I look back now and think of all the times I made myself sick with worry over trying to keep other people happy. One of the healthiest things I have done over the last decade is tame the need to keep other people happy in my life. There are 2 key concepts I have accepted that helped me create this new very liberating and free environment. I am a better husband, father, friend and coach because of it.
(1) Realizing People Pleasing Is Innately Selfish.
I thought that all my people pleasing made me a better, caring and sensitive person. I slowly came to the realization that that was not true. Pleasing people was really about accolades. I was obsessed with needing people to like me. Which means everything I did was really about me. I needed to be liked. I needed people to talk highly of me. I wanted people to notice me. I was not making other people HAPPY because I really cared for their happiness it was really about what I would get out of the exchange. As I slowly began to value myself more and find my accolades in other places I felt the need to be LIKED for the sake of being liked less and less appealing. I began to care less about people liking me and more about adding value to people’s lives. Sometimes that meant challenging people on some of their hold ups and pushing them to believe that they are capable of more. Which means people will not always like me. Some people may even avoid me or be repelled by me but other may thank me down the road for the value it added to their life. I am OK with people not liking me now. I am a much better coach because of it.
(2) My Own Happiness Was An Inside Job.
I spent a lot of time feeling like a victim to my life. That all the circumstances and the people around me were conspiring against me. That I was dealt a lousy card and woke up daily to a life that was happening to me and I felt I had no control over it. As I prayed and worked through things I walked into a new sense of gratitude and from this place of thankfulness I was able to turn my power back on. I began to see that the only thing that I was a victim of was myself. That I determined how I saw the world, the people around me and the circumstance I was in. That my powerless “victim” state was something I CHOSE rather than something I was inflected with. As I began to question the lens through which I saw the world and trade out my lenses for a better more opportunistic lens I realized that other people could do the same thing. By taking ownership for my own happiness I realized that I was not responsible for other people’s happiness. In fact I was preventing people from finding their own happy when I was working so hard to always keep them happy. I still love on people but I no longer feel responsible for changing their world views, I know that they too decided which lens they are using. If I can be of assistance in influencing them to own their happy great, but it really is not up to me, it is all about what they are choosing for them. AHHHHHHH what an amazing sense of freedom that has brought me.
These two concepts have change how I build boundaries around the things that matter to me in my life as well as how I communicate with others in life. In the past when my priority was making other people happy instead of owning my own happiness I had very few boundaries. Taking on the responsibilities of other people’s HAPPY left me exhausted and unhappy plus resentful. I now have been learning how to communicate my needs in relationships as well as learning to listen to the needs of others in my life, so I can actively add value to other people lives by helping them own their HAPPY.
Disclaimer alert: These are my musing and my thought processes. If they offend you or rub you the wrong way I no longer care (lol) You are more than welcome to your own musings and thought processes. If they add value to your life like they did to mine, great, I am happy I could help.