From a recovering people pleaser. (Who relapses frequently.)
Are you a people pleaser? Do you go around hoping you are not upsetting anyone or not ruffling any feathers? Do you overthink everything that happened during your day if you did upset someone? Maybe their tone was wrong. You had a feeling. Things just seemed off.
As I grow older, I’m getting better, but I still get stuck in this place of wanting to make others happy more than myself at times. I know I should stay in my own lane. I know that I can’t control other people’s actions or reactions. But I worry and carry on anyway.
If this resonates with you, you may be a people pleaser. This is a super hard concept for a people pleasing person. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights were spent awake replaying events from the day. What could I have done differently? Why was my anxiety so bad? Why couldn’t my body just do what my brain wanted it to? Were they mad? Did I say or do something? It goes on and on.
The hard part as I get older is part of me knows that if I’m doing something I love and have fun with, I should keep doing it. Even if it doesn’t align with what everyone else thinks I should be doing. Even if it is out of the norm. The things that make me happy are what I should be doing whether anyone else thinks it’s a good idea or not.
People pleasers often look for their sense of success and accomplishment based on other people’s opinions and feedback. Man, I struggle with this. If I get a great response on a meditation class, if I get a great book review, my co-worker says, “way to go”. I am on top of the world. My confidence goes up, my mood is improved, and my overall being is happy. But what if someone doesn’t like something I did, there is a bad review, or one of the doctors thinks I did a subpar job because I couldn’t keep up and read his mind!? Oh boy, watch out because then world war three is exploding inside my head.
I instantly have a barrage of thoughts that include mostly beating myself up. It could even be over something small or minute. IF I am not perfect or don’t do a perfect job then what? Will the world stop turning? Nope. Will everyone else be talking about what a horrible job I did? Nope. Will I make up a bunch of crazy shit in my head that never happened and believe it? Yep. For no other reason, it seems, then to torture myself for not being perfect.
As I get older I am better at doing my own thing, in my own way, on my own time. I know that no one really gives a shit but me if I’m not perfect. I have learned we don’t have to please everyone, but that doesn’t mean it makes it easier.
What if we gave up the idea that everything we did had to be perfect? Or we knew that we couldn’t make everyone happy all the time. But then, taking it one step further and we’re okay with that! That’s where I drop the ball. Be OKAY with being ok. Be ok with the fact that we can’t be great at everything! Sometimes we have bad days and things that usually come to us with ease, suddenly become these overwhelming tasks that seem impossible.
Here are some reminders from a recovering PEOPLE PLEASER when you are stuck in your people pleaser mode.
No Matter how hard we try there will always be someone we can’t make happy. That is no longer your job. If you are living someone else’s expectations, you will never be satisfied or happy with where you are or what you have. Even if you are perfect there are some people who will never be happy with you or your work.
See number 1.
If you don’t live up to YOUR EXPECTATIONS, figure out what went wrong. Are your expectations realistic? What were your barriers? What could you learn and do differently the next time? Learn from your mistakes and MOVE ON! IF you need the rest of the day to be pissed off and upset, fine. I’ve been there (Just last night, actually). It happens, give yourself some time to be upset and then move on. The next day has a whole new 24 hours for you to start new.
Ouch! I’m sorry, what? In all honestly this one stings a little bit. But everyone is entitled to their own opinions. We all have different upbringings, experiences, values and expectations. All we can do is our best and be authentic. If someone doesn’t like you or what you have to say or stand for, why do you want to waste your time on someone who doesn’t care about you?
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes people pleasers are looked at as pushovers. If you don’t stand up for what you think or believe in, people are going to start being turned off by your willingness to comply and or go along with whatever is suggested.
If you need help making decisions. Check in with your core values. IF you can go along with an idea and it fits you and what you believe in, you’re safe. If you have a weird feeling in your stomach or something doesn’t feel right – say so. Don’t just go along for the ride because you don’t want to upset someone. Odds are they either won’t care or will appreciate your honesty. If they don’t see number 2.
My mind is ridiculous sometimes. I over think and over analyze everything. I will re-run small incidents in my life until I have made it out to be more than it needs to be. In these instances, I call one of my people. Most people have around 5 people that they are close with. Those people you can call no matter what. Judgment free- or- at least they will give it to your straight. Am I being crazy? They usually will be able to give you some clarity on whether you need to go on your overanalyzing or just to give it a rest. Usually, just hearing someone else minimalize it can put it to rest.
Those are my top seven tips for moving forward when you feel like you have let someone down, were not good enough, made someone upset, created waves in the water, or disagreed with someone.
Standing up for yourself is a positive trait. When you can be kind, caring and speak your piece, you will feel a sense of relief. Trying to please everyone all the time is exhausting and can sometimes bite you in the butt. So just stick to your values and goals and be a good human.
You got this,
ABOUT LAURALaura's passion in life is to help women live a life they love instead of by default. Her passion began as a nurse. She continues to be a nurse in the cardiac cath lab while coaching women to their greatest potential. In her spare time Laura loves being outside.