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Please Stop People-Pleasing

Please Stop People-Pleasing

OK, the jig is up. I’m just a post-four-eyed brace-face trying to prove that I’m not so much of the dork that I used to be.

If there is anything I know about myself, it’s that I’ve been a people-pleaser since day one. Although I’ve always been like that, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a bad thing, or if it even works to make other people pleased. One thing I do know: I’ve discovered the one person it has stopped working for: myself.

These are the reasons I think I people-please:

  1. As noted above, I wasn’t exactly the coolest kid on the block…
    Growing up, I wanted to be that girl that every girl wanted to be best friends with, and the girl that every guy wanted to date. I knew how shallow these desires were, but falling below these absurd standards that I had for myself was something that always made me feel so incredibly incomplete. I guess I felt like if I wasn’t wanted, then why should I want anything to do with myself either?
  2. I think people-pleasing is my form of justification toward everyone that has come into and gone from my life.
    This has to be the biggest battle I fight over with myself. It’s just so difficult for me to grasp the burned bridges in my life. Whether or not I’m the cause of this heated animosity, it fires me up that these bridges were burned in the first place. The people in my life I weigh so heavily. Going off of No. 1, these people made me feel wanted and to have that feeling taken away from me? That just makes me realize that this is a fight I need to put to an end, because at this point, what is there to win?
  3. By people-pleasing, I can assure myself that the people that have entered my life will stay there.
    I think this is what I thought I could win by people-pleasing. But the truth is, what’s the point of winning over other people if I have neglected to win over myself?
  4. And if I can prove myself to someone else, wouldn’t that, in turn, prove myself to myself?
    That’s what I initially thought. I thought by winning other people over, I could win over myself and be confident in who I am. But I’m starting to realize that the more I revolve my life around pleasing people, the less pleased I am with myself.

Maybe this is an extreme case, but it seems that at the rate I’m going, I could even wind up hating myself for this bad habit of mine. Why? Because I am driving myself up the walls by fixating on what it will take for everyone else to like me. I am constantly placing myself on the shelf, if that is what it will take to be liked by someone else.

But is it really worth it? Because, ironically enough, maybe treating myself this way will simply cause me to burn a bridge with myself. And shouldn’t that be something that would bother me if not more than burning bridges with others?

I think it’s completely valid to want to be liked. But it shouldn’t be taken to the extent of disliking ourselves because we’ve become so busy making sure we’re liked by everyone else.

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I need to accept that not everyone is going to like me. Falling out with people that at one point did like me is natural and inevitable. My dad has always reminded me that in this world, not everyone is going to like me. As he would say, “Fine, you don’t like me? Your loss.”

So darlings, if there’s someone out there who sees us as anything less than darling—their loss. It’s just not worth losing ourselves for the sake of someone else.

Ella

Ella lives in New York City and eats a Chipotle sofrita bowl once a week. When she was four, she wanted to be Posh Spice when she grew up. (And for the record, she hasn't ruled out that option just yet)
Ella
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