Nice For What, Sis? Your People Pleasing Is Doing More Harm Than Good

Wellness

"No."


If that's an easy word for you to say to another person, this article may not be a good fit for you, my dear.

This is for my girls who are the queens of sugar, spice, and everything nice. This article is for women who feel like they are scratching their nails across a chalkboard when they have to politely (with a smile and 10 apologies of course) decline an invitation or favor. Better yet, they don't decline, but instead do things they don't want to in order to avoid confrontation and being accused of not caring. She is so afraid of not being a good ______ (fill in the blank with "girlfriend," "friend," "sister," "daughter," "wife") that she suffers through her own unhappiness, just to see others smile.

If "she" is you, this read is for you, boo.

I could use this piece to talk about the users and abusers of the world. I could discuss the non-empathetic, self-centered pricks that manipulate you into doing whatever they please but never reciprocate. But, that conversation would be of no service to you.

So now, I'll ask you a question that puts you in a position of power:

Do you please other people because you expect them to validate you?

In case no one has told you, you were not put on this earth to be a doormat with a smiley face on it. Letting people walk all over you is not going to give you the love and acceptance you desire. All you will do is deplete yourself, and become a hot victimized bitter mess.

You do not have to hustle for your worth. You are worthy, valid, and whole.

Since I was very young, I have put my ability to anticipate, meet, and exceed my loved ones' expectations on a pedestal. My loving grandma, who did the same for our family, suffered from sickle cell anemia. When she was sick, I prided myself on being a great helper around the house. I lived for the spelling tests on Friday that I would ace and, in turn, be greeted by my proud father who would take me for ice cream afterwards.

In my teenage years, my grandmother had passed and I learned how to my use my friendly disposition, dutifulness, and agreeableness as a crutch. I used my desire to please others to gain friendships; picking up friends here, and dropping them there.

Meanwhile, my tank was on E.

Even romantically, I remember trying to compensate for my unwillingness to be sexual active by performing acts that were uncomfortable for me at the time.

By my senior year of high school, I lost all but one of my friends, learned that my dude was sleeping with other girls, and was now headed to a college. Expectations come with being the first person in your household to attend college, and the side effects included debilitating anxiety, crappy grades, few friends to connect with, and no steady love interest. I was suicidal.

Looking back, I now know that I did not understand my own worth.

On my journey to womanhood, I adopted the belief that I had to make myself useful in this world to be worthy.

My grandmother, who taught me how to love and have compassion for others, ran out of time before she could teach me how to love myself. For the past 10 years of my life, I had depended on the validation of others without truly taking an inventory of my own feelings, desires, and needs. I had become a people pleaser with poor boundaries, accepting crumbs, and feeling guilty for asking for the whole cake.

I have been in therapy to learn how to pick up my broken pieces. My mission is to put myself together by being brutally honest with myself.

Healing is not rainbows and butterflies; it is coming to the realization that you are an active participant in your own suffering.

I am growing, healing, and saying "no" without explanation. Even when it comes to myself.

I love to please others because I expect the love I give to be requited. That doesn't make me a terrible person, but it does mean that I've been manipulative to others with a personal agenda. No one is responsible for making me happy but myself.

I was dating out of desperation to be accepted and loved, but I hadn't provided those things to myself. I couldn't stand to be alone because then, I would have to deal with the brokenness of myself.

In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, "You simply cannot pay the debts that come along with the belief that you are unworthy. Unworthiness always puts you in debt to anyone and everyone who shows you the slightest degree of attention."

I have given myself the permission to feel my feelings. I have traded in my unauthentic niceness, and replaced it with kindness for to myself and others. I no longer set myself on fire to keep others warm. I have given myself permission to be just as nice to myself as I am to others.

'Cause I'm showing off. And that's alright, this is my life.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com.

Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates, exclusive events, retreats and giveaways!

More Posts

If you've ever seen the classic African-American film, The Five Heartbeats, you know that the scene when the leading men get their dreams stolen by The (whitewashing, song-stealing) Five Horseman is a real-life tear jerker. Like in any movie based in that time period, it was made abundantly clear that black creatives had gotten the short end of the stick for decades. Before Elvis Presley, Little Richard was the crowned king of Rock & Roll. And before Moschino teamed up with Sephora, Raynell Steward, affectionately known as Supa Cent, created The Crayon Case.

Keep reading... Show less

On the morning of November 5, 2016 when I discovered Donald J. Trump would now be the leader of the free world, I, like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, was hurt in real life.

Keep reading... Show less

Heading off on vacation can mean more sex for couples or those looking for a getaway love with no strings attached. More than 50 percent of people say they are more likely to be intimate with their bae while on vacation than they are at home, and 12 percent of Americans are down to have a fling when they hit their destination. If you're not booed up or you're taking a trip without your love — that doesn't mean you can't still have a good time.

Keep reading... Show less

People often talk about how lonely it is at the top, but what they rarely talk about is how quiet it can be during the climb.

For Nichole Lynel however, it's a feeling she knows all too well. As we chat, the quietness that surrounds her while sitting on the floor awaiting movers to arrive at her old showroom serves only as a reminder of her own entrepreneurial journey. "Everybody is willing to help you when you're the underdog but when you have a chance of really succeeding, it gets a lot quieter," she revealed.

Keep reading... Show less

As I stood in a spread-eagle stance with a female TSA agent using the back of her hand to check my crotch for weapons, I thought to myself, What the hell? Even though I know she meant no harm and was only doing her job, my personal space felt violated. Since I had experienced this so many times in the past, I guess I never thought twice about it. Until now.

Keep reading... Show less

I'm an island girl at heart.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts