Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On being a People Pleaser...

Confession:  I watch The Bachelorette.  Not only do I watch this show, but I guiltily indulge in every piece of drama, shallowness and cheesiness as if it was the best chocolate on earth.  It is the only show on television that I actually watch on t.v. and not recorded.  Whoever thought this show up knows how to hook me, and I enjoy making fun of, analyzing and digesting every moment.

In years past I have generally liked the women chosen as The Bachelorette.  My recent favorite was Allie who had a girl next door quality and seemed to possess a strong sense of self without coming off bitchy.  This year The Bachelorette is Ashley, and I'm sorry but this woman drives me completely crazy! My reason for disliking Ashley can be summed up in a few words:  Ashley is a desperate people pleaser. 

People Pleaser (as defined by the Urban Dictionary):
A relatively new word in the psychology world, it's not in the DSM-IV-TR (a book that a counselor would use for a diagnoses).  People pleasers are doormats who let high expectations, resentment, and saying yes when they mean no run their lives.  They are set on being perfect and nice.  It affects mostly women because they are socialized to do for other people instead of for themselves.  This has also been linked to codependence.

Maybe the reason it drives me so completely nuts to see people pleasing  played out by Ashley on this show is that I relate.  I've been a people pleaser too.  I've been a doormat, said yes when I meant know and sacrificed my true self at the altar of being perfect and nice.  So when I see these behaviors in Ashley and how it's affecting her life and relationships I cringe.  On one of her recent dates she seemed much more concerned about whether or not the guy's mom liked her than the guy himself.  Quote:  "But, does she really like me?  Oh, I hope so, I really want her to like me!"  Sigh...Oh Ash!  How about being yourself, being kind to others and trusting that you are enough? 

So yes, maybe The Bachelorette is shallow and silly, but this season has been a good reminder to me of what I don't want to be and how unattractive people pleasing really is.  Maybe Ashley could take a lesson from one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Suess:

Be who you are and say what you feel
those who mind don't matter
those who matter don't mind!

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