Discovering yourself to reveal, in and off yourself, the simple or complex paths that intertwine with the person we have been, we are, and will become. It’s the ability to accept ourselves, to let our vocation to make, share and receive goodness flow from within. Embrace each other to find the simplest and most beautiful ways to connect with yourself and with each other. Find peace and keep it flowing.
First of all, I want to make it very clear that this text refers to those people who are always looking to PLEASE others, even if they dislike it. They have difficulty saying no, rejecting something, doing everything for others.
I must also say that, at first, there’s no problem in wanting to please those who we love, like a child, our parents, or a special friend. To see their smile stamped on their faces, or still get a treat, who doesn’t like it? The problem is when the person lives in order to please others. It’s one thing to please a person by pleasing oneself, another thing is to please only by pleasing.
Many people don’t realize it, but they have a great need to always please everyone, which makes them make decisions thinking about the approval of others and not their real convictions. If this is your case, know that you don’t need this to keep those you love around, for your value lies precisely in being a unique individual. Also, trying to please others will be at risk of losing your essence and displeasing the most important person in all this: you.
We all have a purpose in life
When we are born, we know that we have a life purpose, perhaps unconscious, but we know it. Each being is born with a mission, and when we start home education, we are blocked, our greater purpose is erased for a time, to receive what our parents think correct. That’s when everything begins. I’m not saying that our parents are wrong or anything, but it’s the first time we see what we want and other people’s expectations.
When we try to please everyone, we end up failing to please ourselves. How many times have we said YES to others saying NO to ourselves? How often do we sacrifice our will, our desires and our feelings to please someone?
Being in constant search for the acceptance of others is toxic. We always feel incomplete and dissatisfied with ourselves, when in fact we are perfect and we have so much to thank for. In our lives, what we conquer is for ourselves or for others? This is a question we need to ask ourselves occasionally.
It can also be deceiving
Pleasing others is not a fault. On the contrary, individuals who like to please tend to become loved by the people around them. Pleasure brings a return, either for the happiness of the other, or for the personal satisfaction of doing something good. The problem, however, is when this act is not spontaneous and becomes an obligation. At this point, maybe it's time to look for a psychologist to understand why there’s an extreme need to please the whole world.
There’s a type of personality (in both men and women) who have created for themselves a specific way of being accepted in a group and this form is by pleasing everyone. They usually stand out for being great friends, hosts, employees.
We notice that these people are happy to help, to leave everything in harmony. They can hardly stand to see discord or resentment and want to help as soon as possible. And if discord is involving this person, get out of the way, because she won’t rest until she can’t apologize or convince the person that she wasn’t to blame. But beware, they don’t do this out of kindness, out of charity, but out of need to be rewarded, either through recognition or praise. The proof of this is that if they do something good and someone doesn’t thank them, they are resentful inside.
It’s impossible to please everyone
Pleasing others without pleasing yourself can be detrimental to the individual's emotions and something that should be pleasurable becomes a burden. People who need to please can become insecure, depressed, anxious, have low self-esteem and cannot decide for themselves, always needing the opinion of the other.
Some religious people say that not even Jesus please everyone. That’s the way things are. Someone won’t like the clothes you chose to work on that day, someone won’t approve the photo you posted on the Instagram. Someone won’t accept your opinion.
When we consider our values, principles, the act of not pleasing everyone and have the courage to be who we are, the world shines and inner transformation happens. It’s not easy, because we have grown up with people telling us to please as many people as possible. As adults, this is an extra weight in our luggage that we don’t need to carry. We must go deep in our search for self-knowledge, to know what we do to please someone, and what we do for ourselves.
It’s a balance between what we want and what other people want
It's important to make it clear there are situations where you need to get along with people you don’t like and who may not like you too, like at work, for example. However, this should not be a reason to shake you. It’s enough that you have a cordial and educated relationship to deal with the matters that are necessary without coming into conflict. The good professional is one who can relate to everyone around him so that he falls into the work he’s doing and any disagreement on matters outside of work is superfluous and irrelevant.
Over time, people who constantly seek approval from others enter a vicious circle from which it’s difficult to leave. Not only because they get used to someone validating their decisions, but also because others will put pressure, and they act knowing that they will need their opinions.
Pleasing everyone can become a problem when:
You always expect something in return/There’s no return and there’s frustration.
This pair is dangerously venomous and if you feed it, the poison will first harm you and then it will cause you to externalize it in some way.
Letting go of your will and your own desires
Don’t stop practicing your hobby, drinking that beer on Friday after work or other activities that you cherish, to pay attention or do something you clearly don’t want, just to please. Of course, if it’s something you already do with a certain frequency with a particular person, gradually learn to say no in a less abrupt way. Something like: "I'm sorry, but today I won’t be able to do this because I need time to plan to go back to studying Italian, because it's something that I enjoyed when I had the habit".
Without realizing it, others abuse this person
Exercising the “no” followed by a brief apology and a justification related to something you need to do for yourself can help drop those people who act as parasites.
You can no longer identify what you like
If you realize this, take at least one day to do nothing specific and start doing a mental exercise:
Close your eyes, imagine a movie screen. On that screen, imagine a scene of something that as a child/teenager you loved to do. Allow the feeling to flow through you. As you feel it flowing, change the picture to adult moments and go scanning your memories following the attunement of that feeling.
The person shows signs of low self-esteem, anxiety, stress and other emotional problems
In that case, I recommend that you seek a psychologist or psychotherapist to assist you. The sooner you seek professional help, the easier it may be for you to treat it.
One of the most liberating things we can learn in life is that just as we don’t have to like everyone, we don’t have to like each other either. After all, in a world with billions of people, it’s natural that we have more or less affinities with some people. So, the fact that someone doesn’t like you doesn’t make you inferior to anyone, because it’s a simple matter of compatibility.
Taking into account the respectful and educated coexistence, follow the following tips to break this habit of always wanting to please others.
Don’t let every little thing bother you
When someone criticizes you, they’re not necessarily disapproving you. It’s important to know how to differentiate the disapproval from an attitude of rejection of the person itself. The fact that someone has a different opinion of yours in relation to politics or any other subject, for example, doesn’t mean that she disapproves you completely.
Constantly seeking the approval of others means always being afraid that others are forming a bad opinion of you. This makes you feel vulnerable and a victim of yourself, because you always wonder if others are happy with you or not. This puts an end to the fun, creativity, kindness and spontaneity of life.
Instead of punishing yourself and judging your behavior as inappropriate, start treating yourself the same way you deal with a dear friend, for you also deserve affection.
From time to time, you also have to please and be proud of yourself, although not everyone approves of your desires and aspirations. This is not being selfish, but rather the opposite. A person who is satisfied with himself and feels good is much more helpful to others because he is happier and more willing to live.
Focus on what is right and on being yourself
The mindset of a group can force us to do what they suppose we should do, but that’s not always the right thing to do. In order not to go against the current, many choose to satisfy the herd, even if it seems incorrect.
This gets you into a dynamic in which you become a person alienated from others, loses personality and your ability to make decisions. Get rid of that, focus on what you consider to be right, analyze your philosophy, your goals, and be yourself.
Be the best version of yourself every day! Just limit yourself to always wanting to be more!
Allow yourself to explore your senses, allow yourself to know more about yourself with each change.
Change... change... change! Yes, defend your essence! Don’t lose yourself in who you are, but be, every day, your own unique and spectacular version of yourself.
In this way, you will always know the direction in which life leads you and the opinions of others will never confuse your heart, for you will know exactly who you are today and who you can be tomorrow. You will know what awaits you and will live a new day every day!
No matter what happens, you're always going to have the people who love you.
Seeking approval ends up being an attempt to gain and maintain a sense of control. If we can make people "happy" by being what we imagine they want us to be, then we won’t be despised or abandoned.
However, you can’t control everyone's thinking, and you can’t please everyone at all. Regardless of what you do, there will always be someone who disapproves or doesn’t understand your decisions. No one has a green ticket that everyone will like, and even if they did, there will always be some who prefer a blue or yellow ticket.
At a certain time, we will get tired of getting lost in the way of being or not being. The opening of the curtains reveals how sad it is to see life go by without us being present. I even believe we begin to live when we decide to stop trying to please the audience, or at least when we find a genuine way to please ourselves together and assume that perhaps it’s not so dangerous for us to be happy.