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People Pleasing 101: How To Fail That Class

People Pleasing 101: How To Fail That ClassLeanne can be found on her blog, Cresting The Hill, sharing her discoveries about how wonderful this time of life is, and how little people pleasing she needs to do these days. She would love for you to stop by and say hi.

People Pleasing 101

If there was a university course on People Pleasing, I would have graduated with an A+ distinction. Along with worrying about a myriad of little things in life, I spent a considerable amount of time worrying about what other people might think. I often made decisions based on what I thought other people would want me to do.

There is an element of “goodness” in wanting to make other people happy, but it comes undone if it isn’t balanced with having a strong sense of your own self-worth. When I made decisions it was lack of confidence that made me look to the opinion of others rather than trusting myself and that is not a healthy way to live.

Please Like Me

I remember back to my high school years where it was so important to be part of a group, to fit in and to be liked. It was the same in the church youth group and also when I started work. I didn’t want to be the odd man out who thought differently or who questioned the status quo. I wanted to be everyone’s friend and not cause upset if I could help it. Very altruistic – and also a little cowardly now that I look back on it.

Young people today are so confident and sure of who they are, they almost err on the other end of the spectrum where they’ll commit to something… “unless they get a better offer”. They don’t really care what other people think about them – they’re just happy doing their own thing in their own time.

Being True To Myself

There’s nothing wrong with wanting other people to like you, but not at the expense of being true to yourself. You can’t be happy if you are being what other people want you to be, or what you think other people want you to be (which is a layer even further down the slippery slope of lack of self-worth).

If you feel strongly about something, no matter how important or trivial it seems, be brave enough to own it and the possible consequences. When I finally started to step up in this area, I needed to find the balance between the “nice” girl who goes to church and the “slightly off colour” girl who has tattoos and likes gossip magazines, young adult fiction and doesn’t always want to toe the line.

What Other People Think

It took me many, many (too many) years to realize that people aren’t judging me, they don’t care if I’m exactly like them or not. Honestly, they’d probably prefer me not to be! People who are my friends love me for me, not for who I think they want me to be. There is a fabulous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt ~ “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

If I don’t have to try to keep everyone happy, if I let them worry about themselves and just get on with being me, then I can relax. I can accept myself. I can be happy. Why didn’t I figure this out years ago?

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

People pleasing can drain you dry, you are always second guessing yourself and squashing yourself into different molds depending on who you’re with, and as the famous meme goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that”.

I certainly don’t have time for it any more! I’m too busy discovering who I am and getting to know that person. I like that I’m a bit of a crazy mixture of both, the “nice” and “not so nice” girl. My daughter-in-law thinks I’m going to make a bit of an ‘out there’ Nan when little Sophia grows up and gets to know me – and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all!


Hi! I'm Leanne. I’m a happy empty nester living in Australia and blogging (at about my midlife journey. I want to share the joys and challenges of this stage of life and counteract the negativity associated with getting older. There is so much to be grateful for and to look forward to, and I’m loving sharing my story with others who are walking the same path.

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Life Loving

Tuesday 30th of August 2016

No that's not a bad thing at all Leanne. I think it's a hard thing to achieve all the time and sometimes you do have to do a little bit of people pleasing but it's good that you can be yourself.

Sally @ Life Loving #LifeLovingLinkie

Lois Alter Mark

Thursday 25th of August 2016

Great piece. For better or worse, I have never really been a people pleaser. And as I get older, that whole idea holds less appeal than ever!

Tam Warner Minton

Thursday 25th of August 2016

Love your Sweet Brown quote, "Ain't Nobody got time for that!" I love her! And I too would get an A+ but I have been doing my best to follow my own path unapologetically.

Barbara Hammond

Thursday 25th of August 2016

I've never worried much about what others think of me. Being true to self has always been important to me and something I admire in others. I try to help friends who struggle with it and I understand how hard it is for some. b


Thursday 25th of August 2016

so many of us of a 'certain age" were brought up to "please." I am reading The Aviator's Wife--a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh (wife of Charles lindbergh but ALSO an author in her own right). Talk about being a "people pleaser"--it almost undid her, till she built up her confidence in herself.

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