It’s human nature to want to be a well-liked person. Regardless of what people say, we all care about what others think about us – even on a small level.
However, it becomes a problem when we put so much emphasis on how others view us, that we lose sight of our own identities and what’s really in our best interest.
Read this list and see if any of these apply to you. If so, you might consider re-evaluating your approach toward relating with others.
What can you do to preserve your integrity?
1. You never say no. Believe it or not, there are people out there who won’t say no regardless of the situation. They could be confronted by a telemarketer trying to sell them on the light bulb of the month club, and they’ll gladly accept because they think the person on the other end of the line won’t like them if they refuse.
Sounds hard to believe, but it really is a serious problem for some people. Because they fear losing someone else’s approval, they open themselves up to situations that are clearly detrimental to their happiness and well-being.
2. You’re two-faced. Admitting you’re a two-faced person is tough to do, but necessary if you want to stop being a pleaser. People are two-faced for many reasons, but a big one is because they want to be liked by everyone they deal with. So how do you know if you’re two faced? You agree with whoever is standing there. You’re ready to sell someone out just to gain the approval of someone else.
Having two faces not only damages your reputation, but hurts any chances you have of developing real friendships. This can also come back to bite you in the professional arena. It helps to develop a thicker skin and stronger constitution in this situation.
3. You spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about what others think. As stated earlier, it’s natural to want to be well liked, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do good. The problem comes in when winning the approval of others becomes your only goal. Face it: You’re not going to be liked by everyone you meet. That’s why you have to be true to yourself first and then let the chips fall where they may.
Living your life to gain approval from everyone else forces you to give up your identity. Think about it: do people like the REAL you or just the ‘disguise’ you’ve put on for that particular day?
4. You keep your opinions to yourself. People who want to be liked by everyone around them miss out in social situations because they’re afraid that if they say what’s on their mind, they might offend someone. To them, it’s better not to speak at all. The problem with this is that it’s not genuine. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions – and while there are those who won’t share your views – you’ll actually be respected MORE for saying what you believe rather than keeping it to yourself.
5. You mimic what’s popular. For a pleaser, the opposite of not saying what’s on their mind is simply regurgitating what the opinion, idea or view of the day is. Again, this is a problem because people don’t get to see who YOU are. All they see is a mirror willing to reflect everything back.
Why do people do this?
One of the major causes of being a pleaser is low self-esteem. Some people just don’t think that people will like who they really are and they go about creating whatever kind of persona they have to in order to get the desired result. The problem is that no one can possibly like the real you if they never get a chance to meet him or her.
So what can you do about it?
In situation where you feel like you’ve lost sight of who you are, it’s helpful to step back and take some time to reevaluate your position on things. What are your values? What do you feel strongly about? I offer a great self-coaching kit that has helped many people reconnect with who they are on the inside – The Happiness Trilogy from SlowDownFast.com.
You can also try a good therapist or life coach who can work with you so you can accentuate your positives and work on your negatives. These people can also hold you accountable until you get used to letting your true self shine regardless of what others might think.
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Thanks to Widow’s Quest for including this post in the Carnival of Positive Thinking, to Improved Life for featuring this post in the Carnival of Improving Life, to Energies of Creation for publishing this post in the Carnival of Creative Growth, and to Succeed Socially for inclusion in the Social Skills Carnival.