“What Other People Think About You Is None of Your Business”

By Jean Mavrelis - 04.29.2010

As I wrote in Corporate Tribalism, white women who are “people pleasers”, often feel more defined by what other people might think about them than by what they think about themselves.

Interestingly, first born sons of white woman people-pleasers are also likely to be like their mothers in this way, most likely because mom had more time for her firstborn, male or female, so those first born tend to be like her.

This need to have others like us gets “people-pleasers” into hot water when interacting with anyone except other people pleasers.

I had my own experience with this yesterday. I wrote on a cousin’s blog site that the view in the piece was “naïve”. Then I realized she wrote the piece.

This sent me into people pleaser apoplexy – Oh my god!  I’ve offended! This will ruin our relationship! Like a good people pleaser, I wrote to apologize, saying I didn’t mean to call her \”naïve\”. She responded that she didn’t feel insulted until I suggested that I insulted her.

The ultimate goal of a people pleaser is not to please others so much as it is to make sure other people think we’re caring and nice so that they won’t talk about us behind our back. Read more »