It’s pretty much universally accepted that it’s human nature to want to others to value or accept us, right?
Even for those of us who generally just do whatever makes us happy for ourselves, we still hope that we can count on those close to us to accept us 100% for who we are. It’s just an instinctual desire.
But, have you ever thought of why this may be? From an evolutionary standpoint, we can direct our answer to “survival of the fittest” and process of elimination. We want to be accepted because if we’re not, then we will not fulfill our “biological purpose”.
But, for those of us who think that there is a different, more sincere reasoning behind this, there can be another explanation. We want to be accepted for who we are so that we can be our authentic selves. When we are able to be our authentic selves, we are able to live a more natural, fulfilling life. This is extremely important for us to feel the most comfortable in our own skin, which in turn reflects on our relationships with others.
Another thing that we have to accept is that, we can’t please everyone; and we should never feel like we have to. In this journey of life, at one point or another, we begin to embark on self-discovery and really learn who we are and what’s most important to us. This is essential in reaching our best versions of ourselves because during this period we begin to get a grasp on what we want in life, and from life.
Once we reach this point, we should also be discovering that our happiness isn’t contingent on someone else’s acceptance of our beliefs, thoughts, and values.
I found an article that helps to delve into this topic and even elaborates on 10 specific reasons why we shouldn’t try so hard to please others.
Here is a small excerpt from Laura Tong’s article titled, “10 Surprising Reasons To Stop Trying To Please Everyone”
Because you want everyone to like you. To love you.
You dread disapproval. Pleasing everyone seems to be the answer, the safe way to inoculate yourself against conflict and confrontation in relationships, whether family, friends, or work.
So you fail to speak up, fail to say what’s on your mind, fail to allow yourself to be the real you.
Instead you become the go-to person…
Why Trying to Please Everyone Doesn’t Work
1. You attract people less.
I had always looked up to anyone who had the strength to go out and be themselves. But all too quickly that admiration would turn to adulation. I found myself never speaking up, always going along with whatever they said and did, the eager puppy on their heels…
2. You love yourself less.
Because those very people you wanted to admire, respect, and love you now reject you, you tell yourself that you cannot be a lovable person. In desperation you increase your people-pleasing behavior and it becomes a depressing spiral…
3. You become more manipulative.
I would often feel resentful when a friend or colleague was asking for yet one more favor. They seemed to be manipulating me, taking advantage. Boy, that was hurtful…
4. You’re seen as less trustworthy.
Always agreeing or saying the “right thing” seems to be well-intentioned, but however you dress it up, hiding what you think isn’t telling the truth. And as humans we hear alarm bells when we sense that someone is being false…
5. You end up with less confidence.
People find you untrustworthy because you only tell them what they want to hear, so they are hesitant to confide in you…
6. You end up with fewer friends.
Trying to please everyone is rooted in the fear of rejection. The irony is, because you end up seeming less attractive and less trustworthy, the very people you are trying to get approval from are often the people who reject you…
8. You end up with the worst of both worlds.
And what happens if you are trying to please two people who do not like each other? If you ingratiate yourself with one person and offer friendship, how do you now please that other person without un-pleasing the first? How do you decide who to please?…
9. You become more resentful.
… you end up resenting the very people you’re trying to please. You feel they are taking advantage of you…
9. You hate the things you used to love.
For instance you may love cooking, maybe making cup cakes. So you offer to cook some as a way of getting love and appreciation.
But soon you are either cooking them all the time for one person or, once again, you become the go-to person and you end up cooking them for everyone. What used to be an enjoyable pastime now becomes a chore you hate…
10. You fail to please the one person that matters.
But the most important reason to stop trying to please everyone has nothing to do with everyone and everything to do with just one person—you…
Like what you’ve read so far? Click on this link to read the full article about Laura’s journey through self-realization and understanding the importance of letting go of the need to please everyone, and submerging herself in the willingness to make her own wants and desires her number one priority.
– Virginia Johnson
Are you struggling with putting yourself first, or being comfortable with who you really are, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.