When pleasing other people seems natural

We grow as children being encouraged to “do what we’re told” and in turn we’re rewarded. We’re rewarded with praise, an unexpected lolly, or some additional screen time, and so on.

Pleasing other people seems natural.

It’s no surprise then that this same reward becomes available later in life. We work hard pleasing our boss and are rewarded in our next promotion, vocational awards and generally being able to get along with people.

Pleasing other people seems natural.

But is it really natural?

Was pleasing others really the reason for reward? I don’t think so.

As a child our parents are helping us to learn and become disciplined. Our parents are hoping that you (as a child) will learn these great wisdoms and help you grow into your life. As a child it is harder to realise these ideas, we trust our parents and in growing we work to help our children understand and grow.

In the workplace did pleasing our boss really get you that promotion? Again I don’t think so.

Our workplace is a place of value and provision for our community, we deliver value to others and to the business by working hard for the vision of the company. Was that vision to please each other? No. The vision is typically profitability or that we delivered outstanding value to our customers. (and many more, and I’m sure you won’t find a mission statement indication they goal to please each other)

Let’s take this a little further. If we then extend this to our personal lives, do we make friends by simply “pleasing people”? And again I don’t think so.

Relationships are bi-directional, to simply please another is to give one way, does that not also open opportunity to abuse and manipulation? Value between each other in relationships are reciprocal and giving to each other without reward.

It can seem as though simply people pleasing can entrap us if that’s the only reason to reach a goal.

People pleasing (if this is our reason and focus) is a difficult place to be.

We can lose focus of who we are and what we value, we hide our true selves. The effort required to continue pleasing always, always goes up and up. Being assertive feels foreign, harsh or unsettling, we lose the capacity to truly relate/compromise/negotiate.

So if people pleasing is not the reason, what is?

So what do we really value? The reward for a hard day’s work delivering value for business/customers? The reward to develop community and positively contribute to community, i.e. clubs, rotary, churches etc.? The reward to provide for those in need?

Where does your reason lay? Who is the real you?