The Myth of the People Pleasers!

Guess what, there are none!

There is a species of human who presents as ‘People Pleasers.’  They will tell you often that they really like to please others, that what they want doesn’t matter, they only care about you . . .  but this is not true!  The actual craving of these individuals is that you be pleased with them, all the time, unconditionally.

It’s ironic that people who see themselves as chained to pleasing others, actually don’t care that much about what others want, they really care about how they themselves feel based on how others treat them!  In fact they care so little about your wishes, that if they feel you aren’t happy with them they will avoid you as much as possible.  They don’t want to be held accountable,  so much so that they will be so hurt if you point out some mistake or error . . . if you don’t like what they have done . . . that you will strangely find yourself apologizing, comforting them (for how they have wronged you!)

We feel so guilty when we ‘upset’ one of these wonderful people who portray themselves as endlessly giving, yet somewhere we also feel annoyed.  In the deep subconscious somehow we know we are being had!

Sometimes to make sure you are pleased with them, they will quote you, copy you, compliment you ad nauseum, state the obvious, and not think for themselves in case something original is not what you want to hear.  No matter how often you ask what they think, want, know, they will not tell you in case their response does not get them the required nod of approval, smile of appreciation.  They leave you alone in the arena of shared thoughts, reciprocal conversation, the togetherness of looking at life from more than one point of view.  They abdicate their own uniqueness in favour of receiving a constant flow of your attention and pleased response.
It is a common myth that this species cares a lot about others, and not about themselves, but push the envelope a little, use a bit of logic on their behaviour and watch them run for the hills!

So ‘People Pleasing’ is just a severe form of ‘Self Protection!’

Who knew!!!

The above is an extreme description to open up a conversation, to suggest that freedom of speech is something we first need to give to ourselves.  This is to relieve us of the illusion that refusing to be ourselves is not a selfless act, but a place of depriving the world of the experience of who we are.

“If the shoe doesn’t fit, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your feet!”

What if dating is like being in a large shoe store?

You may have to try on a lot of shoes to find ones that fit, look right, match outfits, are comfortable, have the style you want, and are at the right price point.

Now when shoes don’t fit, you don’t usually decide there is something wrong with your feet!  You keep looking for more suitable shoes.

What if you could look at dating the same way? You ‘try on’ relationships, and if they don’t fit, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with You!!! It is just not the right relationship.

Sometimes we spend less time and thought choosing a relationship than choosing a pair of shoes, partly because we don’t want to ‘fail,’ be ‘rejected’ or be seen as indecisive. This same line of thinking can be used when you search for a job and do not get some of the positions applied for, or any request you make and are turned down. There is nothing wrong with you, it just isn’t the right fit.

What if we were to see choosing relationships as really important, not just something that happens, like the Prince stumbling on the comatose Princess. (To Walt Disney, someone can be seen as good relationship material, even if they are asleep at the time of meeting!) What if it takes time and conscious thought to make good relationship choices?

In her article ‘What I Learned from Dating 100 Men,’ (Oprah, Feb. 2003) writer Ann Marsh describes her self-appointed quest to date a hundred men, one of whom eventually becomes her husband. Reflecting on her experience, she noticed that after each of the first few dates she criticized herself to see where she had made mistakes, and not been liked by potential mates. In the next segment of her experience, she began to look at what she liked and disliked, and eventually she found someone where there was mutual appreciation.

It might take a lot of time to find ‘a hundred dates’ or a hundred pairs of shoes to try on, however maybe we can give ourselves permission to increase the sample size of relationships we ‘try on’ and not feel guilty or ‘unfit’ if they do not work out. We need to keep trying on shoes until we find the right pair, making sure not to feel ‘de-feeted’ in the process!!!

Happy Relationship Shopping!!!



‘I really enjoyed this piece! Your trademark blend of practicality, dry wit, and
encouragement shines through – and I’m sure many of your female readers will
appreciate the shopping metaphor!’

-Elizabeth Peirce


‘Just what I needed!  Thanks Faythe, you’re the best.’

-Diane Saulnier

Fear is Expensive!

Fear is a feeling we can activate quite often – when something is changing, something is unknown, or when something is a challenge.

Often there is an illusion that fear ‘keeps us safe.’ We learn this from experiences where we survived difficulties, and as we went through these events, we were afraid or anxious – but we did indeed survive! So our brain sometimes ‘thinks’ it was the fear that kept us safe!

This is not a thought we are aware of, however it is common for many people, that anxiety or fear is necessary for safety or the prevention of danger.

This encourages us to activate fear the next time there is a difficult situation, and again and again.

Of course, fear does not keep us safe, perhaps the opposite.

Because the ‘lights go out’ in our thinking brain when we are emotional or afraid, we may compromise our ‘safety’ by activating fear. This is expensive in business or in life! In our current ‘thought-based’ culture, we need to think logically and calmly to be effective. A great deal of energy is wasted for individuals and for companies because of the unconscious belief that fear is important.

Let’s learn the strategies to unlearn fear, anxiety, ‘stress’ and not waste time and money on a response that has no actual function!

We are not as Evolved as We Think We Are!!

The car door slams! The golf club comes down on the hood of a stranger’s car who cut you off! A colleague says something harsh and you run weeping out of the room! Your day is full of tasks and meetings and you fall crumpled in your chair ‘exhausted’ before you have even raised a finger.

Why do we do these things? Are the impulses to attack, to run away or to ‘play dead’ part of useful problem solving?
or are we letting an ancient operating system in our old brain run the show?!

What if we can learn to stop wasting energy like this? What if we can ‘Give our Brain an Upgrade’ and install a new operating system that is relevant to how we now live? What if business can be a place of pleasant, efficient interactions, and our planet a model of thoughtful governments and international peace?

Have a delightful day, free from ancient upset!