“Don’t ever compromise who you are for the approval of others.”
Who are you trying to impress?
Why are you trying so hard?
Who are you trying to please?
These are questions that I used to find asking myself repeatedly. It was a constant battle between my actions and my thoughts as well as what I knew would serve me best and what I was actually doing. It felt like I was living polar opposite lives at points – I knew what I WANTED to do, what would serve my mind and my body, but I was on such a mission to please EVERYONE that I went against that completely.
Not everyone vibes with you or bounces off your energy and you won’t always love everyone you meet – We are all different and that’s what makes this world so interesting. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was that not everyone will like you and you can’t make them like you no matter how much you try. As we are all different and unique in our own way, that means that every single relationship we have with people will be different. No one relationship is the same. We all bring a certain amount and type of energy to the table and when that energy combines with another person’s, it mixes into something totally original – chemistry. That chemistry doesn’t always create fantastic everlasting relationships and sometimes there might even be non-starters, but that’s all part of this energy combining experiment.
Here’s the thing, I spent most my life trying to make people like me. I would get so upset if I felt that someone didn’t like me. I would question myself and my self-worth. I would ask myself if I was good enough or question whether I should have said or done something differently. I was constantly second guessing myself and over-thinking every situation. Why? Because I was a people pleaser. I wanted to be liked and loved by everyone I met. I wanted to be that person that everyone wanted to have around them, to lift their spirits and be the best friend that never let them down. In fact, I tried WAY too hard for WAY too long to be liked by everyone.
It got to a point where I was totally exhausted and because I was always the one GIVING in the relationships I had created, I didn’t get anything back from anyone. It was a massive reality check for me when I was going through a hard time and realised I had absolutely no one to lean on – yet I had given myself willingly to be that person to other people for years without ever setting any boundaries or standards to say that I wanted the same in return.
Unless you set standards for yourself about what you want in a relationship and what you want out of it, then you will never truly respect yourself. Respecting yourself means believing you know what you deserve that will serve you the best so that you can be the best possible human you can be. It means setting boundaries that will support you and guide you to be the best version of yourself possible.
When you ‘people please’ you give that power and that control away. You’re no longer setting boundaries for yourself and instead are allowing your relationships to create the boundaries for you. Let’s face it, when you’re in people pleasing mode, you’ll do anything you’re asked, even if it means going completely against your truth. Friendship is a two way street and if you’re constantly giving without getting anything in return, then that’s not true friendship.
Of course I don’t mean that you should never do something for another person – I’m a total believer in being there for other people and showing up when I’m needed. However, there’s a difference between being there for your friends and people pleasing everyone you meet just to keep them happy.
People pleasing comes from a place of fear and fear based actions never serve us. To be the most honest, true and fulfilled versions of ourselves we need to live from a place of love NOT a place of fear. This fear can come in all sorts of different forms:
In the end that’s where the need to please people comes from – FEAR.
For me, it was the fear that I would end up having no friends at all. I was so terrified of being on my own that I would just give and give and give. I wanted to be seen as self-less because I thought that made me indispensable as a friend. The hard truth is that I wasn’t living in my truth and therefore I was dispensable. True and lasting relationships are formed when you have a solid relationship with yourself. Without that self-love, you’re lost. The longest relationship you have is the one with yourself, so of course that needs to be the solid foundation that all other relationships are built on.
To heal that relationship with yourself start with the fear you’re facing. Ask yourself what you’re fearing that makes you a people pleaser? What are you lacking? What are you hoping for? What do you need? Why is it so important to please others?
Let’s face it, it’s draining constantly giving to others and not getting anything in return. It’s draining being anyone but yourself. Our truth is who we are – it’s what’s in our core and what makes us, us. Whenever we step out of that alignment we are no longer living our truth and we’re giving way too much energy to things that don’t serve us. People pleasing is one of those things. I was constantly drained, always exhausted and felt like I was running on empty. I had such a poor relationship with myself and found that I was constantly working outside of my boundaries to make other people happy in order to fill that void.
So as well as facing that fear that’s driving you, ask yourself what boundaries you have set for yourself and what your standards are in your relationships. Are they solid? Do you know exactly where those boundary lines are or are they blurred? Do you respect the standards you set for yourself? Awareness is key when it comes to growth and becoming the best version of yourself possible – so create that awareness when it comes to your relationships, including the one you have with yourself.
Don’t ever compromise who you are for the approval of others. When you do that, you compromise the relationship you have with yourself. After all, who are you trying to impress? Why are you trying so hard? The only person you should be showing up for everyday is yourself – the only person you should be trying to impress is yourself; to be the best you possibly can be. Anything outside of that is wasted energy.
If you’re constantly trying to impress others, then you’re living out of alignment and outside of your truth. When you’re outside of your truth, you’re compromising who you really are and are no longer living authentically. When that happens, those people who you’re trying so hard with are no longer seeing the real you! Trying so hard to impress and please others is not serving you and it’s creating a larger gap in that relationship with yourself and therefore that foundation is no longer strong enough to support any relationships you may have.
No matter who you are, what you say or what you do, you’ll never please everyone. It’s as simple as that. We are not designed to connect with everyone and trying so hard to do that is going to make you fall flat on your face (from exhaustion more than anything else!). Your energy won’t always mix with another person’s and that’s OK. It’s not supposed to.
Just because someone else doesn’t like you doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’re not a loving soul who deserves a strong tribe to back you up. Just because you don’t get along with another human doesn’t mean you’ll never have long lasting friendships and relationships. The more honest you become with yourself and the more awareness you have, the stronger your foundation will be to build relationships on.
Don’t try so hard.
Don’t try so hard to be seen as ‘nice’, ‘loving’, ‘kind’, ‘thoughtful’ or ‘generous’ by everyone. Everyone’s perceptions of those traits are so different that you will never find a one size fits all and you’ll be wasting your precious energy. Just be a good human. That’s all you can be. Be the best version of you. Live in alignment with yourself and what serves you. Show up for yourself every day and live authentically. Just know you are perfect as you are and you don’t need to try so hard to impress others or to people please. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to be selfish every now and again. Be comfortable and happy in your own skin so that you can stand up for what you need and want.