Why Please People?

I used to be a people pleaser.

I’m afraid of what people say and think about me. I don’t want to say NO from their requests. It makes me feel guilty. I don’t want to hurt feelings. I want peace.

But after recovering from depression last year — it’s a long story — I realized that pleasing people wasn’t leading me to the life I want to live. So I have two choices:

  1. Continue being a people pleaser.
  2. Stop it and start living the life I want to live.

My choice, of course, is to stop leasing people and start living the life I want for myself.

You think it’s easy? No. The transformation was damn hard. Some of my friends said I’ve changed.

Of course, I have.

Shouldn’t I value our friendship? Why did I hurt their feelings? Saying NO is like pushing them away — NO to drinking, NO to trivial conversations, NO to anything that doesn’t have real value. Sorry, but no.

If I say yes, that means I’m just doing it to please them, make them happy, and not hurt their feelings. If I say yes, that means I’m doing things that doesn’t make me feel happy. And if I say yes, that means I lied to myself.

If you’re lying to yourself, you’re not being you. And not being you, as Benjamin Hardy once said, is the real failure in life. The famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, also, echoed a similar perspective:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Making others happy is great. But if it doesn’t make you feel good, if it doesn’t teach good things to people, and if it doesn’t better yourself and others, then it’s useless. You’re just pleasing them.

Do it not because you want to please people, but because you know it’s the right thing to do. 

Stop pleasing. Say no if you don’t want it. Say yes if you have to. Do it for the right reasons.

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Jade Panugan

Some interesting questions about life and human behavior: What if there's no money? Why we often feel the urge to prove that we're right and others are wrong? Why we react to things beyond our control? Why we hate? Why it's hard to be content? I don't have all the answers, do you? Let's chat.