I often joke about being like a Golden Retriever. I’ve always been the person that tries to make others happy, and if I make someone unhappy, it makes my heart hurt. And of course there’s the flood of obsessive thoughts on how I can rectify the situation.
At work, if you pat me on my head, I run off with my tail wagging looking to produce more biscuit-worthy results. When I’m teaching, I get immense satisfaction when I send students home feeling relaxed and accomplished. Even at the holidays, I’m happier giving gifts. I love to watch people light up.
But we all know the age old saying, “You can’t make everyone happy all of the time.”
In fact, chances are if you made an enemy or pissed someone off it means that you stood up for something you believe in, or for yourself.
So how do us ‘people pleasers’ cope? First, recognize that it is exhausting to live for someone else’s happiness and begin to witness when you’re putting someone else first unnecessarily. Sure, you may have to put your child’s need for dinner above your own need for downtime, but I’m talking about the constant ‘back seat taking’ we do with our own energy.
We must bear witness when we find ourselves constantly deeming others’ happiness as more important than our own. We have to do some soul-searching to understand why we feel the need to find ‘validation’ outside of our own being. And, we have to give ourselves the same amount of energy we give others, or we find ourselves depleted.
Does this mean that we should no longer try to help people or have compassion? No it doesn’t. It simply means, that we should stop trying to make others happy as a means to find satisfaction. It’s a short-lived attachment. Rather, allow your authentic self to shine through. If people like it, great. If some don’t, who cares. You WILL rub some people the wrong way, and quite frankly, that’s their issue.
But, you will have unearthed a truer you, and there’s no greater peace than sitting in the seat of your authentic ‘self.’
- Your Charmed Yogi