If you’re anything like me, people-pleasing plays a large role in your life. In fact, it plays the lead role in the whole show, although you know it should be the understudy.
Personally, I know this shouldn’t be how I live my life. I shouldn’t be afraid to say “no” to the people I care about when they ask something of me I’m simply not interested in doing. If they cared about me like I care about them, they’d be okay with me saying that easy two-letter word.
I find there’s a wide variety of people here at Queen’s —some live for themselves, while others live to please other people. It’s wonderful to see students prioritizing their own needs and wants because you should be making choices for yourself. On the contrary, if you fall into the category of the People Pleaser, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do, what makes you happy, and how you can pursue it. Live the life you want to live, not the life other people want you to live.
A People Pleaser is…
“[S]omeone that pleases or wants to please people” and/or “a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desire” — Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“[A] person who believes that they are less than most others on the planet and have the need to hide these beliefs from all whom they come in contact with. They feel so low that they typically behave like a doormat and frequently put themselves in situations where they are treated as such.” — Urban Dictionary
Now that September has wrapped up and people are buckling in for the bumpy ride that is the rest of the semester, it’s a great time to re-evaluate who you’re trying please with your actions. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
“No” is not a bad word, and whoever has told you that or reinforced the idea that it is, well… forget them. I’d recommend a poem titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. As a People Pleaser, this poem hit home for me. It’s reminder we have no control over yesterday or tomorrow, and we simply never will. We’ll never be able to turn back the clock and change things. We’ll also never be able to control tomorrow because tomorrow is simply an idea —when tomorrow comes around, it always comes as a “today”.
You have control over today, and I encourage you to use it to make the change. Stop living for other people. Stop people pleasing. There’s simply not enough time in all of the “todays” to spend them pleasing anyone who isn’t yourself.
Header Image Source: Xavi Cabrera via Unsplash