Value Add Singapore

How to Avoid Trying Too Hard to Please People


Here in Singapore, you need to be the best in your field and sometimes to many that means lots of people pleasing. Those that are engaged in people pleasing have symptoms of co-dependency. This is the reason why Dr. Albert Ellis encouraged people to be more self-directed – that is, engaging in outcomes that best serve your interest not others.


If you do not want to engage further in people pleasing, it is time that you change your mindset. Here’s how you can change your mindset about people pleasing:

You cannot always please someone

You can please someone once or maybe twice but never assume that you will do that all the time. As soon as you realize this fact, you will come to accept that it you cannot always please someone and that is normal. Now that you know you cannot please everyone all the time, you will face lesser disappointments. Do not attach your sense of self to something as impermanent as this.

Spending time developing yourself

If you spend most of your time pleasing others and sulking if you do not get their approval, you are not at all developing yourself. You have to work on fine tuning your inner compass and direct yourself to sufficiency and development. You need time and space to grow. Do not spend it in the company of others who will prey on your people pleasing need. If you spend time developing yourself, there will come a time that you can make your own decisions without thinking whether someone will be pleased or not.


Evaluate the state of the relationship

You need to evaluate the state of the relationship you are in. What will happen if you displease this person? Will he/she punish you in a way of humiliating or rejecting? If that is the case, you have to think if it is valuable for you. It is not always valuable so you need to practice self-sufficiency and independent mindset. Relationships are fulfilling but if it comes to curbing your attempts to self-regulation, you should get away from that relationship while you still can. Rejoice your freedom.

As soon as you understand these realizations, you will not put more effort in doing your best for others but for yourself. People pleasing is like a quicksand, if you let it swallow you, you will not survive. Inspire yourself to be better and everything will follow. If you see this to other person, you can share these.


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