For the People-Pleasers

For the People-Pleasers
by Starcat

This post is for you if you like to keep the peace, be a terrific host or hostess, and make other people happy. If you, like me, are inclined to tailor your words and actions so people will like you. If you seek approval, worry about how you’re perceived by your community, and make choices with family and friends in mind. My message to you is simple but might sound harsh: it just can’t be done.

Let it go. Just stop. You can’t make others happy; only they can do that. You already know this, deep inside. No matter how you contort yourself, there will always be someone who just isn’t buying it. Nor should they; you don’t run their lives. And how is it possibly fair to you to always be subverting your true preferences and precious desires?

The good news is, you can have a life of joy and harmony (though of course you’re still human, and will have challenges too, as you continue to evolve). You can find your center and live happily. How? By focusing on pleasing yourself first.

It may sound highly selfish, and you might be thinking, “no, that’s just not me.” But ponder this for a moment: if you desire to be of true service to others, and you allow yourself to be motivated by fun, free of expectations, you can only succeed. If you enjoy doing things for people and you find pleasure in it, you won’t need them to notice or care. You’ll be free to give without expecting anything in return. Paradoxically, this will create space for others to share their genuine appreciation, and for the Universe to send even more blessings your way.

Pleasing yourself first can be as simple as the way you care for your home. I had a recent realization that sounds obvious but is rather profound. I tended to focus on cleaning and tidying my home when I was hosting family gatherings or expecting friends to drop by. This was intensified around the holidays, when I went into a frenzy of decorating and clearing away clutter.

This season, though, I find myself keeping my home more tidy on a regular basis, and doing my de-cluttering in small chunks of time, as part of the flow of my day. No stress, just me giving my attention to my surroundings. My realization is that my motivation has shifted. I am prettying up our living space because I enjoy having beauty around me. And for the first time, that’s enough of a reason. It feels good, and more authentic.

When you do things because they please you, rather than trying to guess at what will make other people – all of whom have differing priorities, moods, and desires – happy, more joy and flow will naturally result. And after all, it’s their job to discover what brings them joy. You wouldn’t want to deprive your loved ones of that gift.

Be yourself, please yourself first, and give from the heart. If you’re still skeptical, just try it for a week and see what happens. You might be surprised with the results!

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