Originally posted on The Bucket Digest
by Skylan Abraham
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a people pleaser.
Now, that doesn’t mean I did whatever anyone asks-there were some exceptions- but I did on many occasions inconvenience myself in order to appease all parties involved.
What do I mean by inconveniencing myself?
Here are a couple examples:
(1) Playing the Middle Man.
I hate conflict. Always have, always will. Most disguise conflict as “discussion,” but when voices are being raised and tension is building– the air gets foul. So, what do I do? I inconvenience myself and overstep my personal boundaries to resolve the problem.
This springs from my childhood, as my father and mother, or my sister and father, or my brother and stepfather were always on edge with one another… and I just wanted everyone to get along.
But here’s the reality, NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO GET ALONG ALL THE TIME, and that’s OKAY.
Hell, I don’t get along with everyone all the time either… but even then I don’t exactly speak my mind…and because of that I feel my opinion holds little value.
It’s something I’ve been working on, because for others to accept and respect my boundaries, I must place them first and stand ready to defend, even if that means I have to be a bit harsh with my words in order to get through to the other party.
(2) Underselling What My Artwork Was/Is Worth.
Now, I understand my style of painting isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, but there is no denying the years of practice and study that I put into my passion. When you purchase one of my paintings, you’re also paying for the skillset that took nearly 14 years to develop.
Yet, there have been many occasions where I discount my work to an almost laughable amount for the sake of “friends” or family. It’s not that I mind this entirely, but it’s not the best feeling knowing others undervalue your work, because you in return, undervalue yourself.
And that’s where people pleasing becomes toxic.
You UNDERVALUE yourself…
…by not feeling your words matter, you undervalue yourself. By not allowing yourself to charge what you feel your product deserves, you’re undervaluing yourself.
It’s time to break the curse and let go of your hidden insecurities. I am valuable. I am worth putting up with. My words matter. My thoughts matter. My time matters.
Set those boundaries, keep those prices, value yourself and your time… it’s one, if not the only way to resurrect the love you have of yourself.
Sure, you may lose friends… but if they can’t respect your boundaries then they shouldn’t have been your friends to begin with. Sure, you may not sell your paintings for months… but someday, (my case in particular– a reminder to myself) someone will look at your piece/product and KNOW it’s worth the time and effort you put into it and buy it from you with no qualms about the price.
Even if you’re scared… take the risk. For the sake of your mental health, do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of or stepped on.
Stop people pleasing. Do it for your sake. Not mine, not anybody else’s. DO IT FOR YOU.
You’ll thank me later.
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-doing-hand-heart-sign-1535244/
One Reply to “Easy Pleasy: An Artist’s Take on the Detriments of Pleasing People”
As someone who has been a people-pleaser her whole life, I really resonate with this post. I just recently discovered that I was and where my behaviors have come from ( early childhood trying to avoid conflict with family etc.) Thank you for sharing!