People Pleaser

2016-06-09

monika-jia-rui-selfportrait

For the longest time in my life, I was a people pleaser.

I wanted to get along with everyone, always be nice to everybody, not to have any issues with anyone.

The first step out of this role was coloring my hair blue/green last year. Many people felt affronted by it; I got to hear negative comments made by people close to me and got weird stares from strangers. It was okay, eventually I got used to it and learnt to care less about what people think of what I do, my actions.

However, I still cared about how they thought of me as a person. I have a certain image of myself; I think that I’m friendly, sincere, loyal and braver than the average person when it comes to confronting my fears and leaving my comfort zone. Of course I’m not perfect, I know I have my weaknesses and they’re not just minor ones, but it bothered me when someone doesn’t see my strengths in me.

But recently, I’ve run into some issues. And I’m done trying to get along with everyone.

First, the boy I used to tutor who adored me (he even turned back the clock more than once to make me stay longer!) suddenly doesn’t want me to come anymore and I’m not notified, his parents just stop contacting me. They used to be very nice to me so I have no idea where that comes from.

Then, ironically after writing this post in which I was musing about becoming more likable/popular, I realise that someone I considered a friend had decided to quit our friendship without telling me her reasons. We’ve hardly communicated since last year, but I thought she was one of the friends you can meet after a long time and everything’s still the same. Our friendship used to be like that. So even though in retrospect some signs were there, it comes out of nowhere and leaves me hurt, wondering what the hell is wrong with me that someone decides to erase my existence out of her life. I know I shouldn’t care, that people who stick with me deserve my attention instead, but I couldn’t stop thinking of it the whole day when I learnt about it.

A last situation. I went to a photo excursion with some friends. We went to a photo studio because the weather sucked. I was looking forward to trying something new since I’m an outdoor photographer. However, the studio reminded me of a bunker; if you’ve read this post on why I create, you can imagine that my creativity died once I stepped into the room. I felt extremely uncomfortable, locked away from the natural light that nurtures my desire to create. But it was okay for me not to take photos for once; I brought all the people together and enjoyed just being there with them and helping out when I could.

On our way back, I realised that some people wanted to force me to my luck and thought that I should have stepped out of my comfort zone and at least tried to create something. Honestly, I don’t want to be taught about leaving your comfort zone by anyone who does it less often than me. I know they had no bad intentions, but I felt very uncomfortable having to justify why I didn’t feel like creating. I felt like they thought I was someone who’d rather shy away from a challenge than to accept and embrace it.

I wanted to clarify the situation because it really bothered me that people thought that I preferred to stay in my comfort zone. I fretted about that all evening, wondering how I can put my thoughts into words that make them understand me – instead of using my energy for something more productive. But then I realised with a sobering clarity that I had to let it go. We’ll never be able to control what people think of us and trying to do it will wear us down.

I’m not sure if it’s just a bad phase or if my once smooth and adaptive (aka weak and underdeveloped) personality has developed some rugged corners, consolidating itself. So many things have changed in the last couple of months; I finally see my path ahead of me and I’m very determined, not willing to get distracted or hindered. I’m open to criticism, criticism is important, but I don’t take it from everyone.

I’ve always known that we shouldn’t care about what others think of us, but now I’ve finally really learnt the lesson, truly incorporated it. I don’t give a shit anymore. I’m done being a people pleaser. Whatever you do, whoever you are, people will always have something to criticise about you, dislike you for who you are. So if you can’t please everybody anyways, just do your own thing. You’ll learn who’s on your side, the right people will always support you. The others don’t matter.

What about you, dear reader? Have you already – truly – learnt this lesson? If you have, how? Or are you still trying to please everybody, neglecting yourself?


Photo: Self-portrait, taken while listening to Sia’s House On Fire | June 2016

118 Comments
    1. Good for you! We become better and live life more when we operate out of our comfort zone and stop always caring about what other people think!

      1. Thank you, Michael! Yeah, it’s true, but it takes a lot to finally learn it and live that way :D have a lovely weekend!

    1. I feel like you and I have had the same problem. I totally grew up as a people pleaser and going out of my comfort zone to make/stay friends. I had the same epiphany that you had my first year of college. I dealt with depression, anxiety, you name it. I even dyed my hair pink. But now I do what I want to do. I speak out when something is bothering me. Granted I always hesitate. I get panic attacks thinking about different situations. I don’t think that will ever change. That’s why I decided to become a Psychiatrist. I want to help others be more comfortable in their own skin, and to be okay doing things alone. It’s a very hard lesson, one I still deal with and probably always will. But I know that I deserve to be happy no matter what anyone else thinks. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone. Thank you for this. I hope everything works out and you put yourself first. ❤️❤️

      1. Hi Kaitlin, thank you so much for sharing your story with me! Funny we both dyed our hair in a crazy colour, haha. I think it’s amazing that you want to become a Psychiatrist (I’d like to become that too if it weren’t for the fact that we have to go through medical school first). I’m sure you’ll be able to help a lot of people in your career! You sound strong, I can imagine that you won’t struggle with it anymore one day. Take good care of yourself – I read your newest blogpost and it touched me. Thank you again for your lovely comment <3

        1. Thank you, that means a lot to me. And I know you’re on the same road. You’ve figured out what and who you needed to cut, and you found your passion in life. Hopefully one day neither of us will have to worry about saying the wrong thing and just say how we feel. Especially when it’s extremely important to us. ❤️❤️

    1. Congratulations !

      I was like you before, a todo pasa girl, always saying okay, then they betray you. It hurts. My motto now is, I will only people who like me. I’m not ever going to impose my persona on anyone.

      1. Thank you! I’m sorry you had to go through that experience, but I’m glad you’ve become stronger in the process. Take care x

    1. I have one thing to say to that: you go girl! =D ;) Good for you. Who gives a shit about what other people think?

      1. haha thanks! well I think too many people worry about what others think and it’s also important not to shut everyone out, but it’s not good if we let other people’s actions and opinions drag us down.

    1. I think we need to keep a balance by being kind and loving, yet courageous enough to be our authentic selves. To do rebellious, mean, or even stupid things just to prove “we don’t care what people think” would be just as bad as being afraid to step out and do what we feel called to do because we are afraid of criticism. So it is a delicate balance at times.

      I can’t say that I totally don’t care what people think. I have not reached that level of perfection yet, but it’s a work in progress. As human beings, we are social creatures, so it is natural to care about how other people feel about us and relate to us. I once heard a very famous motivational speaker admit that although he got hundreds, even thousands, of positive letters from fans, he would find himself brooding over and resenting the occasional critical, negative ones he received. He realized that this wasn’t right and eventually learned to just let it roll off his back, but the point is, it’s not always easy, even for people who “should know better.”

      We’ve all had painful experiences similar to yours, Monika — where people suddenly cast us out of their lives for no apparent good reason. It hurts. How can it not, especially when you really cared about the other person? I think it’s okay to acknowledge that it hurts, as long as we then are able to move on. You’re right — no matter what we do, someone will always be critical of us. I recently wrote a blog post about forgiveness, and one point I made is that forgiving people for hurting us doesn’t mean that we forget and allow the habitual hurters to keep on hurting us. So it’s a matter of focusing on what we are here to do, and being honest and authentic, yet still kind, treating others as we would want to be treated (the “Golden Rule”), rather than give in to bitterness and resentment.

      1. Hello Gloria, thank you so much for your elaborate and thoughtful comment!

        Yes, I think it’s silly (and immature) to do something just to prove that one doesn’t care about what people think.

        I’ve also heard something similar; someone said that you can get hundreds of positive messages and a single negative one, and at the end of the day, you’ll think of the bad one. I’ve been working on thinking positively for quite a long time; fortunately, that’s not a big issue for me anymore, at least not like before. However, I’m still far away from totally not caring about what people think of me, I just took a big step into the right direction. I hope you’ll succeed soon :) it’s good to know that everyone struggles with it, even after working on it for a long time!

        I’m going to check out your blogpost! I still struggle with forgiving some people who hurt me a couple of years ago. Maybe your post will help me to finally let it go. It’s really a tricky balance – thank you for sharing your insight with me and have a beautiful weekend! :)

    1. Kudos to you from a recovering people pleaser. You have to do you, for you, not others. If they can’t accept you, they don’t deserve you.

      1. Thank you! I’m glad you’ve found your way. I agree with you, there are so many people out there that embrace the way we are :)

    1. I love this!! Great post and it comes at a very familiar time for me as well. I’ve had a few occasions lately where I’ve spent nights tossing and turning over something a “friend” has said about me… And finally, I’ve realized that it’s rare to find those people who will treat you as good as you treat them… And that it is ok to have a close tight knit group of friends. I’ve recently come to the realization that I’ve spent a lot of time bending over backwards and stressing myself out over those who wouldn’t be willing to do the same for me. It’s time to let it go and let them go!!!

      1. Hi Niki, thank you so much for your comment :) It’s great that you’ve stopped overthinking it and have come to that realization :) yes, the same happened to me and it’s such a waste of time! I’m so happy for you, take care :) <3

    1. This is something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager. Growing up, I was bullied pretty frequently for looks and what I liked, and I was just like you; I didn’t care if they judged my appearance, but I cared deeply if they judged my character. Now that I’m an adult in the working force, I find that these same emotions transfer to my job, as I care very much about how my employees and my boss judge me as a person. I think the important thing to remember (and something I have to constantly remind myself of) is that I can only control so much. If I do everything right, I’ll still upset someone. If I try to be like one person, five others will dislike it. So as long as you did what you thought was right, you can rest assured you did everything within your human limitations.

      And, quite frankly, people just suck. :)

      1. Hey Hayley, thank you for sharing your experiences with me. You’re absolutely right, it’s impossible to control everything. We could be the nicest person in the world and I’m sure there will be at least someone who’s offended because of something about us. And yes, it doesn’t make sense trying to be someone else so other people like us more; if we’re going to be criticised anyway, it’s better when the people who support us love our real “me” (I hope you get what I mean).

        haha I wouldn’t be so negative, there are so many amazing people :) take care <3

    1. First of all: I think the picture is phantastic! I moves me, pleases me, too. And your text somehow reminds me of a Jazz musician who said you make art in order to share it … you don’t make it for yourself. Now – in spite of what I wrote about some of my pictures in an earlier comment – I must admit that I sometimes wonder if we really do not try to create art in order to please – among other things, of course.

      1. Thank you so much, Tobias! :) I was a bit surprised that all the others only referred in their comments to what I wrote, but not to the photo. I’m glad you like it! Well, I’d say that we often create to express ourselves and connect with others (and I guess connection mostly happens when people like your art?) – what do you think?

    1. Great post and good that you stopped giving a shit. I have come to learn that I too should stop being too much of a people pleaser. Can’t wait to read more posts – when I have the time.

      1. Thank you, Danny :) I’m glad you’ve learnt it as well! I’d love to have you around – in the meantime, happy travels and take care :)

    1. It’s definitely easy to say you don’t care what people think, but much harder to be comfortable enough in yourself to stand up for what you want instead of letting other people’s desires dictate how you act. I know personally that it’s not something I came to terms with until I graduated from college and also had some people drop me from their lives and never tell me why… It’s something I have to constantly practice, because it’s not as easy as it sounds!

      1. Thank you for your comment, Arielle :) I’m sorry to hear that it has happened to you as well (and even worse, several times), I didn’t know it was something that occurs so frequently :/ when did you graduate from college again? And thanks for the reminder, I thought I’d have this realization and am done with the topic, but it makes sense that it’s something we have to practice constantly! Take care and have a lovely weekend <3

    1. I like the article and feel identified with it, several times I had similar struggles. It is good that you really decided to take the next step and just don’t give a fuck about what others think, just be yourself!!

      :)

      1. Thanks for reading and your feedback, Andrés! I appreciate it a lot :) haha “don’t give a fuck” .. that was exactly what I was thinking ;D

        I’m looking forward to meeting you! Take care :)

      1. Thanks for your comment! Yeah I guess it’s a long journey, but I’m glad I took the first step. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. I think it’s pretty cool that you came to that realization on your own. I needed someone to tell me I can’t control what others think and it was quite a long process to be able to let go of that and change my mind set. But it all gets so much better once we don’t care anymore ;)

      1. Thanks for your comment, Ines :) well, awesome you have someone who cares so much about you and knows you so well :) so would you say that once you’ve overcome the problem and changed your mindset, you don’t have to work on it anymore?

        Have a wonderful weekend x

        1. Hmm.. I think you have to keep reminding yourself of it, being able to catch yourself worrying and replace that thought with something positive. :) Have a great weekend too!

    1. The picture at the beginning of this is gorgeous!! That said, I have been working on this too. But I am almost 65 and fear it is hopeless for me. It bothers me when someone things I did something wrong. I want people to like me because I like people. How can I be a positive influence in the world of negativity and hatred, fear of “the others” and anything new or different if people hate me or don’t like me.
      On the flip side of this, I am told I have a calming influence on others, I am insightful, intuitive and total strangers feel comfortable around me. I am probably going to just try to curb my submissiveness and work on thinking things through better before I do them, to weigh the importance of “doing or not doing.” I have improved in this respect but I do need to continue to work on it all. Any changes requires time, patience, and effort. It is difficult to eradicate a behavior learned in childhood when you are my age. But I will continue to work on my self confidence and self love to help create boundaries from feelings of rejection. Keep up the good work!!

      1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and compliment! You can totally be a positive influence in this sometimes very negative world by spreading love, compassion and positivity – just like you’ve been doing all along. I think even the most likable and the kindest person has people who don’t like him/her.. It’s great that other people have noticed those character traits in you :) I’m afraid I didn’t understand the part with “doing or not doing”.. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you since it’s already difficult as a young adult, but you’re so optimistic that I believe that you’ll be successful. Have a lovely Sunday and take care :)

        1. Thank you so much for your kind words. You just made my day!
          The doing or not doing was a bit ambiguous. I meant to think carefully before I decide to do something or not do something.

    1. Lots of responses here, and I have yet another one.

      From my experience as someone who used people pleasing for most of her life, beneath our tendency to please others is our attempt to meet a fundamental and very real human need, and that is to feel loved. It is not a weakness as some may think; we all have this need, and if we did not get this need met on a regular basis when we were children, we resort to less direct tactics like people pleasing when we are adults.

      Until recently, people pleasing was my go to method for receiving love because as a child, I was taught that unless I was good (i.e. agreeable and nice) I did not deserve love. This message was then internalized as a core belief that was something like, “I must earn love by pleasing people.” So, this belief caused me to create a false self who is agreeable and self-sacrificing because I believed that that was the way I would receive love.

      This is of course a delusion. One does not earn love; love is available to all who are open to receiving it, and the best way to get love is to give it to ourselves. If we do not love ourselves, it is very hard to feel loved. We seek it from external sources, but my experience has taught me that we can only truly feel loved when we love and accept ourselves. Once we get to the source of our motivation to please people at any cost, the tendency to defer to others and please them at our own expense will persist. In my opinion, if we have a tendency to please people, there is an aspect of ourselves we have abandoned, and we must go within and get square with that part of ourselves before we can truly get over our tendency to please others.

      I think it is awesome that you have finally gotten to the point where your happiness is more important than being liked. I remember how liberating that feeling was. It is the beginning of self-awareness that will eventually lead to the path of healing.

      Thanks for sharing your story. The photo at the top of the post is breath taking. I look forward to reading more of your insights and seeing more of your photos.

      1. Thank you very much for taking your time to write this thoughtful comment! I appreciate it a lot :)

        Your input is very interesting, it includes things I’ve never thought about. I didn’t connect people pleasing with wanting to receive love.. What caught my attention was the point that you were taught that you only deserved love when you were good. I’ll definitely be careful that I won’t teach that my future children.

        However, this is a wonderful way to see it: “One does not earn love; love is available to all who are open to receiving it, and the best way to get love is to give it to ourselves.” It’s great that you came to this realization and you sound really strong!

        Your comment is really insightful and it makes me think a lot (for example if there is a part of me that I’ve abandoned). I think I used to believe that one has to be liked in order to be happy.. now I know it’s not true.

        Thank you again for taking your time to write this wonderful comment and the lovely compliments. I hope you are doing well, take care and have a beautiful Sunday <3

      1. I absolutely relate to this and know that my ‘people pleasing’ stems back to childhood. It’s hard to throw off but I’m trying!

    1. Dear Monika,

      A very sincere article! You are right; all of us sometimes focus on what others think and yes, we should avoid that but we are human which also means imperfect and self-centred (in a sense that we are locked in our own head and often fail to see ourselves and our lives from a more objective perspective).
      I just think you think too much about yourself, lol. You try to analyse your personality, want to develop, become a better person. I used to be (and sometimes still am) obsessed about this personal development theory as well. This form of lifestyle is nowadays celebrated in the media like some sort of a new religion: you should be happy and if you don’t feel like dancing on rainbows every day then there’s something wrong with you. Or: you should aspire to bigger goals, have an amazing career, save the world. You should be vegan and do yoga and buy fairtrade clothes. Basically, the pressure to evolve, to become a better, healthier, more responsible, wiser and kinder human being, is growing. And the social media doesn’t help: everybody is only showing what they want the others to see and when they post something they have already taken into consideration what others will think of them based on their timeline. I call it the Great Gatsby syndrome, lol.
      I don’t claim that I am immune. Yet what suprised me in your article was the studio episode (the afterward dialogue on the train). Since I was there I could compare my experience with your description here. And you know what? I would have never guessed what impact it could have on you! While I have already forgotten those remarks as I didn’t think they were of any real value (you just weren’t in the mood that day, sure, can happen, maybe next time you will befriend the studio and maybe you won’t, no big deal), you on the other hand saw something much deeper in them. Going home, you thought: this person has implied I am a coward, a shy girl afraid of leaving her comfort zone. But surely I am not; or am I? Have I developed into a stronger person or have I stayed the same as I was? So you went home, thinking these things based not really on the remarks on the train but on your own doubts about yourself. It’s not the others who think less of you (people say loads of bullshit all the time not meaning the half of it), it’s just you. And the problem is that the only person who has to like you is yourself. You seem like a person who is too hard on herself. I am too so I understand.
      BUT: You are amazing! I am sure you are aware of this fact but one cannot hear this enough.☺️ Don’t try to analyze yourself, don’t focus on whether you are better or stronger or whatever just accept who you are now. The truth is that most of the people are idiots (just look at the US elections, the current mega example of human stupidity) and it would be pity to rely on their judgment. I am still working on it as well: it is a skill more useful than pondering on whether or not I have managed to challenge myself enough recently. Peace of mind brings hapiness: racing yourself does not.
      I wanted to write this because I was so surprised you would – if only for a moment – stop to think about some comment and based on that let yourself doubt. I admire you so much, all your photo projects, this blog, your courage and it only seems ridiculous that you should ever feel bothered by whether others see how great you are or they walk blindly past you.

      1. Hey Denisa, first of all: I was really surprised to see your comment since I didn’t really expect any of my Swiss folks to read this post or even comment on it – so it was a big, beautiful surprise to find your elaborate comment (waiting in the bin haha) :D

        Your comment made me think a lot, in a good way. It included many topics and I think some of them are separate matters for me, while you seem to connect them – so my reply might get a bit confusing :D

        You’re the first one who challenges my habit of analyzing my thoughts and feelings and I think it’s great that you did it because it made me question it. And, to be honest, I still don’t see anything bad about what I do, because reflecting about those things make me understand why I act and react the way I do (I used to have extreme moods and do things I didn’t want to do without understanding why I did them – as if I was on autopilot) so I could work on it and feel more comfortable and in control about myself.

        I really liked your input about the media. You are right, there is this pressure of being a perfect, good human being and it’s growing (and it’s the reason why I try to live vegan; I think it’s the right thing to do, but I don’t fully believe it ..yet). I think it’s connected to people finding their spirituality? I’d say that I have the tendency to be spirituality too. Aside from that, I think we have a huge potential within us that can only be set free if we believe in ourselves. That’s why this “personal development” is so important to me. During Kanti, there was all this negativity in me and I didn’t believe in myself. During the last two years, I constantly challenged myself with things outside my comfort zone, things I never thought I would and could do from asking strangers for a photo to dying my hair blue/green and all those steps led me to where I am today, happy, self-confident, positive and actually believing in my dreams and me.

        .. but maybe you were referring to people living their perfect raw, vegan and organic diet and fit, fair-trade and yoga lifestyle with beautiful photos through social media and make us feel bad about ourselves? In that case: I try not to follow anyone who is showing a perfect life through social media to protect myself from the negative feelings that come from comparing myself to them. With my blog, I want to be authentic and show the “ugly” parts people don’t see from the outside too, instead of just showing my photography and acting if I was a popular person who constantly hangs out with beautiful people and gets to travel all the time with no worries in the world.

        Even though I know that I shouldn’t need your confirmation, I’m glad that you also think that it was not a big deal haha I felt horribly pressured in the train, maybe because I was so tired, but it already stressed me out there, confronted by them. However, I have to disagree – I firmly believed that I was “right”, not a coward, but it bothered me that they said I was staying in my comfort zone while I see myself very differently. So my problem wasn’t insecurity, but not being able to control what they thought of me (I hope you get what I mean).

        haha, I’m not always aware of it – and it made me so happy to hear that from you! <3 You are amazing as well and I'd love to talk about all those things with you someday! You are right - while I think that aiming to become better is okay, I believe that we have to love and embrace ourselves the way we are now; I do, and I hope so do you! I hope you're not surrounded by too many idiots (I actually couldn't imagine that you'd struggle with that! You are so confident, funny, smart, creative and beautiful. You rock :D).

        Sorry for my monstrous reply; as I said, your comment really made me think. We can continue this discussion on Friday :D I'm really glad you took your time to write this because it totally made my day! I can't believe you actually admire me haha you're a wonderful and interesting human being and I'm glad I got to know you! <3

      1. “To Impress rather than Express” – I like that phrase! Really nice thought. I hope you’re doing well :)

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Shivani. <3 I'm glad you've finally found yourself. I read your interesting post and will leave a comment later. Have a great week and take care x

    1. I stopped giving a shit quite some time ago. There’s no point in trying to please others when you’re unhappy with yourself doing it and in the end people will turn on you anyway, so there really is no point. People don’t like me? So what, whatever, I couldn’t care less. I’m living my life for *me*, not them.
      It’s such an important thing to realise and it kind of saddens me to see how especially younger women / girls think they have to please everyone by wearing the most expensive jeans or shirt or whatever, for example, even though they might not actually be 100% comfortable with it.

      1. Great to hear from you again, thank you for your comment <3 I think the problem could be that some are happy when they think they're liked and thus unhappy when someone doesn't like them (the latter applied to me). But yeah, you're right, at some time you realise that people will turn away from you anyway, so you better do what makes you truly happy.
        You sound so mature, I hope life has been good to you <3 take care x

        1. Honestly I didn’t think you’d remember me. (Now all of this is kinda weird.)
          I guess you’re right. People are very different from one another, after all.
          Eh, my life is alright.. at least that’s what I’ve been calling it the past few months.
          It’s slowly starting to get better though, I think. Hopefully the worst days are over; I guess it’s only uphill from now on, can’t really get any worse than the past few years. :)
          I’ve been lurking all the time, and I’ve seen all the stuff you share on facebook, I’m just not commenting anything anymore, really. I’ve kind of just stopped reading blogs at some point completely, but I one of your recent posts made me check on yours; I don’t know.
          I’m impressed by your photography, by the way!
          <3

          1. Hey Vicky, hope you get to read my super late reply. Of course I remember you! I do hope that your life has been getting better and that you were able to enjoy the summer!
            I also stopped reading those German blogs from where we met, they weren’t doing me any good. I’m glad you stopped by though and thank you for the lovely compliment! <3

            1. Just stopping by to say that I read it.
              Take care :)

    1. People will always talk whether you do good or bad things, whether you are successful or you encounter failure. If you are successful in something, some will try to look for that flaw and criticize you no matter how small the flaw is. If you fail, you know how negative they will be on your case. The best thing to do is to focus on yourself and be you, yes YOU! Indeed, you can’t please everybody and as a matter of fact, pleasing anyone should be the least of your priority and worries…..

      1. Yes, unfortunately you’re right, I’ve come to realise that too.. I used to think it’s possible to get along with everybody as long as your personality is pleasant enough, but yeah, I guess I was wrong. Thank you for your comment, I hope you’re doing well!

    1. I’ve never been a people pleaser, but as an introvert, who uses the term friend sparingly, I know what it’s like to spend TOO much time self-analyzing after being suddenly dumped by a friend. For me, I give that hurt to Jesus and focus in His unending love for me. That helps keep my heart from bitterness so that I stay open to new friendships. People are messy, there’s just no getting around that; friendships are still part of the richness of life.

      1. Hi Vanessa, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found a way to deal with your negative emotions :) true, people are messy, but also incredibly fascinating! take care :)

    1. Yes I completely relate to this. I like to think I don’t care and would do whatever I want to but I know things hold me back, particularly my dislike for how I look and my size and also an unnecessary concern for what even strangers would think about me.
      We’ve just got to surround ourselves with the people that do know us and love us for who we are. And concentrate on whether we like what we see in the mirror, not whether anyone else does ❤️😊
      Great post x

      1. You look great and you’re beautiful, don’t let anyone (nor you!!) tell you otherwise!! <3 you're right, being around supportive, loving people is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Thank you for your comment and the lovely compliment, I hope you're doing well <3

      1. Hi, thank you so much for the award! Unfortunately I don’t accept awards and tags, but I’m happy you thought of me. Take care :)

    1. This is a really great post, Monika! I LOVE it. Personally I`ve never really been a people pleaser. There was a time where I wish I could make everyone happy, and I gave a lot to people that didn`t really care about me, but I wouldn`t call that pleasing. I did it because I believe in the power of kindness. But, I realised very early that a person will never be able to please everyone. I think that`s something people should learn at an early stage.
      Keep it up, woman! You`re wonderful. :-)

      1. Thank you so much for your reply, Katie. <3 You're really mature, having learnt that so early. You're an inspiration to me, doing your own thing no matter what others say and totally rock while doing it! <3 take care, you're wonderful too x

    1. hi Monika.

      I was trying to look for my post here (I’m sure I wrote something coz I can relate… I hate being a “people pleaser ” and it’s a prison I need to be liberated from) so I can piggyback and not throw you off… so you won’t get confused who this is… ;-) as you can see, I haven’t change my name much…
      Anyway, I just wanted to share my new blog and I posted my 1st blog post today. exactly 9 months after I met my “Frenchie” in Paris. I guess I’m ready to close that chapter in my life and move on as much as it hurts coz it’s not going anywhere anyway (I think). But who knows. lol

      I intend to be more tongue in cheek and be more bold and not worry about what other people think about what I write… but I’m still not ready to share it with my family and friends so go figure… Ugh!

      As the saying goes “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.” ~~~ David Icke

      Here it is… feel free to follow &/or leave a comment. I hope you’ll like it as much as the other one.
      https://bellepapillon247.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/today-is-the-first-day-of-the-rest-of-my-life/

      1. Hi Belle :)

        haha I think this is your first comment on this post. Thank you for sharing your new blog with me, as you’ve probably noticed I’ve followed it immediately :) I’m quite busy lately but once I get the time, I’ll try to catch up with some of your posts!

        I hope you’re doing well. Being more bold and worrying less about other people’s opinion sounds like a great plan, I hope you’re being successful :)

        Love the quote!

        xox Monika

        1. Thanks for the “follow”. I noticed that,
          I guess I’m not as bold as I want to be coz I’m still using a pen name and an avatar… lol
          I haven’t closed the chapter with my Frenchie. I stopped talking to him but after the killings in Nice we started talking again. I’m sure I won’t see him in Sept. coz I already planned a 1 month vacation with my girls but I’ll be in Paris next year so we’ll probably pick up where we left off unless I decided to stop talking to him again. Ugh! Can’t make up my mind… ;-) So I still kept the other blog alive.

          I’m looking forward to reading your future posts and photos. I’ve missed your presence.

          NAMASTE!
          LIVE ❤ LAUGH … BELLE PAPILLON

    1. “I fretted about that all evening, wondering how I can put my thoughts into words that make them understand me – instead of using my energy for something more productive. But then I realised with a sobering clarity that I had to let it go. We’ll never be able to control what people think of us and trying to do it will wear us down.”
      Yes! I’ve gone through this countless times. Sometimes it ends with me going “ugh, so stupid! I did that again!” and sometimes a little more gently: “nope, not here for it”. But any way that it happens, it’s so true that it wears us down when we evaluate ourselves through other people instead of through ourselves. Keep it up. I enjoy your updates.

      1. Thank you for your feedback and kind words, Chloe! I hope you’re more often gentle than critical to yourself. Take care, I’m glad to have you around :)

        1. Some days more than others. :)
          I’m trying to learn how to treat myself with kindness. I think I’m making progress.

    1. I’m a people pleaser too and, unfortunately, that aspect of me helped trap me in an abusive marriage for 16 years. When I got out and started putting myself together, I spent time figuring out if I wanted to keep those softer aspects of me that had made me such a perfect target for an abuser. I decided to keep them but temper them with wisdom. In other words, I’m choosier about what people I want to please and I’m more watchful for red flags. As soon as I notice someone is trying to use emotional blackmail to control me or has been lying to me, I don’t only stop trying to please them, I am right out the door.

      1. Thank you for sharing your story with me! I’m glad you found a way out of the abusive marriage. You seem the have found a very good way to handle ‘negative people’ while not turning your heart to stone. I’m happy about it and hope you’re doing well :) take care!

    1. I really resonated with this post, thanks for sharing. I don’t know if this will make sense but thought I’d share anyway – I was a friend who stepped away from someone recently and that for me was a big journey of stopping my people pleasing habits…knowing she deserves friends who are with her because of her being her, not because I couldn’t bear to upset someone else and maybe have them not like me. At the end of the day, a persons actions are more about them than they are about someone else. Hope that makes sense!xx

      1. Thank you so much for your feedback, Amy! I’ve never thought of this perspective – it makes perfectly sense, I’ve actually done it myself (slowly stepped away), now that I think of it. Not just as harsh as it happened to me.. Anyways, seeing it from the other perspective takes the negative emotions away, thank you for that :) I hope you’re doing well, take care! <3

    1. Just be yourself right? But sometimes it’s still quite hard to completely ignore people’s opinion. People judge you and you will surely be affected. :(

      1. It’s definitely easier said than done, but I believe it’s possible to learn to care less about other people’s judgement. Thanks for your comment and take care :)

    1. First of all, thank you for the like on my post. I’m glad it brought me here. The photography is wonderful!! My husband and I have a mentality: “Help those who help you and everyone else can go…” You can figure out the rest. Of course this doesn’t include random acts of kindness or helping those not in a position to give back but we try to apply it to the takers in our life. Often times people feel untitled to want and lot and not give back and it can really get us down when we are overburdened especially or when people offer criticism and don’t help. We know we are trying our best and we try to shift our focus to our positive relationships and cultivate and appreciate those. Thank you for your willingness to write honestly and in doing so to be vulnerable. I love blogs like these and look forward to following!

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and the lovely compliment :)) I love your mentality, it makes so much sense! Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I’ll keep it in mind – it’s definitely more important to focus on our loved ones instead of helping everyone who asks for help but isn’t willing to do something for us as well. I appreciate your kind words a lot, thank you and take care :)

    1. You don’t know how great it was for me to read your post in this particular time of my existence. Thanks.. I haven’t learned yet, but I think I’m waking up, it’s a start! We can’t please everyone but it’s hard to accept it when you put so much effort on things, it’s just exhausting! Hope you are fine, whatever the color your hair is! :)

      1. I’m glad I could help, thank you for your lovely feedback! I wish you lots of strength for the time to come – it’s definitely not easy, but I believe we can do it ♥ take good care of yourself! x

    1. Having boundaries with other people means being able to say no to them when they ask you to do something you do not want to do. You can never give an authentic yes to someone if you cannot have your no. People pleasing is shame based and shame based people have a hard time maintaining healthy boundaries with other people. I know the feeling. Have your no! Know that you must have your no. This is not being selfish. Then you will actually be able to say yes.

      1. Thank you for your encouraging comment! I loved this sentence: “You can never give an authentic yes to someone if you cannot have your no.” Never thought of it, but it makes a lot of sense. I hope you’re doing well and thanks again for your words :) have a lovely weekend!

    1. I’ve always had this problem. I don’t know if we are born with this or if it’s programmed into us as an accident of our position in a family hierarchy, or even how we fit in at school. I definitely learned to resort to humour to deal with situations I found difficult and that is a problem. You end up putting too much energy into maintaining that image instead of doing whatever you’re meant to be doing. No good, better to learn karate or take an occasional beating I think! It’s so hard to see that when you’re young. I think in many ways we are victims orf srendipity – either genetic or circumstantial.
      Bravo for trying to address this Every situation is an opportunity. I know I have got better at this but boy, I need a time machine now to go back and correct all the fuck-ups people pleasing resulted in.
      A strange guy I once worked with was for all intents and purposes an imbecile, but he had one memorable quote:
      “You can’t please everyone, so you may as well please yourself”.
      Why the hell don’t they teach us these things in school? Instead we’re pumped full of anti-wisdom, then sent out to get destroyed by mutants, before we learn these precious lessons far too late.

      1. For me, it was more connected with school. At home, I didn’t care too much about pleasing my family’s expectations (not that I didn’t care at all, I just didn’t try to be perfect), but amongst strangers and acquaintances, I never wanted to stand out, hence I tried to please everybody and blend in.
        I’m glad to hear that you’ve gotten better at this! Unfortunately we can’t undo our mistakes, but it’s great to hear that now you can look forward and do things better :)
        I’ve heard the quote before and love it! It’s a pity we first have to make our mistakes before realizing how much truth lies in quotes like that.
        I hope you’re doing well, have a lovely weekend and thank you very much for your comment! :)

        1. This blooming WordPress system doesnt always tell me when I have comments or replies. So I didn’t realise this was here till I checked.
          I agree about having to go and make the mistakes before learning the wisdom of the quotes. That is so very true. Ouch. Life is hard. Can be anyway.
          And I am fascinated by the peer group control they instill into us in school. It’s so very powerful. I was the same. We will go to great lengths, even compromise our values not to stand out or be bullied. And this of course then happens at work and in society too. It makes us putty in employers’ and politicians’ hands I think.

    1. Thank you for this. Hearing other people struggle with that people pleasing aspect of their lives makes me feel less alone. I’m definitely working on being concerned about my own sanity and less about people’s vision of who I am or should be.

      I started with blue hair and a massive tattoo. ;-)

      Rooting you on as you take on the world YOUR WAY.

      1. That’s great!! I was really surprised when I received so much feedback on that post – we’re really not alone in this. :)

        wow, blue hair and a massive tattoo? you’re really courageous! I’m sure you’ll find your way. Thank you for your comment and for the like in Facebook, very much appreciated! :) <3 have a wonderful weekend x

    1. Pleasing everyone is a no-no because you will end up not pleasing anyone and displeasing your self. Every individual is a photograph and not a scanned copy and as we know each photograph is distinct, unique and different from other photographs. When we think that pleasing every one is what makes us real, then a mistake is made because many will turn us int a foot mat and others will take advantage. You are you and you cannot run away from that. Those who take you for who you are without being judgemental or expecting you to please them in order to take you into their orbit are your true friends. Stick with them and you can tell others who do not believe in you, be yourselves and let me BE!

    1. This was me to a T and still is in a lot of ways. It is hard to fully turn that corner. I have just tried to find a happy medium. I think that people DO need to accept us as we are though. And people need to think about the way they treat others. I think that is s big part of why people hurt each other. As a people pleaser we tend to think before we speak or act so when others don’t we just don’t understand their inability to see how or why their actions would hurt someone. People get too wrapped up in themselves and their little bubble to understand that each action is like s ripple in a pond, affecting everything it touches. Anyway, congrats on accepting you for YOU and good luck!

    1. Great points. Sadly, a lot of people love to test others’ limits with their statements. Some of the statements are blatant barbs, some are semi-barbs, some are quasi-barbs, but most barbs are to test you. I’d say all barbs are to see how you’ll react. Y’know, I think I might steal a line from your article and that’s the one about “I’m open to criticism, but not from everyone.” I might even modify it to be a little sharper, e.g. “I’m open to criticism, but I’m the only person who determines whose critique is actually significant– and right now, your critique isn’t as significant to me as you think it is.” Expect tension after that in most cases. Look, some people deserve that sharpness, especially ones who *think* they’re qualified to expound on something even though they really aren’t. It’s called manipulation. Anyhoo, I myself don’t want to expound on this….. In fact I feel like *I* need a crash course in sharp retorts. Who’s good at that? I’ll buy his or her book from Amazon, LOL (Seriously, I will buy, even though I’m laughing) Tons of people out there sadly try to play mind games so you can feel “lower” and they “higher” via 1,000 verbal cuts/barbs/snide words. Just a side note: I come from an industry where maturity is the norm, so when I encounter immature people, I don’t always have fast retorts to put them in their place. Would be nice, but, as I said, retorts aren’t necessary when you’re dealing with mature/cool people. I’m serious about the crash course. Email me your suggestions all! LOL

      1. Thanks for your comment! I think it can be hard to find the line to know where to stop.

    1. Monika, you appear to have a beautiful soul and care for others easily. No one can take away the fact that God made us all unique for a reason. His purposes matter more than the average so-called friends you’ve had in your life. The old saying: “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” rings true in your messages. Always stay true to yourself. God has your back and really and truly He is the only one you need to please. He will show you the way if you are in darkness and will never leave you! Beautiful and soulful writings. Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts.

      1. Hi Linda, thank you so much for your kind comment and I’m so sorry I didn’t reply sooner!
        Luckily I have found some real friends during the last couple of years. The old saying is definitely true! Thank you again for your lovely encouraging comment, I appreciate it a lot. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, hugs from Switzerland :)

    1. Hi Monika,

      This is my first time here and I love what you’re doing here.
      People pleasing is a defeat of mine that God is working on me with.
      It was driven by insecurity and low self-esteem. But after doing some work on myself im getting better at it.
      And the work I’ve done have been self-acceptance on a deeper level. This allows me to accept others right where they’re at.
      I have learned to accept more than I try to change or criticize. It’s part of that letting go you talked about.
      One thing we have is the freedom to choose. It was your choice and you chose what was best for you.
      Remember you’re powerless over people.
      Thanks,
      Vernon

      1. Hello Vernon,
        Thank you very much for your kind comment and sharing your thoughts with me :)
        I’m glad you’ve found your way. The acceptance part sounds like something I should do more often as well.
        Take care and have a wonderful weekend!
        Monika

    1. I have learnt my lesson very well about not actually ever giving a shit to anyone anymore!! It’s not like they actually care or even think about what other is going through, they are thinking about themselves only. It sucks to have a moral conscience that tells you to take care of others just because you are a good person. What sucks more is that people take advantage of that nature all the time. No one even stops to think for a moment before exploiting someone who is pure innocent.

      Your post is ditto!! People and circumstances are not in your control, better just be who you are and keep marching…

      Have a wonderful weekend Monika :)

      1. hey, thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad to hear that you’ve found a way to deal with the issues. I do hope that you care about the special people in your life, but I’m sure you weren’t talking about them in your comment :D

        Take care and have a wonderful weekend as well! x

    1. Great post! Whether people like or don’t like you, is more about them and their life’s experiences and preferences. We get praise from some people for doing rotten things, and blame from others for doing good ones. Of course if you’re a total sphincter, then no one will like you, and your lack of any friends will be an indication. I doubt that that’s your scenario. Just try to remember it’s never personal. Something I remind myself of on a regular basis.

      1. Thank you very much for your comment! It took me some time to realise it’s about them and not about me. And yeah, there was a time I was asking myself if it’s just them or also me, but nowadays I’m sure I’m okay, and just can’t get along with everyone. I hope you’re doing well, take care x

    1. Hi Monika,

      This is one of the most attractive websites/blogs that I have visited. No doubt why there’re so many comments and LIKES, and Followers. The beautiful you, the beautiful way it is decorated, the beautiful photographs all around and the beautifully written captions & thoughts are the ATTRACTIONS of this site of yours. I was kinda a prey of the same. :p

      About this article, WOW! Very well written article/thought whatever you call it. When we write something like this we tend to give some pride statements like “I don’t care the shit about others talks or comments”, “I don’t care about others”, “Who cares”, “Why should I listen”… And so on… But our heart knows how we gulp them all.

      Catch lines for me in this article are: “I finally see my path ahead of me and I’m very determined, not willing to get distracted or hindered. I’m open to criticism, criticism is important, but I don’t take it from everyone.”

      The path ahead is clear. Open to criticism is not pride. It is humility. It is not ‘I don’t care’ but I do care about others view in my life… BUT I choose which one are the pearls out of it… Which are constructive… which are going to make my life beautiful in all aspects of my life…

      Very helpful write up for the people who are dwindling like a pendulum.

      Thanks for sharing your heart.

      Regards, Chiradeep

    1. Hey Monika! Thanks for your mail ;-) this post is so much true. I like when people are happy around me, but I stopped long time ago being a people pleaser. Not all deserve our efforts… keep rolling!

    1. Hi Monika! This is a very honest post, and it’s beautifully written. I have been a people pleaser for the longest time (I still am sometimes), and it’s a difficult situation to be in. Just wanted to send cheers your way and wish you all the best. Rock on! :)

    1. Hey Monika.
      I would first like to say thanks for visiting my blog the other week (I know, this is crazy late…..haha)

      I want to also add my thoughts to this post. I too used to try and please people but like you I realized I couldn’t please everyone all the time. There was someone always unhappy. There was always someone who wasn’t in my corner. I don’t live to please people anymore. If you like me, great but if you don’t cool. That will not change how I will see myself.
      Great post

      Rolain

    1. Hello Monika! Thank you for liking my post that’s from the bottom of my heart. You have an awesome and so touchy website. Keep it up. Godbless :)

    1. Beautifully written. If you want to stay in your comfort zone—stay there. Do not ever feel pressured by others to leave your comfort zone to create something. Stay where it feels right for YOU. I

      I personally don’t like confrontation with friends and co-workers so I just try to keep the peace however these days I find myself taking the ethical route with “what’s right” by not being afraid of the outcome to stand up for myself and for others. I find myself these days really voicing my opinions even if it may break the peace because I really don’t care about pleasing others. If my needs are not met then I can not be a friend to others.

Let me know what you think!

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