On being a people pleaser…

Recently a friend of mine made an acute observation about me. I don’t like for people to be upset with me and I also like to please people. I hadn’t really thought that of myself but the more and more I pondered the more I found it to be true. The interesting thing is I used to have a completely opposite disposition towards others and what they thought about me.

When I was a freshman in college I had seven friends. Everyone else was either an acquaintance or I just plain didn’t like. The only reason I had that many friends was because four of them went to high school with me and we all stayed on the same floor in our freshman dorm.

I walked around campus with a permanent scowl on my face and I actually thought that I was better than a lot of other students on campus. I wondered how some students could skip class when they were paying for an education or why some students deemed it necessary to wear full makeup to breakfast at 7am. I was over most of the student body.

The fact that I was taller than most people didn’t help perceptions of me because I literally looked down my nose at people. When it came to my friends I grew closer and closer to them and I valued their opinions. During finals that year my friends and I were sitting around after dinner in café and my friend Joe brought to my attention that I wasn’t well liked on campus.

Joe: “You know you’re the only one out of our crew who walks around campus with an attitude?”

Me: “Yeah, so what?

Joe: “Well that makes the rest of us look bad because we hang with you and sometimes other people might not want to hang with us because we’re chilling with you.”

Me: “Hmmmmm”

Up until that point I hadn’t really thought about how I’m perceived might affect my friends. I only thought about how I didn’t care about what people thought about me. I spent Christmas break that year pondering my image and the real reasons why it never mattered to me. I realized that instead of caring nothing about people think perhaps I should start caring what certain people think.

That Christmas break I made a New Year’s resolution to try to become an overall nicer person and have a better general disposition. I came back to school that next semester a changed person. I became more sociable and friendlier to those I encountered on campus. As I got to know more people I realized that I prejudged them and I found that I actually liked them.

Since then I’ve kept my New Year’s resolution and have tried to be nicer to people and to be kind even when people give me every reason not to be.

I slowly became a different person. I became less standoffish, rude and unapproachable and more amicable. I realized that it’s ok to care what people think about me, it’s ok to not want to get on people’s bad side.

I’m not that invested into astrology but I do follow it superficially. Being a Libra some of my traits include being diplomatic, peaceful and hospitable. I’d be lying if I said that those qualities don’t fit me and I don’t embrace them.

I don’t like for most people to be upset with me. I don’t like letting people down. I’m not a people pleaser but I do like to please the right people.


7 thoughts on “On being a people pleaser…

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      lolol believe it Shon. i just didn’t care about people or what they thought of me. i also didn’t smile very much. i gotta find some pics of me mean mugging from back then.

  1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

    When I first got to the College of Charleston, I didn’t make friends very fast. Firstly, I’m not that outgoing so there’s that. Add to the fact that I’m not a smiler, or very out going. The next was that a lot of other black freshman attended a summer program, which I didn’t so they already knew one another. The guys that I eventually befriended said that “I didn’t speak to people.” I thought that was odd because I gave everyone the black folks head nod which I guess folks from other parts of the world don’t do. I worked on it eventually but a lot of folks just excepted the fact that that’s how I role.

    It’s a learning experience.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      i definitely feel you on the black folks head nod. out here in portland i give every person of color the eye contact/head nod. funny thing is that i am pretty outgoing but i didn’t realize it. i ended up becoming mr. junior of my college and mr. (king) of my school and i pledged a really social fraternity lol. those who knew me freshman year would have never guessed that.

  2. gemmieboo

    this isnt surprising at all to me. even now when youre in new settings, or not as familiar settings, you tend to be quite reserved and slow to respond. while i dont think its at all the same motivation as when you were a college freshman, i do see how people might think you’re standoffish.

    people thought the same about me – if i wasnt smiling, people assumed i had an attitude or that i was a snob. many of my college friends have said to me “i thought you were so mean when i first met you. glad i got to know you anyway.” i wouldnt be surprised if people still had this impression of me. i have a harsh “relaxed/neutral” face, i guess.

    im like you – i’m a people pleaser for the right people. maybe not even the right people, just the people i want. i generally want to be universally liked and i often go out of my way to befriend or get along with people. but other times im quick to be like eff it, idc cuz i dont like you. lol

    i do want to work on my attitude. i can be so stank – not necessarily because of something anyone did, but it affects those around me. one of the things i hate the most about myself – my inability to keep my ‘tude in check more readily. constant struggle.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      this is true. if i’m not completely comfortable in my surroundings i prefer to just observe and take things in. i do need to work on that too. not my attitude but letting one thing affect my overall demeanor towards other things. you on the other hand? that attitude?? lollooll j/k j/k


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