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Don't be a people-pleaser.

Hi there, my name is Jordan. And I'm a people-pleaser. Well, I used to be a people-pleaser. I thought
Don't be a people-pleaser.
By Jordan Brown • Issue #73 • View online
Hi there, my name is Jordan.
And I’m a people-pleaser.
Well, I used to be a people-pleaser.
I thought it was the primary goal in life: get everyone to like you.
Well, it is if you want to be a miserable person.
But the important lesson I learned is that there is no way that I can get everyone to like me.
Plus, that kind of world could get pretty annoying and boring.
Let’s review an alternative approach.

Thoughtful People, Beware
If you’re a thoughtful person, which I think you are because you’re reading a daily email about mental health, then this is likely something you’ve struggled with–this notion that getting people to like you supersedes other important issues.
It’s a great thought. But it should mainly stay in thought form.
Because you run into issues if you set out to always make people happy. Let’s run through some of these issues.
You forget yourself.
When your aim is to please others, you can sometimes forget that you are a person who also matters. You forget that neglecting your own needs and desires leads to burnout. And I’m not just talking about a sad little fizzle and a pop. I’m referring to a raging fire of a burnout bomb.
If you don’t please yourself first, by taking care of your basic needs, then you will begin to run on empty when the people who need you turn to you for guidance.
But there’s something else that happens when you try to please everyone.
You start to see the world through others’ eyes–and not you own.
This is especially insidious.
You have a unique way of seeing the world. It’s irreplaceable. When you put yourself second to the demands of others, you lose your precious sight.
You start to see the world through others’ eyes. This is because, if you tell yourself that you need to be a people-pleaser, you have to see the world through others’ eyes to know what they want from you.
Don’t confuse this with empathy.
That is an admirable skill in which one person is able to imagine the world through another’s point of view. The big difference between empathy and people-pleasing however is that empathy fosters greater connection and understanding. It energizes both people during the interaction.
People-pleasing is different. It stems from insecurity. When you do something with the hope that someone else will like you or validate you, you cede your power to the other party. Giving up your personal power is a dangerous game to play.
So what’s a good person to do?
The Opposite of People-Pleasing
You take the opposite approach.
Instead of going into your interactions with the aim to get people to like you, go into them with the aim to be yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done. But this is what I suggest.
Prep your interactions beforehand.
If social interactions make you anxious, prep yourself beforehand.
I’m not telling you to ruminate for hours. I’m telling you to think about who you are and what your great qualities are beforehand.
This doesn’t need to take any specific form. It only matters that you do it with intention. Carve out five minutes and do a mental rundown(or verbal rundown, if you like) of what makes you YOU.
Ask yourself:
  1. What am I proud of?
  2. What are my greatest strengths?
  3. How do I feel when I know I am being real and authentic?
These are just starting points. The beauty of questions is that they usually lead to other questions. Once you get into question mode, your brain will kick in and start to help you out with the other questions you need.
People-pleasing doesn’t have to be all bad.
In fact, there are people who choose to view it as a good thing. But the vast majority of people view people-pleasing in a negative light.
What matters is how people-pleasing affects the pleaser. If you’re doing too much of it, and if it’s bringing you down, it might be time to try something else.
Bring it to awareness, and then try a different approach.
You’ll learn new skills in the process.
And you’ll learn a lot about yourself as well.
Hello there, I hope you found this valuable. If you did, please let me know or share this email with a friend. Just say, “Hey friend, I’m really not trying to please you right now but I think you might get a kick out of this mental health update thingy.”
I’m thinking about implementing a referral program, actually. What do you think of that?

Take care. Be strong. Learn something new today.

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