There's a kind of horrible truth that people pleasers and nice guys like to overlook, and it's this:
When somebody else does it to you, it's obvious and you hate it.
Have you noticed that?
My clients often go through a phase of hating other people pleasers, because once they can see it for what it is, they feel disgusted by it’s manipulative intentions and harmful consequences.
They’re also shocked with how obvious it is. They previously thought of themselves as flying under the radar and fooling everyone. It’s hard to accept that people-pleasing is so obvious when you know what you’re looking for.
When somebody else tries to people-please you, and use nice guy tactics to make you like them, do you see how obvious it is?
Do you notice how defensive and repulsed you feel when somebody's trying to control you and force you to behave a certain way under the guise of kindness and friendship?
For example, when someone's trying to cheer you up just because they don't like you being down, or somebody forces gifts and help on you to guilt trip you and make you owe them something.
You know when it's happening. You know what it feels like to receive it. You absolutely hate it…
And yet, when you do it, you think that other people don't see it as obviously and aren't repulsed by it.
And why are you so sure that you’re the exception? Because they seem to be pleased. They thank you for your help. They say “You’re the nicest guy”. They laugh at your jokes.
You think this means that they genuinely want you to be this way and appreciate all your attempts to force them to be happy.
Have you ever considered that maybe they're just being polite? I mean, that’s how you respond to people-pleasing when it’s used on you, right?
And yes, some types of people do genuinely appreciate you being a people pleaser… narcissists, abusers, and codependents.
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