Even though we hate people, we still feel the need to please them. Because we are painfully self-aware, self-conscious, and apologetic, for no good reason. Except oh wait I can think of one—we live in a society that condemns assertiveness, save for self-important, over-compensational, egomaniacal men (although don’t get me wrong—P’s OS come in all genders). But just because we’re decent, humble human beings, doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our own well-being or sense of self. I, for one, am sick of giving people preferential treatment ahead of myself, especially because most of them don’t deserve it and wouldn’t do the same for me. So if you’re with me, here’s how to get over being a people pleaser.
Nip it in the bud
The next time you find yourself about to bend over backwards for someone, just shut. it. down. I don’t care if you’re literally bending over backwards—pick that shit up—or if you’re mid-sentence: “Sure, I guess we could go to that restaurant…” Just stop talking and turn it around: “… Actually no. That place is really expensive, awful, and I’m not going there at 10 PM on a Monday because they didn’t have any other reservations. That’s three hours past my bedtime and frankly anywhere that ‘trendy’ can blow me. And the horse I rode in on.” If it helps, carry around a spray bottle and spritz yourself in the face every time you start pleasing people (that sounds uncomfortably sexual but you know what I mean)—use pepper spray if you have to. Breaking yourself of this habit is going to take discipline, and if that means severe measures, so be it.
Use rage as your fuel
What I find particularly backwards is that, often, the people we feel the need to placate or appease the most are the people least deserving. For example, when someone is blowing their secondhand smoke in our face, we feel like we would be rude to ask them to stop, so we just breathe it in, even though they’re the rude ones for spreading their fumes. Or when someone is tailing us in traffic, we feel pressure to speed up and accommodate them, even though they can kiss our bumpers. So just let the rage that the intimidating person incites in you fuel your refusal to bow down, and, further, your insistence on standing up to them, telling them what’s what, and pulling the cigarette straight outta their ugly fucking mouth and sticking it right into their big fucking forehead. #WE’RENOTREADYTOMAKENICE #WE’RENOTREADYTOBACKDOWN #NEITHERARETHEDIXIECHICKS
Remember most people aren’t as accommodating
While you’re out there busting your ass to make everyone happy, they’re just looking out for #1. I mean really, how many people go out of their way to make sure all of your needs are met on a regular basis? What’s that, your loving boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner/mom does? Well how nice for you. But the rest of us are faced with constant disappointment in others on an unrelenting basis. So why bother? Quid pro quo, bro.
Know that people aren’t paying attention
As much as you think. You’re worried they’re as wrapped up in what’s going on as you, and that they’ll notice if you don’t go above and beyond to make their every wish come true, when, really, they’re thinking about how fat they do or do not (but do) look in that skirt. They probably wouldn’t even think twice if you didn’t add in that extra exclamation point at the end of your text message, or only had 3 instead of 4 gluten-free snack options for movie night, or decided to sit out clubbing because your pajamas sound more appealing. Trust that people are much more narcissistic than you give them credit for.
Know your worth
You are worthy, and are not obligated to chip away at yourself in order to make others happy or satisfied. You deserve your own attention, too. Now don’t go crazy, here—I’m not saying you should take care of your health by going to the gym or eating vegetables or anything ridiculous like that. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t put others before yourself. Unless they’re like your kid or something, in which case, it’s your fault they exist so don’t be an asshole.
Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/get-people-pleaser/