Are you concerned about what other people think of you? Do you often make decisions based on what you think will please others? Does your sense of self-worth come from the approval of others? Do you often withhold from sharing what you truly want, think or feel because of fear it may upset someone? Are you often last on your list of priorities? Are you constantly seeking approval and validation from outside sources?
Believe me, you are not alone. Our egos love to be liked, approved and validated. It is natural to want to fit in and not “upset others” because it feels safer. All it takes is one small experience of feeling criticized, not liked, thinking we’ve upset someone, or getting tons of praise and validation for making others happy to develop people pleasing as a bad habit.
People pleasing is a terrible investment because it depletes your most valuable resources: your time and energy.
Just think about how much energy you waste by obsessing about what other people think of you. Add up all the time you lose by engaging and taking actions that are 100% motivated to please someone else and you’ll see how people pleasing may have become a part-time (or even full-time) job!
Clarification: I am all for being a considerate person, choosing loving actions and being of service. It feels wonderful to love others! But being and acting from love is NOT people pleasing. People pleasing is different because there is an attachment to someone else’s reaction and/or a motivation to please in order to avoid an undesired negative response or judgment or get a positive one. Trying to please others is not only a bad investment, it also moves you further and further away from the truth of who you are because you are contorting yourself in order to appease others.
You may think being a people pleaser makes you a “good” person and is perhaps even a generous or loving way to be. But I strongly disagree. From my point of view it’s selfish to be a people pleaser. Why? Because being attached to pleasing others is really about you. You are the one who wants to be liked. You are the one who does not want to upset anyone. You are the one who wants to look good for others. You are the one who is not okay with other people’s reactions. You are the one protecting yourself from confrontation. And you are the one who is choosing to withhold expressing who you TRULY are. And by doing all of those things, you are keeping Yourself, your Light and your Love from the world – and that is selfish.
What other people think of you is none of your business. Obsessing about how to please others or be liked is a misuse of your energy.
Just imagine for a moment what you could create in your life if you even took HALF of the time and energy you invest in people pleasing back? Think of the time you’d have to brainstorm about your career, getting your finances in order or nurturing your relationships. Consider the energy you’d have to spend on your creative endeavors and overall well-being. And realize the amount of focus you could direct back toward your relationship with yourself and with the Universe. See yourself now reclaiming all that time and energy you expend on being over-responsible for others or working to impress others and refocus it on being of service without attachment, sharing your gifts, taking care of you and expressing your true Self!!!
Trust me, when you do that you will have an overflow from which to give from and you will be able to give without attachment or expectation. That is why on airplanes they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE you go to help someone else.
No one else determines your worth.
No one else can dictate what you deserve.
Other people’s reactions, responses and feelings are not your responsibility.
Someone else’s opinion of you is not the Truth.
Your value does not come from how others perceive you.
What other people think of you is none of your business. YOUR business is between you and your Self and you and the Universe.
Have the courage to stop fearing what other people think of you, your choices, and their reactions. That fear is stopping you from being you and the greatest gift we truly give others is when we share authentically from our heart. And the interesting thing is that the more you like yourself, the more pleasing you will be to other people.
Christine Hassler is a Life Coach with a counseling emphasis known for catalyzing radical self-reflection while offering practical direction. She is passionate about busting the myth that life is about living by a checklist and having it all figured out. In 2005, she wrote the first guidebook written exclusively for young women, entitled 20 Something 20 Everything. Christine’s second book, The 20 Something Manifesto written for men and women stems from her experience coaching twenty-something’s. Her third book: Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love and Life comes out in October 2014 and is written for readers of all ages. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post and Cosmo. As a Gen Y Expert, and is a spokesperson for American Express and the key resource for their women’s and millennial advocacy programs. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.