Anxious to please

People who are anxious to please others are by definition insecure.

The desire to please comes from either an attempt to gain approval, or an effort to avoid disapproval.

In either case we fear how others will respond if we don’t at least try to make a positive impression.

You create your reality

The best antidote I’ve found to these fears and efforts to please others is to assert that we each create our own reality.

This helps in two ways.

First, since I create my reality, the outcomes I fear will only arise if I’m a match to them. No one can assert anything into my reality.

Second, since others create their reality they are not in fact dependent on me for sustaining their mood or the consistency of their experience. I can’t assert (or withhold) anything in their reality either.

What this means in practice is that my fears are unlikely to be realised. The reality I’ve created is one where I fear criticism and attack, but not one where criticism and attack actually happen. I don’t attract criticism and attack, I attract fear of them.

And likewise my efforts to please others…well if others are attracting pleasing circumstances they’ll receive them whether I contribute or not. And if they aren’t pleased by my efforts that’s because they aren’t a match for being pleased anyway!

The simple fact is that most people are emotionally consistent within a range, and they filter and actively engage with their reality in ways that vastly outstrip our efforts to please them – or not please them.

Sudden change of character

The bottom line is that you get back what you are broadcasting. If you stop trying to please people, but feel terrified of the consequences then rest assured you will find some consequences that terrify you.

If you soothe your fears and gently allow yourself to remain centred and content, then you will be able to let go of the urge to please them and you will see only positive and affirming consequences of your own interior change.

Pleasing others, denying ourselves

This Abraham-Hicks excerpt explains how we end up feeling bad while trying to please others:

“Because the source within you adores you so much! There is nothing that is more disabling than focusing in ways that disagree with the way the source within you feels. You didn’t make that up…there were other people outside the vortex that trained you how to think about yourself. When there’s somebody outside the vortex they feel awful, and when they look at you, they feel awful. And then you say, oh something must be wrong with me because they’re lookin’ at me and they feel awful…I wish that I could behave in a way that when they look at me they would feel wonderful…and you tried…you gave that everything you had…but you just couldn’t behave in enough ways to make them feel wonderful could you, and so then your assumption was something must be wrong with me…which is the biggest flawed premise in the whole universe! And the source within you never agreed with that.”

I think this is where things go wrong for many of us, typically as children. We feel there is something wrong with us and we have to change so that others can feel better.

This idea that we are responsible for how others feel is like a noxious weed. It can take years to recognise that denying our own alignment for the sake of pleasing others is a flawed strategy that leaves us utterly depleted.

Some of us build our whole persona around the premise of pleasing others – or at least trying not to displease them. Life feels inauthentic and empty, because, as Abraham-Hicks puts it in another context:

“people have trained each other, people have trained you, they’ve said to you if you behave in this way i will love you and so you just knocked yourself out being lovable, you knocked yourself out being lovable, but you weren’t knocking yourself out being in alignment. so you never felt the love that you thought you were eliciting from others, that’s why it’s so confusing, you see.”

The love and happiness we sought can only come from alignment, and that’s as true for others as it is for us.