It is an absolute truth that you cannot please all of the people all of the time and yet, at times, although we know this intellectually, we do try.
Is it that we really do not want anyone to be unhappy or is it more that we want them to feel good about us?
It is human nature to look for acceptance and validation so we can easily get sidetracked and pursue approval for all the wrong reasons. Then before we know it we have established a habit, and as time goes by this becomes harder and harder to break. This can cause us to lack confidence and look for reassurance when we really know our own minds; we just have forgotten how to follow through.
Often these patterns of behaviour are set up in childhood and, in times of tiredness or stress especially, we can find that we return to that behaviour. But when you question the possible motives behind being told as a child to; be nice, be helpful, be quiet, we can see that perhaps at times there was an ulterior motive of an adult looking for their own peace and quiet. And yet these messages become embedded and we can lose our sense of surety about our actions.
Coupled with the very real possibility that many people have an agenda, wanting to get their own needs met. It seems that only by some kind of telepathy would we be able to understand what our audience wants, and more importantly why.
Yet, if accept that others have their own motives, then by default we must look at our own. When you start to understand your own motivation for being perhaps too agreeable, it can be much easier to take a confident stance and sit with the uncomfortable feeling that another’s disapproval can bring.
This can be so hard at first, but then the more you start to understand your own motivation, it becomes stunningly simple to either step out of conflict, step into acceptance and build that all-important confidence.
So, next time you feel you are going along with something that you do not really want, stop and consider.
Who will benefit from me going along with this course of action? If it is for the other person, and you are okay with that, then carry on. If you know this course of action will bring you discomfort, ask yourself why you are agreeing. How would be just to say no?
If being in ‘agreement’ mode has become a normal state for you, and you may need a moment to reflect if it is, then starting to be less agreeable may be a little uncomfortable, so try something small at first.
This is not about being difficult and uncooperative, it is about letting other people actually see you. Who you are, what you think, and the valuable input you bring to those around you.
Only in accepting that we really cannot be all things to all people, can we learn to be a little more respectful of ourselves, and conversely of others, by showing them an authentic response.
It is clear that in always trying to please everyone, all we ever appear to be is confused.