Pammy and I had a fun 5 mile hike on the Southern, Western part of the Iron Goat Trail today. Not too hot, not too cold. Broke in our new-to-us SUV (a 2014 Pathfinder aka “The Beast”) and a wonderful new, hand-carved Hickory hiking stick (aka “Hickory Dickory”). Not a lot of people on the trail today. Seeing the massive concrete walls of the 100 year old snow sheds and railway tunnels is always incredible. On track for 1,000,000 steps by summer’s end.
I recently finished reading (speed reading, really) “Not Nice” by Dr. Aziz Gazipura. It is about stopping people pleasing, speaking up, being bolder. One particular concept strongly resonated with me – that not everyone will like you or what you do.
In his book, Dr. Gazipura recounts a session with a patient where he asks them to imagine out of a group of 100 people how many would like them. The answer the doctor ultimately gives them? 62.
“That’s right. Sixty-two people would like you… No I’m just kidding, I have no way of knowing and neither do you!” “The number could be forty, or fifty, or sixty-two, or eight-seven. But it is highly probable that it will not be one hundred.”
And that’s so true. I may joke and say “everybody loves a panda” (referring to myself) but it simply isn’t true. Never will be. Not everyone will like me, nor what I believe, nor what I do.
Dr. Gazipura continues: “The truth is, we don’t have control of whether people like us or not. The only thing we have control over is how fully we show up.”
And then, a page later, Dr. Aziz recounts how he embraced the concept of “I’m not for everybody.” He writes: “Then it hit me. It’s not just that my coaching and teachings are not for everybody. I’m not for everybody…. Some people would love what I was doing, and some would not. That’s OK; I’m not for everybody…. Let this sweet message settle into your subconscious. Repeat it often…. let yourself experience the freedom that comes from letting others have the dignity of their own perceptions, beliefs, ideas, reactions and judgements, without needing to convince or control them in any way.”
It’s a liberating concept, don’t you think? But then again, if you don’t… I’m not for everybody.
Today is the first day of three months of paid time off. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time. I have a lot of ideas of things I’d like to use this time for…
1 Million Steps – I really want to turn the 10,000 step per day goal from an obligation to a compulsion and I’m starting to feel that compulsion already.
20 Pounds – I want to lose them. The increased activity will help. So will less emotional eating with being away from work drama. Will be investing time in weightlifting, prayer and meditation this summer too to add healthier coping skills to the mix.
Hiking, Reloaded – Will be doing a lot of day hikes this summer. Even a bit of the PCT. Want to graduate to overnight hikes too.
Motorcycling, Reloaded – Will be doing a lot of riding this summer. Places to go, people to offend. Loud pipes save lives – time to do some lifesaving – my own 🙂
Unplugging – I already deleted my Facebook account earlier this year. Will be consciously spending less time on screens this summer and more time with books, the family and being outdoors. Might yet ditch the smartphone.
Family Time – We’ll be hiking together, going to Disney, and flying back East to see my parents and siblings.
No More Mr. Nice Panda – Time to re-engage on dropping the people pleasing that has crept back in. Need to exorcise it well. Get some more ink, get comfortable with ruffling feathers again, speak boldly again. Will need this for the next phase at work especially.
It’s an exceptional opportunity to build new habits, bring back discipline that has faded, get some rest, step away from work drama and get healthier for the next phase. I’m lovin’ it. Let the wild rumpus begin again!
On a recent work-related trip, a co-worker regaled us with some of her favorite (mostly snarky) lines she likes to use to cut through the BS. One in particular that came to mind today was “Have you considered that the problem might be you?” I was thinking about that recently in terms of people pleasing behavior, and it occurred to me the flip side might be helpful for perennial nice guys and gals – i.e., “Have you considered that the problem might NOT be you?”
People pleasers often have a distorted view of how much their thoughts and actions matter to the people around them – and how much influence they have over others – and often don’t take into account that people they are dealing with might not be open to changing or even considering points of view that don’t align with their tightly held beliefs. They think that if they are just nice enough and patient enough and smart enough and eloquent enough that they can win others over (woo) to try or do something the nice guy or gal is advocating.
People pleasers are slow to consider, if at all, that the other person may never be willing to entertain their point of view, and will find at the end of it all that for all the effort, they have worn themselves down with little or no impact on the other person. It takes a long time for them to consider that the other person might actually have a problem blocking them from progress – a resistance no amount of niceness or logic or dutifulness will overcome.
So… the next time you find yourself repeating a behavior with someone and getting the same disappointing results, ask yourself – “Have I considered that the problem might NOT be me?”
The man who groans at a difficulty, sobs at a disappointment, cries out to the neighborhood every time he puts forth an effort, is like the man whom Sam Jones recently described: “When I hear some men speak or see them work, they remind me of a river steamboat, with a very large whistle and a very small boiler, so that every time the whistle blows the boat stops.”
From the Art of Manliness
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Kortney Jarman
I’m rebooting this blog, starting fresh. Frequent posts starting next week.