Why you shouldn't be a people pleaser
We've been taught to always be polite, be nice, to always put on a smile and help other people. And that is by all means, a good thing. But sometimes, we end up saying yes to things we don't want to, letting someone get away with a wrongdoing, doing favours for someone while sacrificing important ordeals of our own. This is called people pleasing.
People pleasing is a very different thing from simply being nice. The difference is that a people pleaser operates from a fear of being disliked, rather than from good intentions and genuinely caring about others. For example, you're talking to someone and he tells you Rick and Morty is a terrible show. You nod and agree with him even though it's your favourite show in the world and you regularly procrastinate doing important work just to binge watch episodes for the umpteenth time. Now that's people pleasing behaviour.
We come in contact with a variety of people with a huge range of different thoughts and opinions. If you agree with everyone on everything, you're definitely doing something wrong
When you're being a people pleaser, you're being fake, manipulative and inauthentic. Like the example above, if you go around mirroring others like that, you'll have a lot of people who don't hate you but you'll barely have people who you genuinely connect with. It goes beyond just simply mirroring other's likes and dislikes. Any behaviour that goes against your real feelings and intentions makes you inauthentic. People can actually sense it and eventually, they won't trust or respect you for not showing your real self. Not to mention such behaviours have a negative impact on your self-esteem. You're essentially telling yourself that other people liking you is more important than your own thoughts, choices and daily life duties. You end up feeling inferior, paranoid and a feeling of dissatisfaction takes over from not expressing yourself.
People pleasing can also lead to awkward situations. If you agree with both Rahim and Karim when they have conflicting opinions and come to talk about that to you, it will become a cringefest for you.
Unfortunately, a lot of people constantly rationalise such action as politeness and end up doing more harm than good. Our culture pretty much teaches us to be people pleasers since childhood. Remember how when you're visiting someone and they offer you sweets, you're supposed to refuse and wait for them to forcefully offer it again even though on the inside, you're craving for some sugar?
So next time you find yourself sacrificing being true to yourself to please others, ask yourself if it is really worth it. If not, realise it, take note of it, and do what the "real" you would do.
Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is an undercover wizard who spends his days quietly observing muggles. Send him new magic spells at [email protected]