People Pleasing is easily one of the most common worries to consume the human mind.
On one level, very understandable we are wired to connect. It is in our nature to be a part of our tribe our community, excommunication may have been met with disaster in the older times of human existence. When an infant and parent look into each other’s eyes, it creates the most amazing feeling, fueled by oxytocin (the natural love drug) mixed with amounts of dopamine. This is to ensure the survival of infants. So perhaps we could argue we are wired to please our caregivers and partners. Pleasing becomes problematic when we hurt ourselves in order to please others. In schema based therapy we would call this ‘Subjugation’ subjugating our own needs for the sake of someone else’s. Here is a story for you.
A father, son and their donkey were travelling to the markets. A young man walked passed them and commented, “What’s the point of having a donkey if no one is going to ride him?” So the young boy hoped onto the donkey’s back. Another passerby commented, “That’s terrible the young boy should be walking and favouring his elder”. So the son and father swapped places. Travelling along, another commented, “That poor donkey he looks exhausted”. And so the father hopped off the donkey and they were how they originally started on the their travels to the market.
The moral of this tale is: at least if you please yourself, you at least please one person.
Muster your courage and look for an authentic solution. Authenticity starts with being honest to yourself and those who are significant in your life. Authenticity is definitely not about being perfect, its about being ‘just yourself’.