troublemakers

A People-Pleaser No More.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

I used to like this saying.

Now I say: Fuck. That. Shit.

“… it’s more important to be nice.” Barf.

Girls: Don’t believe this shit. Don’t believe this for one second.

It is more important to be true to yourself than being nice. Yes, being true to yourself will sometimes include being nice, but it will also include being stubborn, ugly, beautiful, angry, enraged, opinionated, jealous, sad, depressed, funky, weird, awkward, compassionate, etc.

Being true to yourself is the most courageous thing you will ever do. Being true to yourself means telling your truth even with it pisses people off, even when it makes you and everyone around you uncomfortable, and even when it means you stand alone.

Don’t sell yourself short as I did for so many years. Do not settle for being a people-pleaser. It’s a crappy and isolating road with an unsatisfying, disassociated and ill-adjusted end. We are stronger than that. We are better than that.

Not everyone will like you, and yes, it will hurt to be rejected, but if you are true to yourself, you will feel powerful and successful even in the face of discord. You may still feel sad at others’ rejection, but you will meet this sadness rooted in your own strength.

My recently abandoned people-pleasing ways have another definition: manipulation. I was a career manipulator. Keep things calm, keep things pleasant. And why? To avoid my own discomfort. It doesn’t feel good when people are angry or judgmental, but it is a part of life. I tried so hard to avoid others’ fury and disapproval.

Such a slinking dishonest art is this people-pleasing that I did not even know I was doing it. But I do now.

Now I know the ways I quietly and subtly swayed others to influence the outcome I desired. Disapproval seemed too threatening. Anger seemed too threatening. So I sold my soul for a bit of dishonest and deceptive tranquility. And oh how I paid!

A soul enslaved cannot remain suppressed forever. Months, years, lifetimes even, but not forever. The tension caused by repression will break you open, freeing your inner screaming banshee. I say, better to be a banshee than a slave.

Banshees get a bad rap, but I don’t think they give a fuck. They are free. Free from the desire for approval. Free from the need to please anyone. They are truly alive.

So lace up your banshee bootstraps and get to living.

No more ringlets, pink cheeks and phony smiles bullshit. We owe it to ourselves, to our sisters, to our repressed grandmothers, to our mothers and to our daughters. We owe it to our fathers, to our brothers, to our husbands and to our sons to stand in our strength and shine like a massive supernova as it crashes into an exploding quasar!

When we are true to ourselves, we give others permission to do the same. Our very lives become an example of truth in action. No wordy lectures needed.

This is how we honor ourselves. This is how we honor each other. This is how we collaborate. This is how we contribute. And this is how we change the world.

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Abby Pingree
Abby Pingree spent the first seven years of her life in a hippie commune. She is currently a hospice nurse, mother, and student of life. She has made friends with her own experiences with drug addiction, bulimia, dishonest and dodgy behavior by simply telling the truth. She now seeks an authentic life, and has the privilege of helping others. She writes for Elephant Journal and blogs for Huffington Post. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Abby Pingree
Abby Pingree

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