Disclaimer: This blog is specifically for people like me who are inherently nice, they need this the most.
Has anyone told you you’re a nice person? Do you care a little too much about everything? Do you put everyone else first but nobody puts you first? Do you apologize, a lot, even when its not your fault? Do you pretend to agree with everyone? Do you take extreme measures to avoid conflicts? Do you think you’re responsible for how people feel? Did you ever feel that if you were an asshole things would’ve been a lot easier for you? If you said yes multiple times then I have news for you (which I received recently ), you’re a chronic people-pleaser.
I was kind of shocked when I realized that now even being nice is a problem!? Well yeah, when you’re suffering from a painful migraine but you can’t tell your friend that you’d like to go home and take your medication rather than go to a restaurant, and force yourself to eat with the headache, when you tell your Uber driver to drop you few miles away from your home so that it won’t be inconvenient for him, but inconvenience for you is no big deal, when you’re suffering from food poisoning but you don’t say no to work from home, even though your teammates could do the same work, when someone lies to you and you just smile and change the topic because it would put that person in an awkward position, when you put on a little less makeup so that your female colleagues won’t feel they haven’t been putting in any effort, (okay I know your list may be different than me) but you know when you do such things just because you’re supposed to be nice, that’s a huge problem, not for others but for you.
I have done this all my life, I’d do these grand gestures for everyone, I’ll go out of my way for people I don’t even care that much and completely abandon my own physical/emotional/mental well being and when the time would come they’d usually put everything else before me. And I’d be devastated, I’d feel like a victim, because I was perfect, I’d been so nice, I’ve done everything by the book and yet I’ve been rejected. So like everyone else I’ll go to social media and post some emotional bullshit about how bad the world is for kind and nice people. I hope I’m not the only one here who has done this, that would be really awkward and embarrassing.
Also, I realized how many years I’ve wasted pleasing people, thinking about them, making them feel comfortable, walking on eggshells with their likes and dislikes, that I’ve completely lost my self in this process, seeking validation and approval from almost everyone to make myself feel good enough. I never once thought what if nobody cared about me what my life would like then? And it dawned on me does anyone really even care about me? I mean yes my family and handful of friends do, but they’d support me no matter what, others mostly won’t, they are too busy thinking and caring about their own selves. They might think about me for a second, make an opinion (which can be wrong) and then completely forget about me. And all I’m doing here is trying to make people think good about me for one second, trying to change one fragment of their thought? Is that even worth it, making sacrifices for no apparent reason, and innumerable times a day! And then one day you wake up and realize you’ve wasted your life away doing things you didn’t like, and now nobody really cares for all the things you’ve done for them because it was supposed to be your duty?! Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather care about myself more from now on than to wake up with a midlife crisis in few years and stuck in shitty situations.
Okay, if that wasn’t convincing enough, how about this- Have you once in your life seen a bad-ass personality on screen and wished it was you? I have, almost everyday! And it’s never with good guys. Well, we do love our heroes, on the other hand we love anti-heroes a little more. And I think you already know why, they don’t give a fuck what people think of them. They don’t do stuff because it will get them compliments in life, they do things because they want to, because they like it, and they’re really good at it. I’m not telling you turn into an anti-hero (which, by the way, would be so cool) but may be try this out- think of your alter ego, your ideal self, what he/she would do in a tricky situation? I’m most certain they will not care so much.
So next time try this- you’re at some bill counter and there’s a large queue behind you, take some more time than usual, do your thing, let people get pissed a little. I know, even thinking about this gives me crippling anxiety and that’s why it needs to be changed. The thing is as psychopaths need tiny bit of empathy to keep them grounded, we need a little apathy from people around us so we can depend on ourselves for the validation that we seek.