The poor connotation of people pleasing

by Sofy Herrera

Ppeoplepleasericture this: the year is 2017. I am making the same decisions I have been making my whole life. What type of decisions, you may ask… inconveniently good ones. Let me tell you the truth; I spend an obscene amount of time internally debating with myself.

I am an indecisive person. For that reason, I never truly have a sturdy opinion on much. The one thing that I will never change my mind on is that the best way to live your life is to be kind.

Here I am, thinking to myself that I could have lessened this situation. I could have even avoided it altogether.

I could be in my home eating ice cream and watching “Stranger Things”…but no. When asked if I would stay after school, stay a little later at work or give a ride to someone who lives 23 minutes away, I word-vomited the monosyllabic shackle also known as the word “yes” before I had time to say Tyrannosaurus Rex.

You might be wondering how I got into this predicament. It all started when I was born. Just kidding, it started in the fourth grade; I was called a “people pleaser” by my classroom table. I came home mortified. Nothing in this world could be worse than being a kind soul.

I decided that the next day I’d be the exact opposite. I’d be mean and say no to everyone (no, you can’t borrow my eraser shaped as a high heel, Karen) and everything. Then I realized, I’d still be a people pleaser because I was pleasing them by not being one.

Let me tell you a secret: contrary to popular and hostile belief, being nice is not a bad thing. Be nice to yourself. Be nice to your locker partner who brings odd smelling food that makes your notebooks smell like fish for the rest of the year. Share that Quizlet. Be nice to your teacher who casually tells you to write 10 essays in approximately two minutes.

Do you want to know why? Because the only thing in life that truly matters is being a good person. Anyone can be funny (Google a few jokes), anyone can be smart (sell your soul to Khan Academy), but being nice…  now that’s a constant work in progress.

The connotation of “people pleaser” is completely wrong in my book. It should not be a negative role to play.

You are a person. That being said, as long as you are pleasing yourself while simultaneously being nice to other people, there is not a problem. Yes, it is super annoying to give the girl in your English class your last hair tie that you don’t necessarily need but like the comforting weight that its presence entails, but trust me, it’s worth it.

So, just follow my lead and be nice (I’ll take my own advice even though sometimes I am a hypocrite and say I’m out of gum when I’m not). I’ve discovered that people tend to reciprocate pleasant comments quite well and making someone’s day can also make your own. The only person you should try and be better than is the person you were yesterday.

Buckle up, and be prepared to ask yourself  “How did I get into this situation?”

One response to “The poor connotation of people pleasing

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Admittedly, I went through the better part of my life as an aloof and somewhat abrasive personality. It was a wonder I had friends at all. I mean, I was a good person but I wasn’t outwardly as nice as I could have been.
    Several years back, I changed it up. What a difference. It’s amazing how you can change your reputation just by doing the simple and easy things. Like saying good morning to someone, and meaning it.
    Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

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