Yes and No.
“Pleasing all the people all the time”, can be as addictive as any other vice and take a toll if it interferes with whom we are and are working to become.
I’d say I may have been a “people pleaser” some of the time in my younger days. By that, I mean not necessarily doing what I really wanted but rather what others expected. Not in a bad or dangerous way but in small increments, barely noticeable. This would have been wrapped up with my self-confidence and not having a strong enough sense of self and personal security. It is easy to disguise a nature prone to making others happy; we tell ourselves it is better for us, it doesn’t really make any difference or it doesn’t mean anything. We are still our own person. Maybe not. That kind of attitude can hinder who we want to become and what we want to experience.
Only we can tell whether our acts for and towards others are genuine or taken on because we feel the “need” to. At my age and stage, I hope this is one part of the puzzle I have figured out. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care what others think or feel; this is a priority. Sensitivity and how we respond to our friends and families do not have to make us untrue to ourselves, but rather the opposite. Truth and authenticity only enhance our relationships. Following our own path is the greatest example we can set for our children, friends and family members. Doing what we know to be for others and against us is not a favour to anyone.
Children and teenagers by the nature of social media are “people pleasers” from an early age. As a digital influencer – not my word- I feel pressure at times to create what is expected even though I may not be 100% comfortable. I don’t and I do my own thing. Opportunities may pass me by but other doors will open. If I am me, I figure you will know and if I am not, you will be the first to tell me.
Creativity should be from the heart for pleasure, for intellectual stimulation and for sharing. We cannot like everybody’s everything all the time and it is absolutely fine to sit some out. Measuring success on “likes” or “followers” scares me for if that isn’t “people pleasing”, I don’t know what is. Caring about this is human nature – who doesn’t want to be “liked’ – letting it drive our behaviour is where it gets tricky.
The answer after many years of contemplation is balance.
Make others happy, be generous, be sensitive, caring and give – give and give some more, but not at our own personal expense. xv
These Please Me Very Much
image, sebastian kim allure 2015