“Be good, be nice, be cool, share and care, don't be selfish, be reasonable, don't hurt others, help friends….”
Most of us have these values engraved within us, from childhood. The fact is, being nice is a good thing, and we can only wish that more people were nice(er)!
Then.. there are those “extremely nice” people, who are focused on wanting to please others to the detriment of their own needs. Dr. Harriet Braiker, in her book The Disease To Please classifies them as “people-pleasers”. At first glance, it may not even seem like a problem at all. In fact, the label people-pleaser may feel more like a compliment or a flattering self-description that you proudly wear as a badge of honor.
When being nice becomes a problem...1. You’re stressing over a lot of things you shouldn’t be stressing!
2. You fail to deal with a problem (avoiding confrontation).
3. You are unwilling to speak up for yourself
4. Your niceness may even blind you to the fact that you are being manipulated and exploited.
Why does it matter so much to please someone else?
The culture we humans have created for ourselves is mainly driven by “what other people think,” the tension between the desire for approval and the fear of disapproval. Businesses, families, friendships, sports, politics; everything is heavily influenced by it.
All of us from time to time have a tendency to wonder “what others might think”, so I am not speculating that everyone who thinks this way is a people-pleaser! However, some tend to go overboard with it and as a result, self-esteem is all tied up with how much they do for others.
Overcoming a People-Pleasing Mindset1. Accept That You Can’t Make Everyone Happy
I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill CosbyRe-examine the idea that you always have to be nice. Often it is based on the belief that if you act and think nicely, then bad things won’t happen to you. Unfortunately, believing in the absolute power of niceness doesn’t work, because life isn’t always fair. Some people may not like you, for reasons beyond your control, or even because you are simply “too nice” for them.
So stop beating yourself up for trying to do the impossible. Recognize that the most important, effective and lasting approval is your acceptance of yourself. Look to your own judgments and values.
2. Focus on your own best interest instead of avoiding conflict
Learn that it is OK not to be nice, that you can say negative things and have negative thoughts or feelings toward others.
Give yourself permission to express anger appropriately, since continually suppressed anger can lead to frustration that can ultimately erupt in an explosion of aggression.
3. Don't wait, stop looking and let go!(if only it was that easy!)
Jonathan meticulously points out in his post The Secret to Happiness: Stop Caring, that everything we need is right here, right now, in the present moment. Most of us fail to realize this and look "outward" to find happiness.
4. Stop and ask the question “What do I want?”
Take time to ask your self what YOU really want BEFORE telling yourself that you should always put other people first.
Is this an issue you have experienced before? How did you get past the "people-pleasing" mindset?
- Give Up The Guilt. You’re Not A Bad Person
- If You Want To Be Understood.......
- 7 Ways – How NOT to Annoy People
- Expectations: Is It A Human Weakness?
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