People Pleasing

“There’s something very addictive about people-pleasing. It’s a thought pattern and a habit that feels really, really good until it becomes desperate.”

I contract a lot of anxiety surrounding people-pleasing. I like to be the kind of person that can make everyone happy and harms no one. Logically, I know that this is not possible. No one is perfect and no one can please everyone out there.

My anxiety, on the other hand, likes to fight me on this issue. If someone is mad at me or thinks poorly of me, I am surrounded with anxiety. In fact, my mind often runs wild with scenarios that haven’t even happened in order to make me anxious. If I meet someone that I don’t particularly like, I suddenly worry about what they will do if they find out or how events will play out if I get into a confrontation with the person. I become anxious about things that could happen rather than things that have happened or are happening.

In general, I’m an extremely logical person. I weigh the pros and cons of situations rather than simply going with my gut. I let my gut guide me in certain scenarios, but I generally depend on my brain rather than my heart. This becomes difficult in spouts of anxiety. Being able to step back and focus on the logic of a situation rather than the subconscious feelings that are bubbling in my soul is hard. Your body and your anxiety are telling you one thing, an illogical thing, while your brain is screaming the logical thoughts at the top of its lungs. While your brain may be screaming, those screams are often muffled by the loud noises of your subconscious.

I don’t fully know how to solve this problem yet. It’s something that I have struggled with a lot over the last year. The further I dive into the depths of my anxiety, the more I am beginning to understand its triggers and, therefore, its solutions. However, this is a long and painful process that requires a lot of self-reflection and criticism. It requires having panic attacks and reliving those panic attacks as I look back for its causes. Working against your anxiety is never easy, but the only thing harder is giving into it and letting it consume you.

Live your life in the way that you want to live it. Life is too short to live it in a way that you are unhappy.  In order to do that, you are going to upset some people and you are going to hurt some feelings. But there is no reason that you should live your life worried about the opinions of others based on how you want to live your life. Befriend the people you want to be friends with. Don’t befriend those that you don’t. You can choose your friends and you can choose the way that you want to live your life. Don’t let others dictate your life choices or your happiness.

1 COMMENT

  1. Barbie | 29th Apr 16

    Once again Meg, this is beautifully written and I think that many people can relate. I know I can. Perhaps we’re more alike than we know. I’ve lived my life being a people pleaser and, while it’s not always given me panic attacks, it’s made me make choices that I often didn’t really “want” to make, but did for the sake of peace. As I get older, I realize I’m getting tougher (something Mom always told me would happen and I never believed) and I don’t worry about it as much. Thinking of you and truly hoping that you will tame this beast!!!! Love you!!

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