At school, work and even when self-employed, you may be familiar with the “People Pleasing Paralysis”. What has been ingrained in you since you were young, could well be stunting the growth of your personality – and your success.
We were taught to make the teacher happy, make your boss happy – even if it meant doing things you didn’t want to do, or handing in work that appealed to their passions instead of yours.
People pleasing comes from good intentions – making other people happy even down to good social etiquette. Thus: “My God, that hairdo looks ugly” becomes: “It certainly is a different look”.
Have you ever had an idea which set your mind on fire, and excited you, only to have the flames of excitement doused by how your idea might be received? You have just been struck by the “People Pleasing Paralysis”. If you are self-employed it is more important than ever to fuel your own passions if you want to become an expert in your industry, but fear of not winning clients may make you try and please every prospect.
Unfortunately – People Pleasing Paralysis is a short term fix and long term can do more harm to you than good. Have you ever changed a presentation about your services to offer something you’re not interested in but think will win a client? You may have People Pleased to the detriment of your business and your brand. they may recognise you’re not comfortable in your pitch, or worse, you might win the job and face slaving away on something you don’t enjoy and are not experienced in.
Why Should You break the People Pleasing Paralysis?
- You will stand out – people may not agree with your position, but they will at least know your position
- You win clients you want – by showing what you are interested in, you establish your niche and attract clients with similar passions making you enjoy work more, and working harder for your clients
- You gain more time to do the things you love by not wasting time on projects purely to please others
- You establish yourself as an expert – Not only will people recognise what your passions are – but they know that if something comes up in that field – you are the person to talk to.
Why breaking the People Pleasing Paralysis is hard
- you will upset people – whilst you might feel happy having different opinions to your friends – few people actually are and will take offence when you try to do something different.
- this habit has been with you since your early years – a habit built up over 10,20,30, 40+ years can be very difficult to break
How to Break the Pleasing People Paralysis?
- Bit by bit – don’t expect to do it overnight
- Start with your to do list – schedule the things you want to do first, focus your energy on the things you enjoy
- find your opinion. Ask yourself what you think on subjects that might come up when you meet clients or colleagues. having an opinion doesn’t mean ignoring others’ it means you provide a stimulus for conversation.
How have other people beaten the People Pleasing Paralysis?
What things did you find hard or easy when kicking the habit?
Are there any relationships where you feel People Pleasing is necessary?