It’s 2017! If you are reading this column today, it means you made it over. Happy New Year!
So, how can you make this year a truly happy one?
Here’s a tip for you: Stop living your life simply trying to please others!
If it is one thing that I have learnt over the years, it’s that you can never please everyone no matter how hard you try! People who constantly try to do so are said to have, “People-Pleaser Syndrome.”
Linda Tillman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Atlanta, GA and assertiveness expert said, “People-Pleasers yearn for outside validation. Their personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others.”
“People-Please Syndrome” can be an addiction and can also lead to diseases. Psychiatrist Sherry Pagoto, Ph. D, said, “People Pleasers are some of the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say ‘no’. You can always count on them for a favor.
In fact, they spend a great deal of time doing things for other people. They get their work done, help others with their work, make all the plans, and are always there for family members and friends.”
She went on to say that while this may seem like a good thing, “it can be an extremely unhealthy pattern of behavior.” She said that this type of behavior can cause unhealthy eating habits. It can also lead to High Blood Pressure and other diseases because the people-pleaser is taking on much more than he/she can handle.
There are many who suffer from “People-Pleaser Syndrome” and I would confess that I was one of them. Being the ‘nice’ person that I am, I tried to please everyone, often taking on responsibilities that I may not have wanted to just because I wanted to please the person or persons making the request. Often as a people-pleaser, I was busy doing so many things that it kept me away from working on my personal goals or putting in the time needed to achieve them.
I found myself feeling overwhelmed and had to learn to say the word ‘NO’.
If you are a person who also finds it hard to say no, mainly because you want to please everyone, consider the following to help you to know when to say no.
1. Know your Purpose
What do you feel is the purpose of your life, your reason for being? What is it that you are really passionate about? Knowing your purpose in life should help you decide exactly what responsibilities to accept and which ones to turn down. When you concentrate on one thing and give it your all, the result is far better than doing multiple tasks and not being able to give the required attention to all.
2. Know your Priorities
What are your priorities, those things that are very important and dear to you, those persons or things that you want to give special attention to?
While your employer or supervisor may set priorities for you on the job, you too must set personal priorities for your life. Your family, spouse and children, should always be a priority. Sometimes we take on so many responsibilities, we end up neglecting those things that should be of top priorities in our lives, our family and even ourselves. Set realistic goals for yourself in terms of what you want to accomplish and place them in an order of precedence.
3. Know your Principles
What are those foundations, those standards, those moral principles on which you base your life?
What are those things that you are not prepared to bargain? Knowing these things would also help you to know when to say no. Are you prepared to continuously bargain that family time by taking on so many responsibilities that take you away from them?
Are you prepared to bargain your personal time; not having enough time to take care of yourself, to get much needed rest and relaxation?
As a people-pleaser, I was also concerned about what others thought about me. I soon realized that if you do bad, of course people will talk about you but if you do good, they will still find something negative to say.
Some people seem to live their lives with the sole purpose of finding faults with others. I am finally at that point where I really don’t give a ‘hoot’ what others think about me. I really don’t have to explain what I do, why I do it, or the dreams that I have for my life to anyone.
Some may never understand and guess what, they don’t have to. I am the one who would have to answer for all of the decisions that I make in life and if there are any consequences, I am the one who would have to deal with them. I live to try and please God and fulfill the purpose that he has for my life and with the support of my immediate family, husband and children, that’s really all that matters.
I encourage you to do the same, realize that you can never please everyone so stop trying to do so. Live your life to please God, discover his purpose for your life and live that purpose without explanation!
As a quote by Steve Maraboli says, “Don’t let other people’s opinions distort your reality. Be true to yourself. Be bold in pursuing your dreams. Be unapologetically you!”
• Questions or comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Friday, January 6, 2017