I've heard callers say on air, “I'm a people-pleaser.” People say it as though it's appealing to hear. But it only appeals to people focused on being liked, not those who want an honest relationship with mutual vulnerability.
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This is why I was instantly drawn to Trina Stutzman’s article “Why People-Pleasers Lie and What We Gain When We Share Our Truth” on TinyBuddha.com.
Are You a Liar?
“’You’re a liar. People-pleasers are liars,’ a friend said to me... I believed the lie that pleasing people would make my relationships better,” Stutzman begins.
The first thing to do if you’re a people-pleaser is face the truth: you're a liar. Your whole life is largely a lie. When you want to belong and be liked, don't just give them everything they want. What if they want honesty and vulnerability?
You may think people-pleasing is safe, but it's not. You're not showing who you really are, which leaves you alone.
Start by being more open with your pain. It can be things that hurt you at work, with a spouse, with a sibling, with a friend. Listeners often call me when they’re dealing with pain, fears, and failure, then they say, "Well, they shot my dog and burned down my house, but it's fine.” You've heard that a million times.
It's not okay for you, is it? Don't lie that it’s fine. I'd rather you say it's very painful. Be truthful and stop being a liar.
Users Love People-Pleasers
If you're a people-pleaser, users love you. There are plenty of them around; family, friends, neighbors. When you allow people to really see you, users will drop you like a hot potato.
People with depth are repelled by people-pleasers. They will have you experience vulnerability in a new way.
“Trust is the foundation of all relationships. When we are real, others trust our words and actions, and we become more trustworthy. We are no longer chameleons, adapting and saying what others want to hear,” Stutzman writes.
It's very hard to love or care about somebody when you don't trust them. Many of you don't realize that, to a certain extent, you hide almost all the time. Everybody does, even if just a little bit.
Stop presenting yourself as always happy, willing to give someone whatever they want. That doesn't make anybody care about you. The real you is still hidden.