Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Problem with being a People Pleaser

What's the problem with being a people pleaser? Actually, it seems there are plenty of problems--plural--with trying to please everyone, but for some reason this is one habit I just can't let go of. The logical part of me knows that I don't have to hang so much of my own happiness on the satisfaction of others, so why can't I just convince myself that it's ok to stop trying for some people?

I feel like I've made a bit of a break through this week, but truth be told, I'm trying to talk myself into this theory even as I write. So if you would like to share any words of wisdom on the topic, I would really appreciate it. 

The cruelest irony that I've discovered recently is that the people who are the least likely to ever be pleased by anyone seem to be the very same people that I most want to appease. Set in their ways and eternally pessimistic, they just drain the life right out of those around them. Why in the world do I keep trying to please that type of person?!? I don't mean to! Sometimes I swear they're drawn to me, maybe in some twisted sort  of game they play, or maybe in some desperate attempt to interact with someone who won't give up on them. Other times, I think it's my own subconscious at fault. It's as if I'm attempting to change the system by changing that one person who needs it the most. Or as if that person's approval would be the ultimate evidence of my worth. Whatever the reason, I keep finding myself in conversations, collaborations, and partnerships with these people, and I need an escape! 

I'm finally admitting to myself that I just can't keep trying to make some of these people happy, but how do you just stop trying, and what do you focus on instead? Any advice from fellow--or former--people pleasers out there?