Everybody wants to be accepted in this world. Whether it be the 13 year old boy who gets his ear pierced to be cool or the prisoner who gets in a brawl his first day so that no one will mess with him; everyone wants to be accepted.
I grew up with an almost obsessive need to make sure the people around me were feeling okay. I even made it a point to treat each of my stuffed animals with equal respect so they wouldn’t “feel sad.” I’m not quite sure where it came from, but the point is that early on, I became a people pleaser. This was my way of being accepted. I thought that if I could say the right thing, help the person feel better, or make them laugh, then that meant they liked me. And if I could do that with everyone, then they would all like me…right?
As it turned out, no. The older I got, the more I learned how impossible my childhood goal was. No matter what decision we make, there will always be two sides. One side will agree with us and be happy with it, and the other will disagree and judge us negatively for it. Can you think of a situation in your life where this has happened to you?
If you have, then you live the Perilous Life of a People Pleaser. A never ending search for universal happiness seems like a fruitless life. However, I believe that you can put a positive spin on it. To find that spin, lets go back to the original reason people want to please others in the first place~ acceptance.
The BIGGEST misconception of the People Pleasers is that if they don’t make everyone around them happy, then they will not be accepted by everyone. This misconception actually blinds us to the fact that people are in charge of their own happiness, and that our entire personality is not judged by them for simply failing to please them in one situation or another.
THE TAKEAWAY: If you live the life of a people pleaser, you may have suffered from the fear that those who you don’t make happy will leave you. But if acceptance was what you were looking for in the first place, just realize that you ARE accepted and one mistake will not make or break who you are. Remember, other people are responsible for making themselves happy just as much as you are for making yourself happy. The perilous life does have to lead to your peril, you have a choice.