We all want people to love and approve of us. We hunger to be connected to friends and family. Many people become “people pleasers” trying to be accepted by others in their lives.
As a parent educator and family coach I have seen children who want approval so much that they will comply with the wishes and demands of others no matter what the cost to themselves. They want so much to please parents, teachers and friends that they give away all their power.
On the playground they play games they would not have chosen. They are involved in peer activities that go against their values. They give in to peer pressure and join gangs only to gain acceptance.
When they grow into adults, they carry those same dysfunctional patterns into all relationships. Rather than speak up on their own wants and needs, they strive to make themselves loveable by becoming what they think others want and need.
Children who are "people pleasers" will grow up to carry the same dysfunction and loss of power into adult relationships.
Because they have given away their power by deferring to others, many lack the skills to understand that not everyone is going to like you no matter what you do.
You Are Loveable But Sometimes Still Disliked
Out of every 10 people you meet, 4 will immediately like and accept you. 4 will be on the fence and withhold judgment until you have proven yourself and your intentions, and 2 will dislike you no matter what you do, say or offer.
This dislike is an irrational, subconscious belief that the other person may not recognize. For no apparent reason, some people will reject your friendship. It is okay. Just know that you too, sometimes get “bad vibes” from certain people. Let them go and concentrate on those that like you or can be converted to accept you.
People Pleasers Can’t Please Every One
If it has been your pattern to become a “pushover” or “doormat” who allows others to dominate and dis-empower you, you can speak up or walk away. As you learn to set boundaries, you will find that you will work harder to develop relationships with the 8 who are drawn to you and let the 2 who don’t like you to fade away from your circle of friends.
Bill Cosby said “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Self Awareness Quiz
1. Have you ever disliked someone immediately for no valid reason?
2. Have you learned the life lesson that you cannot make someone like you or your child?
3. Can you see the value in cultivating the friendship of the 4 who instantly resonate with you and the 4 who are waiting but willing to like you?