I ask myself this question every time my insecurities are driving me crazy. Why do I want everyone to like me, especially if it’s people I don’t like? I have been a people pleaser to the point where it has become where the majority of my stress comes from.
One of my friends had once questioned me about why I have to be a people pleaser. I froze over the phone. I had no answer to that, and until that moment I never realized I was trying so hard to please people.”I want them like me”, I thought to myself, “especially the ones I hate because I think they don’t like me”.
I often blame my unhealthy behavior of trying too hard to please people to my experiences being bullied as a child. As the kid being shut out, all I wanted to do was to fit in, and I thought that if I make my bullies like me that they will eventually welcome me to their little club. No shit! The thought was considerably very problematic and unhealthy, and looking back, it’s just sad.
I guess I was never able to get over the habit of pleasing people. I have had people call me “sweet and considerate”, but for those who know my problems better, that’s just a nice way to phrase “people pleaser”. In a lot of situations, my initial purpose of “pleasing people” is that I want people to feel happy because I know how awful it feels to be depressed. Sounds nice and sweet right? However, a good intention can never change how things develop bitter and sour.
My insecurities and anxiety started to increase like my bills. After I have been friends with someone for a while, I would consider it long enough for them to get tired of me. Then the whole processes of freaking out begins. The result will usually lead to a doomed interpersonal relationship or I just suffer on my own for a long while. Either way, it is unhealthy to my mentality.
So, I often wonder how I can stop this vicious cycle? While being a hypocrite and not practicing any ways, I still have a list of how to improve such insecurities. Changing the perspective and checking the facts are two of the biggest skills that help when anxiety and depressive thoughts attacks me.
Asking questions with my wise mind often puts me on a more objective position. Stop and think what can be the worst thing if you stop forcing yourself to please everyone. Your friend and loved ones deserve more than just a pretend version of you. And don’t you think that it will not be the end of the world (and probably even just fair) if the people you don’t like have a mutual feeling towards you too?
Ultimately, you gotta give people more credit that they will not just hate you and leave you.