Ready to stop people-pleasing?

Then you’ll have to stop lying.

I think we’re all familiar with the concept of people-pleasing. But we seldom think of it as lying.

It’s lying–to the people you’re trying to please and to yourself. 

People-pleasing is spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what other people think of you, so you try to get them to like you by doing what you think they want. You do this at your own expense and at the expense of what you really want. So you might feel resentful and frustrated when people don’t do the same or appreciate the sacrifices you’re making. 

You think you can control what other people’s opinions are of you. But think about that. You’re trying to control other people’s minds. 

Have you ever experienced someone who tried to control your opinion of them? What did you think of them? Maybe they came across as a little creepy or a little needy? One thing is for sure: they weren’t being who they really are because they thought they needed to be who you wanted them to be. Does this sound familiar?

The truth is, we can’t control what other people think even when we try to. They will always get to choose what they want to believe about us. And, what they believe is about them, not us. When we show up in a way that is authentic, we can see which people like us for us and not for the people-pleasing we have been doing.

This is part of why people-pleasing is lying. You’re either lying about who you are or what you want to do. You’re also trying to get approval from other people when your own self-approval is much more powerful and meaningful.   

To have our own self-approval means we have to start liking and enjoying ourselves more. 

And we have to start letting others think what they want about us. This is difficult for most of us if we have become dependent on other people to try and feel good.

The first step to enjoying ourselves and our life is basic. We have to like ourselves. This isn’t easy for most of us.

This doesn’t mean liking ourselves passively. This means actively choosing to like ourselves on purpose.

This looks like: 

  • Listening to what you want.
  • Telling the truth and saying no sometimes.
  • Knowing your dreams and desires.
  • Taking care of yourself for the long run.
  • Working on your behalf.

When we become connected to our own self-approval, we start spending less energy on seeking others’ approval.

Your turn: What if the only true way to enjoy being yourself is to actually be yourself? Not some version of yourself you think others will like. Are you willing to stop lying and start telling the truth? What can you start doing to enjoy even more who you authentically are? How can you start becoming more connected to your own self-approval?

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