As well as being one of the cornerstones of #1PMChat, Hilary Sims is a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and an Accredited Member of the National Counselling Society (NCS). Here, Hilary again gives her insight into something that many of us are familiar with…
How many times do you agree to do things but then when it’s time to do it, you don’t want to do it? Is this because you have a desire to please other people?
Why are you putting the desire to please other people above your own desires? Sometimes we want to please other people because we think they will like us more. People will like you for the person you are, not the things you do for them.
An example of this is, your friend asks if you could give them a hand next weekend moving some furniture. You say yes, like you always do. When the day arrives, you go to help but don’t really want to be there. Ask yourself why did I agree to do this? Also, ask yourself how do I feel at this moment? How is doing something I don’t want to be doing affecting my self esteem and how you feel about yourself?
Did you say yes because you wanted to help or were you just scared to say no because they might not like you if you said no? If you asked a friend for help, but they said no, what would you think, how would you feel? The common answer to this is I wouldn’t think anything. So why do you think other people will think badly of you if you say no.
If you are going round doing things to please other people, how can you ever be happy?
If you think of all the times you have agreed to do things for others, but not really wanted to do them, what does this do to how you feel about yourself? You start to believe that it isn’t ok to please yourself, for me to be happy I need to be pleasing other people. This is not about pleasing yourself in a selfish way but in a SELF CARE way. If you don’t take care of yourself, who does?
This doesn’t just apply to helping people, this can apply to any decision that you are making. When you next make a decision, ask yourself, why are you doing this? Are you doing this because you want to or because you want to please someone else?
Is it time to learn to put yourself first? It will feel strange to ask yourself, do you really want to do this or are you doing it to please someone else? When a friend asks for help, give yourself a bit of thinking time by not giving an answer immediately. Tell them you will get back to them to let them know if you can help or not. Then ask yourself, why are you agreeing to do this? If you come up with the answer that you want to do it, that is fine, go ahead and help your friend. If you come up with the answer that you must/should do it because they will like you, ask yourself do you like people for the person they are or because of the things they do? Normally, we like people for the person they are.
At this point, it will feel quite strange to say, sorry I can’t help. The friend will probably reply, that’s fine, no problem. This will make you feel much better about yourself as you are taking care of yourself.
It is time to realise it is ok to please yourself, you don’t have to spend your time pleasing others.