I get it.
I hate it when people don’t like me.
Or even the thought that they might not like me.
I also hate letting people down.
Not meeting their expectations.
When people are mad at me.
I wholeheartedly understand the desire to people-please.
But I also understand that it leads to resentment.
Loss of originality.
That it turns me into vanilla ice cream.
I want to help you all drop people-pleasing and embrace who you are.
It’s so. Freeing.
It will improve your relationships, help you make good friends, and most importantly it will help you love who you are.
Who you actually are.
What people pleasing isn’t
Oftentimes people pleasers have this belief that they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, because they want to help as many people as they can.
I am certainly not saying to stop helping people.
What I’m saying is to stop helping people for the wrong reasons.
For example, say your neighbor Kristen comes to you for the 3rd time this month, frazzled because she needs you to watch her kids.
If what goes through your head is, “ugh, are you serious? I can’t handle this today. I have way too much to do and she’s really just taking advantage of me at this point… but, I don’t want her to think I’m rude so I guess I’ll do it.”
THAT is people-pleasing. It’s manipulating your own actions so that other people will “like” you or “approve of you”.
Now, you can still say yes in this situation and have it be far from people pleasing.
Your thoughts would look like: “well, I don’t really feel like doing this but I love Kristen. I know she would understand if I had to say no, but I really can probably make that work. It’s no big deal.”
Or, if the answer is a no for you, you say something like, “I’m sorry Kristen I really hope you find someone, but I can’t today. But I love you and don’t hesitate to ask in the future. I will always say yes when I am able.”
See how people-pleasing is a mindset rather than a series of actions?
self-respect and people pleasing
Often the reason we people please is because we aren’t putting ourselves at an equal importance with other people.
You also don’t trust them or yourself to find another solution to the problem.
Kristen may say to you, “if you don’t watch them I will have no one else to take them to.”
But that is manipulation. Kristen just knows if she pushes hard enough you will eventually say yes and cancel all of your things and forget taking care of yourself.
But guess what? If you were the type of person that said no when you need to say no, and stuck to it, Kristen would find another solution.
She really would.
It might not be a good one, but that really isn’t your problem.
I know some of you may think this is selfish, but I like to think of it as self-respecting.
We are allowed to set boundaries and stick to them with no further explanation.
All or nothing Thinking
I can just hear one of you saying, “so I just shouldn’t worry about anyone else and just focus on myself all the time and take bubble baths all day to take care of “me”?”
I am not saying that.
I am also not saying you need to sacrifice everything about yourself to try and fit the expectations of others.
There is middle ground, I promise.
But YOU have to decide what that is.
Maybe you ALWAYS say yes to Kristen unless there is an emergency.
Maybe you decide you will watch her kids once a week but no more than that.
Maybe you decide in the moment if you feel up to it or not and you trust yourself after the decision is made.
See how many things there are in between all and nothing? I encourage you to find that for yourself.
No decision is more moral than the other. Trust that you know what is right.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Switching gears a little, people-pleasing can totally lead us to losing all sense of orignality.
Pretty much everyone likes vanilla ice cream, right?
But there aren’t many people who LOVE it. Who think it’s to die for. Who exclaim with joy after a bite of vanilla ice cream.
Those exclamations come after a bite of mint-chocolate chip ice cream.
Well, not for me.
But definitely for my sister and my dad.
I exclaim after a bite of double or triple chocolate flavor, or cookie dough ice cream!
For my husband it’s anything caramel or cinnamon.
By trying to please everyone, we lessen the strength of our flavor, turning a colorful bowl of ice cream into lite vanilla.
By accepting that you aren’t for everyone, that some people just don’t like mint-chocolate chip, you can find the people who love you.
ADORE you even.
Dropping people-pleasing & self-love
As we drop people-pleasing and deadening our flavors, we can love ourselves even more.
Because there’s something to love!
You have infused yourself with flavor and you can start to see the things you are passionate about, the things you stand for, and the things you live for.
I love that I say what’s on my mind.
I love that I bring up topics that make people uncomfortable.
Occasionally I question that, but it’s me! I don’t want to change it.
And other people love it while some hate it.
And that’s totally okay.
What do you love about your flavor? Let me know in the comments section below!
I love you all, thank you for reading. Stay calm.