Image Caption: Repost of a @soberinthesun Instagram post
If you are like a large swathe of the population and are a ‘people pleaser’ then I am sorry to say it but you are probably not a nice person. You are probably not a bad person either. Hold on, I’ll explain more.
When you have an in-built need to please people then you don’t do things for the right reason. You do something which is ‘nice’ or ‘thoughtful’ because you hope it will make people perceive you as nice, or thoughtful.
In my case, people pleasing came from a lack of self confidence.
I was perpetually terrified about what people thought of me. Scared of confrontation and letting people down. I always wanted to be viewed favourably and god forbid if I disappointed anyone. I would lie awake, with what I now realise is paranoia, running through stories of what people were thinking about me or our last interaction. This is also tied to other people’s visual perception of me: I used to walk down the street and wonder if the person walking towards me thought I was fat or cute or lazy because I was overweight or funny looking…. this went on and on, it consumed me. You wouldn’t think it because I seem pretty confident, but it’s true. I realise now that it's because I never thought I was good enough.
Then 2016 came along, and with it came some realisations. Firstly about the people around me, then about myself, and this caused a knock on effect to my every day life.
It all came about because I realised:
People are not wasting their time thinking about me at all, mainly because they are too worried about what I’m thinking about them.
I have absolutely no control over what someone else is thinking and why they are thinking it.
Thoughts in their head have no real impact on me because it is THEIR thoughts and those thoughts are in THEIR head.
I will never know the real truth unless they decide to open their mouth and vocalise their opinion. And if they do actually have an opinion about me, it is so bogged down with their own pre-conceived ideas, personal issues and thoughts about how the world should be/ look that it would be CRAY CRAY to even think their ill-informed opinion was valid.
Oh and the realisation about me was this: I AM GOOD ENOUGH
Why on earth would I let the fabricated thoughts that may be going through someone else’s head affect me? And if those thoughts are vocalised then why let them hurt me? Every human being is so seriously affected, impressioned and issue-laden because of the weird-ass stuff they have seen/ been part of when they were growing up. Don’t heed a word of nasty rubbish that spills out their mouth.
Now you are saying: “I can’t help but be hurt by what they think. Their thoughts and words are MEAN!”
But actually, you can. STOP. Take two minutes to try and figure out why this person sees you this way? What were they told by their mum when they were little? What were their mum told by their mum? What has media told them? Were they bullied? Are they going through something? Do they need to have the power in the situation? Is that always the case? Why is that?
When you take some time to understand the motives behind why someone might have said something, their harsh words become less venomous. You almost start to feel sorry for the person that only 2 minutes ago, hurt your feelings.
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. NOTHING OTHERS DO IS BECAUSE OF YOU. WHAT YOU SAY AND SO IS A PROJECTION OF THEIR OWN REALITY, THEIR OWN DREAM. WHEN YOU ARE IMMUNE TO THE OPINIONS AND ACTIONS OF OTHERS, YOU WON'T BE THE VICTIM OF NEEDLESS SUFFERING.
- DON MIGUEL RUIZ
When you spend a bit of time wondering why people might do/ say things you don’t understand….
When you stop to recognise what they could have been through to colour their view of the world….
When you realise you have very little control over how they think…
The insults don’t tend to hurt anymore. When I started adopting this method it stopped me worrying about WHAT other’s may be thinking about me and got me intrigued as to WHY they might be thinking it.
This helped when talking to strangers, walking down the street, even to when dealing with trolls on-line. The big bad world wasn’t so bad anymore.
But closer to home, this way of thinking helped my relationships with my friends and family also. When you stop worrying what people think of you, you stop doing things because you want that person to see you in the ‘right’ way. This makes relationships more authentic. You start to do things for loved ones because it is the right thing to do, or it is because you love them and you want them to have a happy life. It has nothing to do with you anymore, your ego is out of the equation.
You start to be nice and thoughtful because you are just that: nice and thoughtful.
If you think you are a people pleaser then read this. It’s scarily spot on: https://thecoffeelicious.com/the-problem-with-being-a-people-pleaser-6a9714c6c8a1
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