If you are a people pleaser, you will completely relate to everything that’s written below. I have been cursed with this soft attitude and am still trying to change myself because I learned very late that the more you bend over, people will literally screw you. Have you ever found yourself in any of the below situation? If so, mend your ways before it’s too late because everyone’s just taking advantage of you. I have personally been in every single one of this. The first mantra I can whisper in your ears is this – Learn to say ‘NO’.
1. Restaurant Bill is a Bitter Pill
This happens in restaurants with friends or colleagues. After a meal the bill arrives and everyone splits their share, people pleasers find themselves in a situation where they end up paying for more than they’ve had. Might have had just a drink, but still pay more if the bill does not tally up just to ease the tension. Every single time. And it so happens that no one says anything. Someone clearly had to pay for what they had, but no, they didn’t. And who covered for them? Yep! Another classic example is most of your pals might be broke and you end up covering for them. That’s all fine and generous. But if this happens often, hang out with richer friends. Just saying!
2. The Talkative Passenger
Be it a bus, train or a plane. You find your seat and just want to relax for the rest of the journey or take a fine nap. But the person next to you is trying to make small talk and you are nodding your head and smiling trying to be all polite and shit when all you really want to do is sleep and ask them to STFU. The person does not stop and you are there with your fake smile and go through the torture because mamma raised you well. Just realise that you can always cut a conversation short and do what you want maybe by telling the person you’ve had a long day and need to catch up on some rest.
3. The Queue Pressure and You
This is one of the worst where I suffer the most. Standing in a queue, be it a bank, exchange centre or even a ticket sales counter. Once you reach the counter, you are so considerate that you hurry up because the person behind you is waiting and somehow you always assume they are impatient and will get angry if you are slow. So much that you forgot what you are there for. There is absolutely no reason to get stressed or feel pressurised. Take your sweet time and get your thing done correctly. Be it counting cash, filling the account number or cross checking details. You stood and waited for your turn, so whatever it is, don’t be in a hurry and do it carefully.
4. Compromise is not always Nice
This is something everyone can relate to. Going to watch a movie at the multiplex, you want to watch the new hollywood action flick but your friends want to watch that gooey romantic film. You agree to them because you are a pathetic people pleaser. You don’t want to open your mouth and tell them, “Hey, can we watch this action film, I’ve been waiting ages for its release and I’m really excited”. If they are your real friends, they’d be more than happy to watch it with you rather than subduing you. Maybe you just needed to ask.
Same goes for other choices. You want to order pizza, but your friend says Chinese. Learn how to speak your mind but also remember, don’t be a pushover. You need to maintain a balance!
5. The Borrow Sorrow
How many things have you lent to your friends? Books, videogames, money, bike, car and even your soul? People pleasers are the first to jump the line and help others. It’s not a good thing to do every single time. I once gave my laptop to a friend because he wanted to complete his assignment and submit it on time. I got it back after two days. I used the computer in the library to do my browsing. Now that I think of it, I realise how stupid I’ve been. It’s okay to say no. Your convenience comes first. Don’t be the nice guy always.
6. Charity is your Cup of Tea?
People pleasers feel obliged to donate money when someone asks for it. Be it a beggar, homeless person or the guy on the sidewalk who wants to sign you up and register for a monthly donation to sponsor a kid’s education in Africa. You won’t have money to buy food from the grocery but will still shell money for charity. Let some rich philanthropist take care of it. There is no need to go out of your way to get good karma. Be wise and spare only what you can. Everyone is fighting their own financial battle.
There are more scenarios. Being the driver to drop people around or pick up someone from the airport and such, running errands all the time, being the first to break an awkward silence, urge to reply to a text message or email immediately, being extra nice to a friend’s friend even if you don’t know them well.
So calm the F down and take it easy. Be supportive but wise at the same time. There are limitations. The world won’t stop spinning if you say NO. It’s okay to do as you wish and be comfortable with your choice. Real friends will understand, those who get angry don’t deserve your companionship.