I have a confession to make. I’m a people pleaser. I always try to keep everyone around me happy, and can’t stand to disappoint people. I will go to great lengths to avoid upsetting the people around me.
On the surface this may seem like an admirable trait that I should be proud of. However, in reality, it is not. In reality it is actually a huge liability that I need to remain constantly aware of in order to keep it in check.
But isn’t it a good thing to please the people around you? Don’t you want to make people happy?
Yes I do want to make people happy, and yes it is a good thing to please people. But…
…It is not a good idea to make other people happy at the expense of your own happiness. And sometimes I do just that. I’m not the only one. Millions of people remain in unhappy relationships to avoid hurting their children. Millions of people stay in jobs they hate because they don’t want to disappoint a boss who “has been really good to me”. Millions of people go to university and take classes that lead to a profession they don’t want to avoid disappointing their parents.
And all of those millions of people are making huge mistakes!
If you stay in an unhappy relationship for your children’s sake, you aren’t fooling anyone, least of all your children. They will pick up on your unhappiness, and all you will teach them is that relationships will make them sad, or angry, or otherwise miserable, and when they are grown they will start attracting the same kind of relationships into their life and repeat the same patterns.
If you stay in a job you don’t like you will allow it to eat at your soul until one day that boss that has been so good to you drops a pink slip on your desk because the company is being downsized. Now you and your boss both lose.
And if you go to school to become a doctor when you really wanted to be an actor, you’ll just be dooming yourself to an unhappy life in a white lab coat sifting through other people’s bodily fluids. That is if you even graduate, because more likely quit half way through after having spent thousand of dollars of your parents money, or gone into massive debt on your own, and you’ll have nothing to show to it and be an even greater disappointment to them than if you just followed your passion in the first place.