I used to be proud of being a people pleaser.
My motto used to be: If you’re happy, I’m happy. If you’re unhappy, I’m unhappy.
I used to hurt myself if it meant I could stop other people from being hurt. For example, I did what I thought other people wanted me to do even though I didn’t want to do it.
I thought being a people pleaser made me kind, caring and selfless. I really want to be kind, caring and selfless because I value these traits, so I thought being a people pleaser was a good thing.
While my head agreed that we can’t please everyone, my experience told me I could. And I was subconsciously proud of it.
But this last year I finally learnt something: No matter what I do I can’t please everyone. And even if I could, there wouldn’t be an ‘I’ anymore.’
I tried so hard. I bent over backwards. I became a ghost. It broke me. I lost myself. I was so stressed, exhausted and unhappy. I couldn’t function like that for long.
It taught me that being a people pleaser isn’t good for me. It’s unhealthy and self-destructive. I used to think being a people pleaser was worth the pain it caused me, but too much pain and it isn’t worth it.
Now I’m learning how to be me again. A big step for me in doing this is simply to be honest. Being honest about what I’m feeling, who I am, and what I want to do.