Pleasing Others Doesn’t Pay Off At All

The moment you realize that you are the most important person in your life, your focus will change and you will be able to accomplish many more things than you might have otherwise been able to. In the long run, trying to please others won’t pay off. As you try to please other people, you forget to take care of your own needs and interests. As a result you expect to be happy, but in the end you are disappointed. It is impossible for anyone to be responsible for all of the things that are necessary for your own health, happiness, and well-being, and we should all assume this responsibility. In situations where you don’t have the ability to do certain things, when you are overwhelmed or when your limits are exceeded, it is normal to say “No”. The reality is that if you think that you are incapable of doing something, there is no harm in saying “no” if this is the case. Trying to please others will solve a situation in the short run, but in the long run it will lead to many additional burdens, both for you and for the others involved. 

People-pleasers have many reasons for wanting to please others, including fear that they will be rejected, insecurities, the need to be liked, and a lack of confidence in their abilities. It is a hallmark trait of people-pleasers that they seek approval and validation from others as part of the approval process. Rather than seeking validation within himself, a person looks for it everywhere else. Generally speaking, most women are being taught to be more passive and less aggressive; a woman who is known for pleasing others will not likely be labelled as difficult. These stereotypes are influencing our way of behaving and of expressing ourselves. There is a certain social pressure for certain categories for pleasing others and it is not that easy to escape all these social norms and to behave differently.

The reality is that it takes a long process of building identity, knowing who you are and what you are capable of, in order to assume the courage to say “No” and the risk not to please others. You do not have to be wrong in wanting to be liked by others, if you want to enjoy their presence, however, when your main goal is to please other people constantly, it usually means that you will not be true to yourself, even if it means that you will betray your own integrity. There may be a situation in which you gain more respect from someone if you are not willing to comply with what they require of you, than if you were to comply with what they ask for.  

There is no doubt that constantly being nice can be one of the worst things to experience in life, as one of them is the extreme pressure you feel to constantly maintain your self-image. It feels good to be able to avoid negative feelings and get the attention of other people because of being a saint. However, there is a cost associated with this addiction: chronic stress is one of its side effects. When you’re a people-pleaser, no one really knows who you are at your core. You cannot be trusted if you do not demonstrate your authenticity, even though you are trying to please others despite your lack of authenticity. 

Everyone should learn the value of boundaries from an early age. As a result, you will be able to determine whether the needs and requests of certain others are within the parameters of what is reasonable for them, but also reasonable for you. A person’s boundaries are very much determined by their identity and the strength they possess within themselves. Changing one’s identity and personality is not an easy task, but when you take the time to identify the triggers of your reactions, it will be easier for you to focus on what is beneficial and healthy for you. 

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