How to please everyone

I’m a people pleaser. Are you, too? I am happy when everyone else is happy. There is a simple joy I feel when I see others smiling. It’s like a contagious positivity virus that rubs off onto me and I am suddenly on cloud nine.

Why does this matter? Well when it comes to food, being a people pleaser can sometimes be the most destructive personality trait in all the land.

You may know what I'm talking about. Maybe, just maybe…

  • You shared communal food with friends at a restaurant even though you weren't really in the mood (a side of fries for the table, anyone?)
  • You agreed to order a pepperoni pizza with your boyfriend, but you hate pepperoni
  • You planned a potluck with girlfriends, and as everyone offered up what they wanted to bring you noticed they were all dishes you don't like eating, but you didn’t dare say anything
  • You went home to visit family and realized they don't eat any of the healthy foods you're used to but you felt bad speaking up

All of these situations have happened to me. For years I used to go with the flow with that “Anything goes, I'm easy!” attitude. And in the process I was making horrible food choices. I was oblivious to my body’s needs, so concerned with pleasing others that I was not at all in tune with myself. And this blatant disregard for my body, my soul, left me mindlessly eating foods that did not serve my highest good.

At the end of the day, we are our own highest priorities. The more often I consistently choose myself, and my own vitality, the closer I am to being my best self. I am present. I am fully here for others. I am happy. I am alive.

Thank you to the friend who just asked me, in an unrelated conversation, how we can please everyone around us. She reminded me that while that may be the fantasy at times, it’s physically and emotionally impossible. And I am grateful that it is, for this lesson has taught me the true lesson of listening to my body and honoring my needs.

The next time you’re faced with a food decision -- whether it be with a friend, in a group, or with family -- take a beat before making your choice. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply. Feel what’s going on inside. Acknowledge yourself for this act of supreme self love. And then honor the wisdom your body is telling you, what will serve your highest self. You can’t please everyone. Oh, but how wonderful. You can finally please yourself.

And now I would love to hear from you. Are you a people pleaser, too? How have you learned to honor your own needs in the face of wanting others to be happy and content? Share your tips below!