Nowadays, many people grow up with the worries of the others. People worry about others’ expectations, comments, or treatments. People always overthink about it until they are too busy to recognize themselves. People do many changes to be accepted, to be considered as a good person, and to be treated as good as possible. Sometimes they have to use a mask, become what the others want, ignore what they want to be or what they need. They do many sacrifices and self-restraints. People put everyone else before themselves because it is such an addiction to feel that they are needed. It makes them feel important and honored to contribute to someone else’s life.
People think that they are happy to be like that all the time because they don’t realize that actually it is merely a doctrine to them. What they feel is not happiness, but that is a personal feeling of security and self-confidence that is based on getting the approval of others. In fact, all people that have ever done all kinds of pleasing people have a lack of confidence. Newman said that is the main cause of why people always want everyone around them to be happy and they do whatever others ask them to do which is called as the phenomenon of being people-pleaser (as cited in Tartakovsky, 2011). In the beginning people-pleasers may feel happy to please others, however they need to realize that they can have serious risks such as stress, anxiety, or health problems because they overthink, worry and do many things to others without thinking about themselves. That is the imbalance. Thus, in my opinion, being people-pleasers without self-respect may cause the imbalance of life.
Being people-pleaser actually is not entirely their fault. People consume many myths that direct them to be people-pleaser, such as “giving is better than receiving”, “human’s task is to give to the others” or “people will be happy when people give to others”. Those myths are not wrong, it is merely a misconception or a “shield”. Shield that is meant here is a self-protection when people realize that they are fake, tired, unhappy, or depressed to be people-pleaser. They use those myths to avoid the facts that they live in a wrong or unbalanced life. Those myths give doctrines to continue being people-pleaser because they are unconfident, scared, and worried of what others’ expectations, comments, or treatments. Those thoughts direct them to do bad things to themselves, such as self-restraints and sacrifices. They are too busy to think about the others, worry about them, make them as comfortable as possible and all kinds of pleasing-people-things.
People make themselves too busy to care about others, but forget and ignore themselves. They always make their necessities in the bottom of their priority or sometime they erase them. The questions are “Have people loved themselves? Have people fulfilled their necessities? Have people given the nutritious foods, enough sleep or appropriate recreations to themselves?” Maybe people seldom do that because they always try to ignore them and make the others as a number one in their life. Because of others’ expectations, comments, or treatments, people also do many changes and strive to be someone they are not. They do those activities all the time until they deplete their energy resources, physically and mentally.
The smaller energy that people have, the weaker they feel. They will feel like they are not able enough to keep moving forward. They will realize that they are not enough and ready to give. None of them wants to feel this feeling, so they insist to make themselves do harder than before, they ignore the limitation. People don’t realize that it will direct them to the imbalance and many serious risks, but they are so blind although the alerts are there.
Spadaro (2011) posited that among the alerts of the imbalance in people-pleasers’ life are prolonged stress or anxiety, lack of focus, grumbling and physical or emotional symptoms. Prolonged stress or anxiety that they feel, however, especially when they feel it in their body, can be a signal that they are too busy and they don’t care about the inner needs and let their reserves shrink. This problem can cause the discomfort. People won’t live in happy life, they will work under pressure, not a good pressure, but bad pressure that makes them sick. So when people feel anxious or stressful, they need to give some cares.
The second alert is lack of focus. When people don’t fulfill their necessity, the thoughts and emotion will deceive them. They can’t sit calmly, they are too easy to divert the attention and postpone all works, and they will have the difficulty in concentrating. Because of that problem, they will find many inabilities. People need to make sure that they get refreshment and renewal if they want to get their focus back and sabotage themselves indirectly. The next alert is grumbling. Grumbling or complaining is a way to communicate to themselves about the unhappiness in their life. Grumbling means that actually people need help, support or break and they will feel many regrets. Therefore, if people realize that they are grumbling, they need to ask themselves why they grumble, what the causes of the unhappiness are. The last alert is physical and emotional symptoms.
Body and emotion can react in many ways when people don’t give enough care to themselves. Spadaro (2011) explained that the reactions can be like strained shoulder, many sighs, headache, stomachache, lack of sleep, tears, outbursts of anger, overeating, lack of eating, etc. and then those small reactions can direct people to many disease complications such as inflammation of the liver, stomach disorder, etc. Those problems are not bad. They are trying to communicate with people. What people have to do is finding out what those problems mean.
There are some balancing steps to solve the alerts and effects of the imbalance. According to Spadaro (2011) there are 7 balancing steps:
1. People have to be true to themselves, especially being true to their inner calling. It is important that they have faith in their own values and remember what is important to them. Because others think people should behave in a certain way doesn’t mean they are right. People need to follow their path. Even if others don’t respect their decision, it is important that they do. They also have to realize what they need, what they feel, and what makes them comfortable and happy.
2. People need to remove the thoughts about this or that. People are always in a situation that they have to choose between 2 choices and they usually let their necessity yield. From now, if they are in this situation again, they need to say to themselves that they have right and responsibility to give to themselves.
3. People need to do some preventive actions. They have to do some actions before they are trapped in the imbalance. For example, if they feel like they will have a headache, they need to have a break.
4. People have to communicate to their whole self. They have the necessity on four life’s levels which are physic, emotional, mental and spiritual. When they communicate to themselves, they have to assess those areas and ask “what part that need some cares right now”. People need to find it and make a commitment to make that part healthy.
5. People need to feel their victory. They have to celebrate all achievements that they make by respecting or being grateful, even it is too small to be celebrated. It can help them to recharge their inwardness.
6. People need to do simple steps to make the world that they want to be, such as buy themselves some cloths, stop being skimpy. They have to leave the shield, remove self-restrains, and feel the freedom.
7. People need to accept the compliments. They have to stop having low self-esteem; realize that they are worthy to receive something from the others.
Pettinger (2008) added 3 balancing steps:
1. People need to learn handling criticism. Nobody likes criticism and when people are criticized, either directly or indirectly, they feel bad about themselves. They need to learn how to deal with criticism. They should not take criticism personally. They need to look at it from a detached perspective. Maybe it is false, in which case they should ignore it. If it is true, they can use it to develop their character. However, it is important not to take criticism too personally.
2. People need to remember the motivation, not the results. Sometimes they work with best of motives and the best of intentions only to be disappointed by the outcome. The problem is that they equate their self-respect to outer displays of wealth, success and social standing. It is the nature of life, that thing will not turn out as people hoped, but, it is a mistake to link their sense of self-worth to the achievement of external targets. People have to respect whatever they achieve, either it is good or bad.
3. People have to stop impressing the others. People will stress if they are permanently striving to impress others with outer displays. People who are impressed with material wealth and social standing are probably the kind of people not worth impressing anyway. People have to be comfortable with what they have, not what they think will impress others.
Those balancing steps disembogue to self-respect that will direct people to the balance. Self-respect makes them more worthy, comfortable and happy to live their life. There will be no self-restraints, sacrifices or fakes. They will have many energy resources on their four life’s levels which are physic, emotional, mental and spiritual. With those energies, they are ready to give to the others and share many positive things. Being people-pleasers without self-respect may cause the imbalance of life then what they have to do is realizing the alerts and doing some steps to solve that imbalance. As the result, they will get the balance and feel that they are more worthy than before. Thus, people sometime have to think about themselves first before doing something for others.