Are You A People Pleaser?

It’s incredibly unhealthy as adults to require the approval of others in order to feel fulfilled in our own lives. Regardless of this fact, there are an incredible amount of people who feel the need to please, even when this behaviour can cause more harm than good.

But why? Surely if we’re pleasing people then our lives will be easier, more manageable? When we want to please our friends, family or coworkers doesn’t making them happy just make sense?

Well, in short, no. Spending time making others happy is prioritising their emotions over our own for starters which in turn causes us to doubt our self worth. Suddenly other people’s thoughts and opinions are more valid than ours because we have conditioned ourselves to think this way.

With the fluctuating moods of people, we also can’t control someone else’s happiness. Some days they are just destined for a low mood. It is not up to us to make them feel better. Sure be a good friend and be on hand but don’t make their happiness your number 1 priority above your own.

Have you noticed this sort of behaviour in yourself? Have you noticed that when your friend is sad that you almost absorb their sadness with them? Do you feel as if it’s your duty to try and control the situation? Do you feel like sometimes you’ll agree to something even when you don’t want to? As if by saying no you’ll rock the boat?

If you answered yes to any of the above then, like me, you have reached the first level of self improvement: awareness.

When we’re aware of what makes us tick and how we act in situations, we can adapt and improve with time and become better, more well rounded and happier individuals.

I’ve learnt to look at my own behaviours in life and try to better myself for my own happiness. I have looked at who I am, flaws and all, and accept myself for who I am and you should do the same. Without criticism, look inside yourself and all your behaviours, both good and bad and accept yourself for who you are. It’s important to note that at this stage acceptance is not complacency, and it is simply a stage we must meet before we can move forward and begin our adjustments.

Much like when we’re told to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before helping someone else in an airplane, we need to look after ourselves before we can offer assistance to others. It’s that age old saying of trying to fill up someone’s cup with an empty jug.

In order to build upon what we’ve already developed, we need to learn to speak up when we feel wronged without the fear of judgement, say no once in a while and tolerate when someone criticises us without taking it to heart. Not everyone can like you, it would be unfair to put that much pressure on yourself to think that way.

Once we learn how to deal with the fact that we are not mind readers and cannot possibly get everyone to like us, we can move onto building a more positive community around us. Of people who aren’t afraid to criticise us and help us to grow. These relationships we choose to have around us give us strength to be vulnerable around people and speak our mind more freely. I have a few select friends who give me love and support when I need it but also take no shit. If they don’t agree with me then they’re going to say so. It’s not because they’re trying to be mean but they want the best for me without seeking my approval.

In the same way we develop physical relationships, our online relationships should also reflect these ideologies. We often spend too long on social media chasing that dopamine high from likes on our photos or comments which is another form of validation we think we don’t need but can’t help but want.

In this case, I’m trialing a separation between myself and Facebook. We’ve been together since 2007 and I have grown up with it close to my heart ever since. I was part of a generation that could reach out to friends after school or college through social media but some of those so called friends were influencers on my behaviour today. I was the less listened to person in the group, the one with the loud laugh because I knew it caught their attention, I was not validated by these people and it made me feel rubbish. Now I have taken this trait forward and I don’t much like it. I no longer have the loud laugh and I’m getting better but I can tell the background noise is still there, still impacting me to this day.

As I’ve hit more and more milestones, I’ve witnessed these so called friends hit more and they seem happy, as if life has handed them lemons and they’ve built a lemonade empire. But this is the impact of social media. No one posts about their bad days, only their good ones. There are no unedited photos on their featured sections, no unemployed statuses or mental health posts. We see what they want us to see and what we see we compare ourselves to. It’s simply not real and validation from these types of platforms are superficial and cause fake highs.

I think we need to adjust our perspective.

We need to learn to not be so selfish in thinking that everyone will love us. We need to accept that everyone we meet is different and like a joke, we’re going to meet people who find it funny and those who don’t. We need to learn that criticism mostly comes from a place of love, our friends and family want to see us succeed and help us to grow.

We need to learn to love ourselves, take care of ourselves and let our self esteem expand.

Ultimately, if we can let go of our anxieties and go with the flow a bit more, we should end up living happier and more well rounded lives.

Until next time.

Creating Your Own Destiny- Making Changes To A Stagnant Adventure

Another weekend has passed and we are well and truly progressing into the year like a train heading full speed down a track.

Sometimes it can feel as if our lives are on a set route, a track of destiny if you will, and it can be hard to see a change in circumstance, without fantasising about unreasonable and unlikely change.

Let’s be honest, the likelihood of me winning the lottery is slim at best, especially when I’m expecting to win without even having bought a ticket, but for some people believing in the unreasonable is what gets them through the day.

It’s no surprise that as a twenty something millennial, I’m broke as hell and each pay-check goes straight out of my bank to pay for the necessities (but we won’t go on a rant about that).

Even though money is an issue for me, the lack of it does not hinder my experiences too much. For instance, I’m still going on holiday, I still go out on a weekend, and I’m generally enjoying life. So much so that I had a pretty subdued conversation with my partner and friend about how much my nails had grown and how long and shiny nails are a sign of mental and physical well-being.

So it’s safe to assume that I’m not overly concerned about what hindrances life has to throw at me but regardless, there are a few things I would change, the biggest being my financial circumstance. A lot of people my age, as said before, have a similar issue, and think nothing of change, assuming life will resolve itself, or somehow your circumstance will change without you putting a shred of effort in.

Simply put, you cannot expect change if you sit on your bum all day and plod through life. Being proactive is the key and in order to change my circumstance, I have asked for an appraisal at the company I work for in the hope that we can discuss not only my work load and responsibilities but also my rate of pay, in the hope they will see the hard work and effort I have put into the company in the past near year.

Whether or not anything comes of my meeting we will have to see, but at least I have taken a step forward and tried to at least make my situation less stagnant.

Whether its finances you’re worried about, or something different, like a stagnant romantic relationship with a partner, or a dry relationship with a family member, or something else entirely, just know that it only takes you saying or doing something to change your path.

It may not produce the fantasised event playing in your head, like my fantasy of winning the lottery, owning yachts and various houses filled with cuddly dogs, but it will change up your day to day life, shape it into something more manageable, something to be proud of.

At the end of the day, our lives are malleable, like putty, and we can adapt and change what we’re working with to produce a piece of art that is not only unique to us but that is a great representative of our adventure.

Next week I shall be posting snaps and a more fashion based post from my holiday in Portugal so please follow this blog, or my insta story @kirstyawriter to see these inspirational outfit and travel ideas.

Until next time.