As a society, we love to hear that other people “like us.” It drives all our motives to the point where we can become enslaved to what people think about us.
As college students, there is so much pressure around us as to what people think, from our professors, the people in our classes, down to our roommates.
However, until we really audit our lives and realize the motives behind the things we do, we keep on the wrong path, doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons, or even doing the right things for the wrong reasons, all because we fall victim to people pleasing.
What exactly is people pleasing? It’s the fear of what someone will think about you. It’s the need for approval. It’s worshiping others’ opinions of you.
One of the dangers of people pleasing is when we say that we’re doing something because we love people when, in reality, the reason we’re doing it is that we love ourselves and are afraid of what someone else will think.
A lot of times we say something or don’t say something under the disguise of “well, I want to be loving”, when we’re just afraid of what they are going to think of you. The person you love most in that equation is yourself.
So often we don’t want to tell someone the truth because we don’t want them to be angry with us, or we don’t want them to hurt or feel bad.
We then judge our own obedience based on what someone will think about us or how they will feel, which comes to the primary motive: fear of man.
People pleasing plays a major role in the current epidemic of anxiety and depression among young people across the world.
We seem to have this feedback loop called social media, where we can see in real-time what people think of us, where you will find this mob mentality where you can coerce others against another person, and make it feel like the world is against them.
You can slander someone in the comment section and suddenly make their self-worth feel like nothing to where they want to end it all. This is why our identity must be put in something more than the opinion of others.
One way to combat people pleasing is to know what you believe, meaning knowing what you believe when different circumstances arise; and knowing why you believe it, meaning having a firm foundation around your beliefs. When you know whatyou believe and why you believe, it emboldens you to stand firm and disagree with people.
It doesn’t seem as simple as it maybe once was just to disagree with someone or have different views. In today’s culture, we seem to have fallen into this idea of accepting everyone’s truth instead of finding your own truth.
For me, this is all coming from a place of growth and experiences I have gone through during high school and college. I am certainly still learning to stop my people-pleasing, as it’s still something I struggle with as well.
- You have to push yourself if you want to grow - 26 Mar 2023
- People pleasing keeps us from being truthful in life - 5 Feb 2023
- Your life can be dominated by either faith or fear - 9 Oct 2022