There’s nothing I hate more than feeling useless. Uselessness garners worthlessness. Worthlessness fosters a slew of depressing images of yourself. It’s all of those things that make me work overtime to avoid them. My fear of feeling normal, ego-checking emotions imprisons me in the position of the perpetual people pleaser.
I never noticed my tendency to try to please others until someone pointed it out a couple of years ago, then I resented it. I resented what it was and I resented having a label. I didn’t want to admit to needing people, to being caught in an ugly egg-and-chicken cycle of needing to be around others and then needing to please them enough to make them stay. Yet…
Learning to embrace my faults only strengthens my qualities. Yeah, life loves throwing in catches like that. To get better, you’ve first got to get worse, etc. But how?
I’m still constantly crippled by the possibility (or consequences) of not pleasing someone:
-I dread the criticism.
-I picture the worst and live it in my head.
-I take every affliction personally.
-I believe every word someone says about me, even when they’re not thinking clearly.
-I just feel like I’m NEVER GOOD ENOUGH.
But how to embrace that??
It’s not easy, but there are some benefits from being a people pleaser if you’re able to keep a few things in mind. For example, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to be too busy, too tired, or just disinterested. You can turn things down as a way to keep control over how other perceive you. If you drop everything for someone else too often, you’re giving them all of the power over you and showing it. Only listening to the opinion of those whom you value will also save you from hurt when those who are cruel and meaningless to you inflict useless pain.
On the bright side, being a people pleaser means you’re also a dedicated and caring person at heart, and not just anyone can have qualities like that. The problem is, taming yourself. And that’s something I definitely still need to work on…