Being a people pleaser always results in you being a people displeaser

I have learned the hard way that avoiding pissing people off invariably leads to pissing them off even more. And the problem is that when they are upset beyond upset you can’t remind them that you tried to upset them less by pleasing them in the beginning, and that all of the unpleasantness was caused because you had their best interests at heart.

Somehow your words fall on deeply pissed off ears that can’t hear your logic. In fact, even your logic seems to offend them.

The funny thing is that you become the baddest of bad guys. Which isn’t what you intended in the beginning was it?

1119450.largeBut did you really have their ‘best interests’ at heart? Or were you just avoiding being the bad guy because you were scared that you would be liked less, disliked even? Is it maybe even a deep seated insecurity within you that has an associated need to be liked? A fear?

All of the above? You are not alone.
Only one in ten people have the self confidence to forge through life with a ‘I could care less what you think attitude’.
OK so I made up that stat, but I’m sure it’s pretty accurate. I am also sure that those ‘one in ten’ are the happiest folk on the planet.

There are of course those who genuinely think that they are putting the needs of others above their own, and are acting like some sort of sacrificial lamb on the altar of worldly goodwill and ‘self depreciating magnanimousness.’

They shall inherit the earth – or what is left of it once those of us who can’t say no to a Jehovah’s Witness have destroyed it because we’re sitting on the fence too worried to take sides.

I guess maybe we feel selfish when we put our own needs first and decide that we are going to please ourselves and not others. It is generally frowned upon after all. It’s even called Self gratification. Masochism. We have negative names for those traits.

But it sure does come cheap at the price when you consider the cost of the alternative.

rejectionIf you are pleasing others at the cost of your own happiness purely because you are avoiding the discomfort of being seen to be the bad guy…chances are you’re about to become the worst guy.

Good luck with that.

As for me, I intend to inherit an earth I have fought hard for by standing up for myself, facing my fears, and putting my needs first.
It’s the only way to please others…
– I might have stolen that line from the ‘Learning to say NO’ course I recently enrolled for.

Please note that I had to think long and hard about including the word ‘pissed’ in my blog for fear of upsetting you… See, I really do care about your feelings…

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The reason why I can’t coach my own kids, but why I can coach yours.

It was a mere split second, an instant. I looked at my angry-red, colostrum-covered, squashed and wrinkled new-born little girl and thought…’that’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen’.
And then I held her, my heart melted, and my eyes were opened to the absolute magnificence of her, the most beautiful baby ever to set foot on the world.

Why? Because she was mine.

That’s the one and only time I have ever had a negative thought about either of my two beautiful princesses. How can I possibly see them as anything other than perfect, my own flesh and blood.
I am in love with my daughters. Unconditionally.

crying-newborn-babyBut your kids… Not so much. There are conditions in place.

“What a beautiful baby” I hear your friends and family say. Quite frankly I think they’re lying and just saying the right thing. A beautiful moment maybe, a beautiful number of fingers and toes even, but not a beautiful looking baby, I just think that all new-born babies are terribly ugly – besides mine of course.

My kids can break my favourite mug, paint my white linen with nail polish, I crack up laughing when they fart in the bath and they can even pick my prize petunias to play with their Barbie dolls.

In fact, my first born was a projectile-vomiter of note and suffered from reflux. Instead of feeling disgust at being covered in sour breast milk puke, I marvelled instead at the distance she covered and the obvious talent she possessed at this skill.

Try as I might your kids won’t get the same reaction when they do something offensive to me. I wish I could get angry and then melt after a short while with that overwhelming feeling of complete love welling up inside me.
But that feeling is reserved for you with your own brood.

images (2)I cannot ever expect that you will see my kids in the same light as I do. Treat them the same way, love them the same, protect them in the same way that I do.

Nor can you expect that of me with your kids.

But I can love them objectively and care about them, nurture them even.
And that’s why we rely so heavily on teachers, coaches, and third party influencers. They are exactly that, a removed third party, and that distance allows them to be objective and see our kids in a light that we never will.

I coached swimming for many years and produced some fine swimmers. But there is absolutely no way that I will ever be able to do the same for my own kids. The relationship is just too close. I can’t be tough enough on them, and they don’t respect the authority I need to turn them into a swimming superstar.

On the other hand I was blamed more often than not for Jordan and Byron’s lack of swimming talent and lack of work ethics in the pool. Their parents just couldn’t accept that their kids were responsible. There had to be another reason.

images (3)We battle to see our own children’s faults and short comings. We accept their moods, their teenage imperfections and their idiosyncrasies. When others don’t we defend them vociferously. Right up into adulthood.

That’s the way it should be. Our kids need more than anything else to feel loved unconditionally by us. It’s a safe and secure feeling that can only be derived from flesh and blood.

However, I have always valued immensely the outside influences that have had a profound and treasured impact on my life. The special teachers, hard but fair coaches, mentors, and people who have shaped me into the person I am today.

So respect the other people in your children’s lives, because they bring a balance and temperament that you never will, no matter how hard it is to accept sometimes. And the love they feel for your children is no less valuable than your own.

It just isn’t the same…and that is a good thing!