Follow along as Sophie Poredos lays open the truth of going through life in hopes of pleasing everyone around you.
‘New year, New me’ has come upon all Grapeshot readers and writers. What better time to reveal one of my inner flaws, than to the campus of Macquarie?
I am a certified people pleaser.
People pleasing doesn’t class you as a bad person, but it certainly doesn’t make you a good one either. The desire to say ‘yes’ all the time and act upon my whims to make others happier has actually created a lot of messy situations for me recently. From over-inviting new friends to gatherings, to trying to balance various circles of friendships, each one is just a disaster waiting to happen. Even joining in on stupid shenanigans out of peer pressure just to be accepted, it’s resulting in my identity and happiness starting to unravel at the seams.
It’s a scary feeling when you don’t quite know who you are as a person, when you observe yourself through the multiple accommodating personalities you take on and when you realise how easily you’re influenced by those around you. I’m sure some of you may catch yourself becoming super energetic and bubbly toward a new group of people and becoming more reserved around your older friends, it’s an exhausting game of tug-o-war. Just the fear that someone might possibly not like your character or speak poorly about you behind your back can be an intimidating feat to correct in itself.
Ironically, I love opening myself up to rejection. It’s such a freeing experience. In 2022 I went on as many Bumble and Hinge dates as possible, meeting strangers and not knowing if I would ever speak to them again. I wanted to move freely in life like water, with no attachments to situations and feelings, rather letting them pass by. Shooting my shot for the sole purpose that I could move onto the next hurdle. ‘Character growth’, I would class it. But I’ve come to realise this all-so-epiphanic moment I thought I had mastered seemed to collapse when it came to socialising with new groups of people and potential recurring friends. Perhaps there is a difference between not caring about a stranger you’ve just met versus the friend of a friend who will inevitably pop their head at a social event in the future.
Just the idea of ‘making a good impression’ is a suffocating ideal to live by; why are we so afraid of making a blunder in front of a new person? But for the fellow people pleasers in the crowd who relate, according to Medical News Daily, we have to start working on setting our boundaries, enjoying time alone and saying ‘no’ more often.  Whilst these aren’t exactly easy measures for those who always prioritise others’ needs above their own, smaller steps are the building block for the emotionally healthy gal you want to turn into (for me it was asking others to help me with tasks instead of putting the burden on myself as a sole leader).
I’ve only just begun my journey to drop the people pleaser title and count my lucky stars for having an amazing partner who pulls me aside and reminds me to stop volunteering myself to make others happier. With some reflection on my recent misconducts, I decided that my 2023 resolution will be to drop my people pleaser title and enjoy the opportunity to say no. To cancel overscheduling my life and dropping everything in a moment to help others.
Join in with me as we start being selfish for ourselves and dear god, slow the fuck down.
 Villines, Zawn. “People pleaser: What it means and how to stop.” Medical News Today, 27 May 2022, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/people-pleaser