I spent a very long time people pleasing. Striving to make everyone happy and content at the drastic expense of my own peace and happiness. I have officially retired my people pleasing ways.
Some things I’ve realized about trying to make everyone around me happy:
– It’s a race without a finish line and an unreachable goal with an ever shifting and changing destination
– People pleasing isn’t noble, it is in fact exhausting
– Being a doormat and taking on perceived expectations of others as well as their outright expressed opinions becomes increasingly heavy, and after a while that doormat will shatter. Breaking point is the only end to this as there’s no limit to real or perceived expectations.
– I’m not in any way responsible for how anyone else feels at any given moment, I am however always responsible for how I choose to feel. Of course I experience emotions that are less than joyful, I’m human. I just don’t choose to stay with and endlessly cling to those less than loving emotions.
– People pleasing had the unintended and unanticipated side effect of consistently making me feel quite miserable and like an immense, huge, total failure ALL the time
– The opinions of others are exactly that, THEIR opinions and not in any way a reflection of me. The idea that no one else can make you feel anything without your consent, turns out to be completely true.
I was recently very direct and honest with someone. I spent a very long time staying small, quiet and a radically dim version of myself. I no longer do that, I speak up and express myself. It should be noted that in some cases silence is the voice I use, since no response is in itself a response.
The person to whom I was honest with chose to respond to me with name calling, insults and some interesting language. Shaming based behavior. The gift of this experience is the understanding and realization that their behavior only affects me if I CHOOSE to allow it to. And I choose not to.
During my people pleasing days I worked with many a buyer client that I knew in my heart wasn’t a good fit, sometimes just different personality styles that didn’t blend well together. Sometimes they were downright rude. But I wanted to help (aka people please) and said yes when my intuition was screaming no. I no longer engage in this time and energy sucking behavior because it doesn’t serve me OR the other person.
If you choose to engage in insults and shaming, that is your choice. As is mine to release and not engage with you at all, or to only do so with some crystal clear boundaries in place. It has taken me a very long time to be comfortable being myself and allowing my true self to shine.
There’s an awesome book by Sarah Knight called The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*CK, where she explains we each have a f*ck budget when it comes to what we choose (consciously or not) to give our time, energy and resources to (including people). I give zero f*cks to what others think of me. I cannot and will not live my life based on the opinions of other people. I am finally free of a toxic relationship and marriage, for the first time able to be me.
I am here to share my unique gifts, talents and abilities with the people in my life. The people with whom I choose to spend time, energy and resources based on heartfelt connection. I alone get to make those decisions and while you are most definitely free to think and have any opinion you choose to, it will not impact what I know to be true about myself.
There is absolutely a difference between people pleasing and helping clients achieve their goals with them being happy about the outcome: my value isn’t defined by you being happy, my value is something within me that is not dependent on any external factors or circumstances. Big difference indeed, one it’s taken me a while to fully understand.
Copyright©2017 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “People Pleasing Has Been Retired”
The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, NC Residential Real Estate Broker in Charlotte NC’s real estate market serving neighborhoods in Charlotte NC