Stop People-Pleasing Right Now!
Do you find yourself doing exactly what you’re asked to all the time? The habit might just break you.
In our social lives, we are constantly under pressure to agree with others. Agreeing is polite, likeable and makes us seem more friendly. There’s no explanation needed- we exchange smiles (sometimes forced) and walk away without making any new enemies.
Have you ever had the experience when you find there’s a group of really cool people you would like to join? It can be anywhere — at work, school or college. You start a conversation with them and agree on everything they say. You might even try to crack a few jokes to make it seem more natural. Yet, you find that this never works. No matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to be accepted. Everyone acts friendly, but no bonding happens.
Meanwhile, there’s a group of friends you’ve known for a long, long time. There were never any awkward conversations; everyone teases and mocks each other. In fact, it was like that in the first place.
In that group, no one is scared to disagree and shout out a long list of why an idea sucks. Your relationship even seems to get better due to the taunts and jeers.
What’s going on?
Stress Makes Us Agree
To be liked, you have to possess something that people like you for. Someone that is well-liked always has a unique personality that people find attractive.
When you are trying hard to gain the acceptance of a bunch of friends, you are more conservative. You look nervous and tense. There might be times when you might not agree with their views, but still give a “yes” to avoid any tension. In short, you are craving their approval.
This causes more problems than it avoids. By being reserved, shy, not voicing your opinions when you disagree and a little too polite, you portray yourself as someone inferior.
Have you ever seen the so called “leader” of a group or director of a company act inferior to his/her members? I haven’t. The boss always sits in the middle of the room and gives orders without waiting for someone to agree with them.
To be well-liked, you have to appear more open, confident and persuasive. Some of us aren’t aware of it, or we just can’t seem to manage it. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry. You’re in the same boat as me.
This is why it’s so hard to gain the liking of others- especially the ones that you want the most. On the contrary, you might find it easy to become the center of attraction in your family or group of old friends without even trying.
Don’t Be Scared To Disagree
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. — Winston Churchill
Being soft and easily swayed makes you look dependent on others. This won’t help if you want people to look up to you. Instead, be outspoken and confident.
This is where saying “No!” to things that don’t suit you comes in. By voicing your opinions or occasionally turning down a request, you show that you are to be respected. Do not easily give in to others. Draw a clear line about your beliefs, and stick to it.
You can have a conversation with another person about why the both of you disagree, and walk away agreeing to disagree after hearing a different persepctive in mind. After all, even good friends don’t need to agree about everything.
Friendly disagreement generates a lot of respect and trust. By being who you are, you show that you need not depend on others. You don’t let (or at least don’t show them that) other people’s assumptions and views of you affect your self-image. Instead, you can be someone that people flock to, someone that they choose to imitate.
Now, we have to remember that some people out there will remain convinced that they’re right. If all they’re trying to give is a piece of advice, stay patient and listen to them. You don’t need to constantly nod in approval, but taking the time to listen if worth it. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new.
It’s a different story when they try to shove it in your face and force you to adopt their views. This is the time to say “NO” and walk away. You’re better off without that person in your life.
Strength of Character
Doing all this will not be easy. Some people find it natural mixing with others, while others struggle to get the friends they want. If you’re wondering- there is no easy way around this.
Never become too attached on gaining approval until it borders on desperation. This makes you nervous — and you body will reflect this by adopting a closed body stance, fidgeting and speaking in a higher tone of voice. You don’t want all this as people can tell there’s something fishy going on.
In the end, be natural and true to your heart. This will get you the friends that you are most comfortable and happy spending time with. Never, ever hesitate to stand up for something in your life — be it a person you love or the dream you’ve always had.
Gain the admiration of the people you like by showing them that you are someone that doesn’t crave their attention. Be someone that they can look up to.