In the words of the philosophical tween sensation Hannah Montana, ‘Nobody’s Perfect.’
We all have our faults, I certainly have my fair share, I can be one annoying gal at times. But the fault that is undoubtedly one of my most self-limiting, is my constant need to people please. I know I’m not alone in saying that I care WAY too much what other people think. Everyone wants that Alexa Chung effortlessly cool, zero-f*cks given attitude, when really a lot of us are as worrisome as hell.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make others happy, but when it comes at the cost of your own sanity, and often without thanks, it ain’t good. All those hours worrying about how to impress/please/treat other people, could be spent being proactive in your own life and improving your own happiness. Which believe it or not IS important!
People pleasing, can be over something as small as going along with plans you don’t really fancy. In the past, I’ve been guilty of this, going on copious nights out to packed clubs that blast music I’d rather not listen to! I would have rather gone along with plans, and numbed myself a bit with drink so that I found the setting bearable, rather than ‘let the other people down’ or be the odd one out.
Whereas now, I’m getting better at saying “nah, I’ll meet you next week in the daytime instead. My Saturday nights are reserved for Rory and Lorelai Gilmore.”
If they’re your real friends, they’ll get over it.
People pleasing is also a yearning for outside validation, your own self-confidence becomes dependent on the approval of others. This again, has made me focus on the aspects of self others can be quick to criticise or not understand, rather than trying to value what makes me unique and identify my strengths.
People pleasing and worrying go hand in hand, if you care about what others think there’s also a 94% chance you’re also worried about every single social situation you’ve ever found yourself in.
Lying awake at night replaying prior conversations in your head wondering, “Did I say the wrong thing?” “Will they think I’m rude” “I wish I’d mentioned ______” won’t change what you said, and it won’t change your life.
At 21, I’ve already spent far too long overanalysing past conversations and events, criticising the way I behaved or what I said. But you know what, all that time I’ve wasted doing that, I could’ve been out making new memories!
In life, we only ever get to live in the present moment. We can dwell on the past, or long for the future, but all we have is this moment right now. I certainly don’t think I’ll be sat in my rocking chair at 90years old looking back and thinking, how fab it was to have done all those things I didn’t want to do for the benefit of people I don’t speak to now, or just how fun it was to spend countless hours worrying.
At least I hope I won’t, that would be sad.
As I move forward, particularly in these poignant game-changing few months of my life, I hope to carry a positive attitude where I start to put myself and my goals first a lot more, and where the only thing I have to worry about is what I want for tea!