The Perils of being a People-Pleaser!
“People who try to be all things to everyone end up being nothing to anyone.”
That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong. – William J. H. Boetcker
Sometimes it seems hard to keep everyone happy in this world where people find it difficult to keep themselves happy. I often see people accusing each other on their back and being amicable when they have to confront them. I fervently believe in holism and often say one should be polite to everyone regardless of his relationship with that person, but not the other way around. Humility shall come from within not out of some obligation or compulsion, like every word is not worth listening to, every thing is not worth observing and every word is not worth uttering same-ways every person is not worth pleasing.
Think, understand, accept and adapt but don’t follow the herd blindly, in doing so you will only make 100 years old redundant mistakes, I urge my readers to be little creative in that. It feels better to do what is right never mind if it displeases others at the moment.
Everyone aches to be liked, each individual on this planet expects others to like him but the converse is also true that one can’t make everyone to have the same perception about him, there may be people who don’t like you. One can’t be everything to everyone, there will always be detractors, people asking for credentials or pulling your leg, but pleasing them will never turn critics into well-wishers.
As Bill Cosby rightly observed, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.” You will surely win if you don’t please people unnecessarily.
If you tend to do something you are not willing to do, two things are sure to happen, first, you will do it half-heartedly and second, you will do it more often because a habit formed is difficult to change. Better do something useful for someone than faking it because it is never going to gratify you in long run. The crowd-pleaser, wearing a fake smile, or presuming to be your well wisher may be the person sitting next to you in your office or the one who you trust most, beware of such people. There are people who you would like to be eternally with even in hell and simultaneously there are people who you won’t like to join at all. It is not about good or bad people, for there is nothing like good or bad, it is the habit which defines your character and your character is what shapes your destiny. Sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves that we do things we don’t like but do them out of our ‘inability to say no,’ trust me it’s a sign of weakness not altruism. I personally believe if I had to be harsh for the betterment of people, I care for, I will because pleasing them unnecessarily will displease them in long run. I remember my mom’s scolding, when I was in school, if I did not finish my milk/food/homework on time. I also remember my dad unwillingly admitting me to boarding school when I was in 3rd standard, had they not done that and pleased me instead I would not have learned those invincible life lessons not taught in school.
The freedom we are looking for is the freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives we will see that most of the time we do things just to please others . The worst part is that most of us are not even aware that we are not free. – Don Miguel Ruiz
Research says if there are 1000 customers buying your product then there would be only 250-300 who are making repeated purchases and maximizing your profits and remainders are either mercurial customers or infrequent buyers. However, it is beneficial to care more for those productive ones that those disloyal ones.
It is worth inculcating Steve Jobs leadership style and apply his trademark of authoritarian leadership in dealing with people. His leadership resonates in his work, for instance, Apple is the world’s largest company by market capitalization still it is not the biggest seller of laptops in India, that’s Lenovo, a Chinese computer company which is the largest PC seller in India. In addition, Apple laptops are not easily available at all stores, you have to order in advance on the contrary Lenovo laptops are almost available in most of the retail stores. Keeping that in mind I prefer Apple to Lenovo not just because it is a Chinese brand but Apple is more reliable which is directly linked to Steve Jobs, his vision, passion etc. not America and on the other hand when the word Lenovo comes to my mind it represents more of China than any other thing. It is the faith, trust and service Steve Jobs has developed with his customers.
I can vouch had Jobs tried pushing people into buying Apple laptops it would not have been acclaimed globally like it is now. One satisfied customer is way too better than ten dissatisfied customers. By not becoming a people pleaser you can save yourself from torment of unavoidable circumstances and maintain lifelong healthy relationship with those who will happily be with you even in hell. Let us move our heart from pleasing everyone to caring for those few who can, further genuinely, care for others, if you always have your heart in the right place you will undoubtedly have a better view of the world. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.” So, from now on please less, care more and get set to change the world!!