I am a people pleaser to my core — straddling a hard line of being authentic and not making any waves among those I love or who I want to love me. Recently, I came to the realization that I do a great job truthfully representing who I am, but I am not honest about how I feel if I believe it will affect someone’s opinion of me.
But here’s what I’m discovering: It’s okay for people to be wrong about me.
In fact, if I’m only doing things because I don’t want there to be any negative feelings of me out there in the world (which is a huge burden to carry, am I right?) then the people I am pleasing are wrong about me. The kindness and generosity they think I represent is actually a misrepresentation due to my inability to say “no” or to allow negative opinions to surface.
People pleasing is not showing kindness. If people are asking me to do something and I’m smiling saying “yes,” but am resenting them on the inside for violating my time or “making me” feel used, then I am only saying “yes” because I care about their opinions or how I look.
In other words, people pleasing is simply not respecting myself or the other person enough to be honest and tell the truth.
It makes me a liar!
Woah. Liar. The word that gives me the ickiest feeling in the world — the word that I try to avoid at all costs — actually labels me when I am living my life from a place that inauthentically pleases others.
This is why I stopped — or at least am working on letting my yes be yes, and my no be no. People need to be able to trust that! Sure, the look I get when I say “no” hurts me, but the feeling I have from saying “yes” and later resenting that person is much worse.
I am now honest about how I feel in certain situations, and if I ever get to the point where I have to “stand up for myself” then that says more about me than the other person. It tells me that I’m not being honest with my emotions and feelings or we would have never arrived at a place where I would need to stand up for myself. (See my post on boundaries here).
So, for those of you who let other’s opinions impact how you live your life, take back the control! Your happiness and self-worth are much more important than a few negative beliefs from others. Besides, it’s harder to break habits later than to set the tone now. Be authentically you both in how you show up in the world and how you express your thoughts and emotions.
Tell me in the comments if you plan to join me and stop people pleasing!