You can’t please everyone

Last night marked the last episode of ‘The L Word’. After 6 years and 70 episodes, it had an ending that pretty much left the conclusion up to the audience. I felt this end-of-an-era episode had a pretty good balance of intrigue and emotion and sensed that the open ending was quite possibly the only way to handle a show with such a loyal following. However, looking at the blogs today, a lot of the fan base (well the ones who have been leaving comments on Showtime’s L Word site), seem to be bouncing somewhere between upset and outrage. The majority of these folks were hoping for an ending with a clear conclusion and yet I wonder if that had indeed been the case, how many negative comments would still have been posted this morning? There could have been various definitive endings, impacting any number of the characters but the truth of the matter is, we really can’t please everyone.

I however meet many people who try to do just that. These people are not just ‘nice’ people, they instead have become ‘professional pleasers’ who put everyone before themselves, all of the time; trying to please the spouse, please the kids, please the boss, please co-workers, please clients, please friends, please acquaintances and so on and so on to the detriment of any personal happiness. These pleasers are rarely pleased themselves as they are putting so much energy and effort into being ‘just right’ for everyone else. They are also known to live in some nether world, either waiting for the next person to please or waiting for the familiar to come along i.e. someone to please them.

The fact of the matter is, the more we behave like contortionist chameleons to please others the more likely it will result in loss of identity and health affecting stress, no way to sustain a healthy balanced life. In these extreme cases we need to look at setting boundaries and establishing priorities.

Firstly, it is wise to understand that we are each responsible for our own happiness and satisfaction, holding others responsible to deliver it to us is a boat load of pressure that some will drown under. And again some folks really just cannot ‘be pleased’ whatever you do. Look to what truly makes you happy and empower others to do the same for themselves.

Secondly, when we attempt to please everyone and we make changes to fit each person and occasion we begin to dilute who we are, so we need to take a good look at our own authentic being. Who are we? What are we all about? How do we want to behave that is true to us and delivers on what we need?

As for priorities, we need to look at who in our lives are really important to us; it is likely that once you have identified them they will be the people who already love you for who you are, (yes including clients) and are looking for reciprocated support and not for you to change who you are to please them.

If you are reading this and feel that all you do is give, give, give, now is the time to have some compassion for yourself. Time to think about who you are, what is important to you and your priorities. It is impossible to please everyone, all of the time, even loyal fans, so be true to yourself, respectful and kind to others and you will find a new source of pleasure there.


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1 Response to “You can’t please everyone”

  1. 1 Bridget March 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I am going to print this off and pin it above my desk. I need a daily reminder on this one for sure!!!!

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