Lots of people get confused about people-pleasing and whether or not they’re doing it.
They say things like:
“I just like making people happy.”
“I’m just being kind.”
“If I don’t do what my family wants, they’ll be hurt.”
Okay… let’s break this down.
People-pleasing is doing something for others in order to get (or prevent) a particular reaction from them.
“Genuine kindness” is doing something for others with ZERO expectation of them responding or reacting or thinking of you in any particular way. This is YOU doing something just because it feels good to YOU.
For instance, if you watch your neighbor’s kids for them at a moment’s notice while they run to the grocery store… you may or may not be people-pleasing. It depends on your reason for doing it.
If your neighbor comes home, grabs their kids, and doesn’t say a word to you… how would you react?
Would you get pissy, thinking, “Wow… they could have at least said ‘thank-you’”?
Or did you feel good knowing you helped them out and had compassion and love for them with zero concern for their thoughts about you or whether they appreciated you?
If the latter, congratulations, that’s genuine kindness. You’re not people-pleasing… but you’re probably also a monk.
The truth is… we all have tendencies of people-pleasing.
We all want people to like and appreciate us… and THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.
It only becomes a problem when we do it at the expense of our own well-being.
When you constantly have things you’d rather be doing… if you resent and regret the things you do for others… if you blame other people for your inability to accomplish the things you need to do… then, sister… you’re a chronic people-pleaser… and you need to stop.
People-pleasing is a form of self-sabotage and it’s getting in the way of you being able to live a life that’s aligned with your values, hopes, and dreams. You’re not living in integrity with yourself and that feels like shit.
Not to mention, you’re wasting your life trying to get other people to think about you in a way that you WISH you were thinking of yourself.
Let me repeat that:
You’re trying to get other people to think about you in a way that you’re NOT thinking about yourself… but you wish you were.
The answer, my dear, is to practice thinking those thoughts about yourself until they become your default, habitual thinking… and stop wasting your fucking time trying to get other people to think that way about you.
Because you know what?
You can’t control other people anyway. You can’t change their thoughts. You can’t change their behavior.
They’re gonna do and think what they do and think, regardless of how YOU are and how YOU behave.
Focus on what you CAN control:
1. The way you think about yourself.
2. How you choose to spend your time.
3. Choosing the people whose opinions you truly care about.
And that last one should be a short fucking list.
Remember, you get to decide how much you people-please and whether it works for you. If you love reacting when people don’t appreciate you, if you enjoy pining for the love you’re not giving yourself, if you enjoy feeling like a doormat… then by all means… keep doing it.
But, if you don’t like how it feels and you want to stop, I can help you. I specialize in helping people discover their shitty old thoughts and beliefs, let them go, and start thinking beautiful new thoughts. It’s SUPER fun!
Reach out to me at email@example.com with the subject line “I want to stop people-pleasing”. We’ll chat about what you want and need in your life and make a plan on how to create that. I’ve helped dozens of people-pleasers improve their lives. I’d love to help you, too!