Ever get the feeling you’ve moved into a whole new territory in your life and it doesn’t feel all that comfortable?
It’s possibly been a while, maybe years even, but some time ago I realised just doing something because it would keep everyone else in my life happy, rather than doing it cos I wanted to was really not a great way to live.
Thing is though. It might sound more desirable to not care what others think and just be really focused on being true to ourselves and our own needs, but living it is not that simple, is it?
And you know I’m not talking about becoming a completely selfish and self-centred “b” word. I’m just saying it’s better in life to be clear about what works for us in terms of how we serve others and how we choose to spend our time. There is absolutely no value in running around doing for others and becoming just a teensy bit resentful in the process, if it’s not meeting our own needs in some way.
Okay, I’ll stop being vague and theoretical. Here’s an example:
Just the other day I received one of those sweet but slightly annoying Facebook chain messages (they used to come via email) from someone I genuinely like and admire. I appreciated the sentiments in the message and don’t doubt the sincerity of the person who sent it. But you know what? I can’t bring myself to pass these message on to the requisite number of people as instructed. Call me lazy, stubborn or mean, I just can’t do it.
Okay, here’s a confession: I have never participated in an email recipe sharing chain. There, I’ve said it.
And even though this isn’t the first time I’ve faced this dilemma, I wrestled with the decision for quite some time before letting it go.
Why? I hear you ask.
Well it’s because I love being liked and I hate receiving disapproval, even if it’s only imagined disapproval and the actual person never even expresses it to me. I regularly make the assumption that people think I’m awful for not complying one hundred percent to their expectations.
Is it just me that does this?
So to everyone I know and love, I’ll say it right here…I’m sorry if I accidentally offend or upset you by not doing what you expect or desire me to do.
I’m sorry but I’m also not sorry because it’s about time people like me stopped storing resentment and guilt like hidden badges of honour because we go out of our way to make sure we are liked in favour of protecting our own happiness and health.
“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare
No sure if you’re a people pleaser? Here’s five signs you might need a re-think on how you handle requests from others:
- You find yourself saying yes to invitations and requests when your inner voice is screaming “NO!”
- Your life is too busy to make time for exercise, relaxation and fun.
- You find yourself feeling annoyed when people for ask you for help.
- You feel as though your efforts to help others aren’t really acknowledged or appreciated.
- You often spend time worrying about whether you’ve said or done the right thing after spending time with friends and family.
If you answered, ‘yep’, to four out of five of these signs, then I would say you’re a natural born people pleaser. Do not fear though, help is at hand.
Simply begin pausing before you say yes, tune into your inner self and make sure this is really what,you want to do. And secondly, release the fear of disapproval. Your true friends and close family will still love you and they may even admire you more if you say no now and again.
Feel like talking it over with me in a coaching session? Take a look here and contact me for a chat before you make your appointment.
Much love, Tricia