Have you ever wanted to dress a certain way because you think it’ll catch your crush’s eye? How about skipping class to hang out with people you want to fit in with? We all try to please other people on a daily basis, through actions big and small. It’s useful when making friends, and building friendships is a positive thing; friends that bring positivity and laughter into your life are definitely a plus. However, it’s very easy to get too caught up in what trying to make too many friends, in trying to please a lot of people all at once.
Of course, it’s nice to be liked, but bending over backwards 24/7 to try to please others is definitely no way to live. Making actions or changing yourself based on pleasing people can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and doubt, and can even cause you serious harm.
Can you imagine what life would be like if every single thing that you did was because you wanted someone to perceive you in a certain way?
You would live with the singular purpose of pleasing other people. Your life and identity wouldn’t belong to you anymore, it would be composed of what other people wanted out of you.
Luckily, that’s just the extreme end of what could happen- and most of us don’t make all our decisions in that way. But be aware: if your need to please other people interferes with your own wellbeing to the point where you realize that you don’t actually want to act the way that you are acting, or that you feel uncomfortable, then that could be unhealthy.
There are friends that will push you outside of your comfort zone, and that’s okay- good, even. But acting solely on the desire to make someone like you, without clear-sighted consideration of your actions, is not the same thing as a healthy venture outside of your comfort zone, and it can give you trouble in the long run. Most of all, you won’t feel like yourself anymore.
Acting solely on the desire to make someone like you is not the same thing as a healthy venture outside of your comfort zone, and it can give you trouble in the long run.”
You’ll constantly be looking for the approval of others to make you feel better. It will be hard for you to see your own strengths. When you rely on other people liking you to validate your self-worth and identity, you are taking away your ability to empower yourself.
In It For the Long Run
If you’re in high school right now, chances are that most of the people you know now won’t be relevant anymore after graduation. Some of your classmates won’t even remember your name in a few years. The world is an unimaginably big place, and people are often so busy rushing through life that they just don’t have time to think of you. We’re all still growing, changing, working on ourselves. But in the end, the identity of ‘you’ that is going to be the most memorable, likeable, and long-lasting, is the one that you love unconditionally, without the need of validation from others.
When it comes to matters of yourself, it’s not selfish or egotistical to put your own opinions first. You are allowed to like yourself even if it seems like nobody else does, and you never have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. The opinions and judgments of other people come second. In the very end, the one person that you have to spend the most time with is yourself, so make sure that you love who you are.
The teenage years are a period of change and growth, and it’s an instrumental time in which we learn more about ourselves and explore our options for the future.
So the question is: would you rather spend this time and your energy bettering yourself, or trying to making other people like you?