There is a thin line between being a people pleaser and a person who want to be liked.

The need to please others and the need to be liked is somewhat natural and normal. It is natural to want to please your loved ones from time to time and the need to be liked by people around us, such as family members, friends and colleagues it is a fair expectation for most human being. However, it can be a very sad state of affairs when those two needs are excessive and dominant in the way we live our lives.

The purpose of this blog is to address the sad state of affairs.

Let’s call the people who want to be liked the ‘please like me’ people. At face value the people pleasers and the please like me, look the same, in fact you may be forgiven for thinking people who have a need to be liked are people pleasers, but you would be mistaken, for there is a slight difference.

Sure, they are both belong to the same WhatsApp group, the need to please and the need to be liked, has the same root. But they are different branches.

People pleasing, at its core is about not hurting others, not disappointing them and not being in anyone’s bad books, ever. It is about treading so carefully around people that they literally short-change themselves.  People pleasers are those that give their last money to a colleague that is always broke. They are the ones who always buy a birthday present even though they never receive one. They are the ones who will attend a friend’s uncle’s funeral in another province, when they could have just sent a comforting message. They are the people who would accommodate a friend for months in their homes, even when the friend has clearly overstayed their welcome. And God forbid, the people pleasers would never say NO with ease, if at all.

The ‘please like me’ people on the other hand are motivated and are invested in being liked. Their main trait is that they overcompensate on almost everything. Yes, they try very hard to be liked. 

They give too much of themselves to others – whether it is their time, efforts, work, energy and even money. They over do, they break their backs, they will give three hours of their time instead of one hour. They will go an extra mile for no apparent reason. They will try not to outshine or standout just so they blend in. They dim their light, because God forbid, they should never be brighter than others. The things they do almost look like a performance but it’s not, it’s real for them, they do this all-in order to be liked and admired.

The people pleasers greatest fear is to disappoint or hurt others. The ‘people like me’s greatest fear is being criticized and not being approved of. 

As you can tell being either a people pleaser or a ‘please like me’ (or both, it happens) put up with a lot of abuse and ill treatment all because of their fears, real or imagined. Clearly being either of these characters can be exhausting and it’s not the best use of one’s time and energy in this world. 

Where do you fit in, in these two?

Next week on part two, I will share why we became people pleasers or please like me as well as some of the tips of overcoming both traits. 

In the meantime, do let me know which one are you, do share some of the things you do or put up with because you want to please people or you want people to like you.

Love and Greenlights to you

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