I can relate to it. But, in hind site, I am beginning to realize that the mere act of people-pleasing is what is keeping me from being happy. As, I am so busy trying to keep others happy, I do not recognize what is true for me, and I have often times done things that are against my ethics, or my belief-systems, just to keep others happy....and, have undermined my own relationships by doing so. Thus....I am trying to be more my authentic self.
I think that's great advice — to remember that pleasing others keeps you from feeling happy. Sometimes it's hard for me to differentiate between my own feelings and my feeling of wanting to make someone else happy. It's ok in the short-term, but if I do it too much, my own needs don't get met and I become exhausted, cranky, or out-of-sorts. I have done things, too, at times that have gone against my ethics or belief-systems, and those have served as wake-up calls for me.
I think making others happy satisfies our short term needs - we don't have to stress about what they will think, say or do. But long term happiness relies on being authentic and pleasing ourselves. I struggle with this EVERY DAY.
I can definitely relate to this. My whole life I've referred to myself as a chameleon, able to change my preferences, my opinions, and my activities to please and fit in with the people I'm around, to make others happy. But over time, I've found that doing so has made me lose touch with myself and my own voice. The lines start to blur, and I forget - is this my opinion or theirs? Do I like to do this or is this someone else's idea of fun? It's disorienting. And whether or not it's a good way of dealing with it, I've found myself retreating from others quite frequently, trying to find the silence and space to figure me out again and who I actually am. But it's confusing because people pleasing, making others happy, feels like part of who I am, too. It's an on-going struggle.
This is a continual struggle for me. What is a challenge for balance is that as a Christian your life is about thinking of others before myself, to be sacrificial, to think of myself last. I honor my beliefs, but because of my past of low self esteem, I battle consistently in this area
Like all of you, I struggle with putting other people's needs before my own. Recently, I've been trying to recognize when this is happening, but it can be so *difficult* at times. Whenever I've said "no" to doing something my bf wants me to do, I feel super guilty. Like Jenn said, sometimes I can't even differentiate between what I want and doing something because it's what others want. I think that as long as I keep recognizing it, it will get better!
Negotiate. Speak up and you can say something like ok..but next time lets go to..whatever restaurant you wanted to instead. And when the next time comes around remind them about the deal you made! They're happy and your opinion gets heard too
I've struggled with this. In particular, because if I know, or think, that someone is upset with me, I obsess about it and can't focus on much else. I have to weigh how invested I am in a particular outcome vs. worrying about someone being angry. What goes through my mind is "Pick your battles.". If "going along" with something I don't have a huge stake in anyway keeps me from obsessing for the following few days then that is what I choose. In that way, I see it as making a choice to keep myself happy by taking the people-pleaser route. When it's a bigger deal to me then deciding to not go along does not make me feel so guilty so I avoid the obsessing session.
Being a people pleaser has little to do with being an introvert and a lot to do with being codependent. I know plenty of extroverts who are people pleasers. Check out the symptoms of a codependent and take a look at the people in your life to whom you acquiesce. Do you do forgo your own needs for everyone or just certain people? If you're unhappy with how you react in certain relationships, it's often because you're dealing with someone who knowingly takes advantage of your giving ways.
It took me years to realize this. I took the time to read blogs and listen to a life coach (FREE) that I cannot makes other people happy. I am not responsible for their happiness; they are not responsible for my happiness as well. For years I have set aside my own happiness and thoughts thinking these people would love me is I agreed to them. But that wasn't the case, and I feel I wasn't appreciated enough despite the "sacrifices" I made for them. I felt drained by these people. I decided to take care of myself more, speak up when it doesn't feel right, and value myself more before other people.
Oh yes, I am a people pleaser and codependent. One of the reasons I can never see myself in another relationship is because I know I would get stuck in that loop again. After several years it is still an amazing feeling to me that I can do what I want to do and not defer to another.
I know this probably sounds like overkill, but I say, can I think about that for a minute, then write down what I really want, and then read that to the person. Simply asking for time to think about it can give you the personal power to speak up about your preferences, as well.
People-pleasing is a huge thing for me. When someone doesn't get along with me, I desperately want to know the reason so I can fix that behavior when I am around them. I think that since INFJs absorb others feelings they want everyone around them to be content so that they can be content. My stubbornness will always cause me to stand strong against something I really don't want to do though.