Now I know you may be thinking, “How in the world is people pleasing selfish? It is all about making other people happy. Wouldn’t it be self-LESS?”
Not in my opinion. I share why below . . .
Why being a people pleaser is selfish
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?
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 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 or trying to strategize your actions to appease others.
Clarification: I am all for being a considerate and generous person. And 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.
You may think being a people pleaser makes you a “good” person and is perhaps even a generous or loving way to be. Nope. 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.
Remember this: 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 took HALF of the time and energy you invest in people pleasing back? Stop contorting yourself to be what you think others want or expect. 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 do that you will have an overflow from which to give from and you will be able to give without attachment or expectation.
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 God.
Have the courage to stop fearing what other people think of you, your choices, and their reactions.
People pleasing is selfish, be self-honoring instead. And the interesting thing is that the more you please yourself, the more pleasing you will be to other people. @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of KaLisa Veer.