having a dominant partner can lead us to become people pleasers and our desire to be liked by everyone becomes part of who we are. There are many reasons why people feel the need to be emotional caretakers for others. Our need to be liked came be so strong that we struggle to say NO to requests that often leave us feeling unhappy. This can lead to low self esteem, lack of clear personal boundaries and in extreme cases can make you become someone elses doormat.
It is never too late to change our behaviour. We need to do some serious self exploration and self examining. We need to look at our lives and how this situation has come about over time. We need to do a personal emotional house cleansing by getting our personal boundaries back on track, learning to say no and meaning it too. Examine our need to be likes and start putting ourselves first. Even on an aeroplane we are told to first put our own oxygen mask on before trying to put on someone elses.
It is amazing how great it feels when you take back your power and own your own life. It doesn’t mean you become mean and nasty and unhelpful actually the complete opposite. It means you gain the respect of yourself first and formost and then you gain your fellow friends, collegues and families respect as well.
There is something very empowering about being able to say NO when you have always struggled with saying no. It makes you almost feel a few inches taller and stronger and this feeling comes quickly. People can sometimes take a step back at your change of behaviour but it is always positive when they respect you for it. Relationships are a two way street, there needs to be balance, give AND take.
“In trying to please all, he had pleased none.”
Right here, right now, when I feel I am slipping back into people pleasing mode, I will take a personal inventory of my current behaviour and see where I am going wrong. I will start fresh from today and practice putting myself first and my welfare first. I know people pleasing has cost me a lot of heartache in the past and I will enjoy the serenity I achieve when I stop people pleasing and instead put my boundaries back in place.
copyright NJTurner 2016