By MELISA UCHIDA
name is Melisa and I am a People
People Pleasing is an addiction; it’s a sickness, like alcoholism.
Unfortunately, most of don’t know we have it. Author Susan Newman
calls this the “Need to Please Disease” in her latest book
“250 Ways to Say NO.”
you overbooked? Tired? Do you say yes before saying no? If so, you
could have the need to please disease.
Housewives” fans know how hard we work to please the people around
us. When character Bree Van de Kamp says “yes” to George’s
proposal because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings, we
understood, right? This may seem extreme to the viewer, but I
I didn’t say “yes” to my fiancé when I wanted to say no, but
I did have second thoughts after getting engaged. I started asking
married women if they ever questioned that their husbands were
“THE ONE” before their weddings. More than half said they did. But
what could I do at that point? It’s not like I could call off the
wedding, they’d say. When I asked these women if they were
totally satifisfied and happy in their marriages – less than half
you ever done something you didn’t want to do, but you did it
because people expected you to? Have you ever said “yes” when
you wished you’d said “no”? Have you ever double-booked
appointments because you didn’t want to say “no”? Welcome to
my life. I eventually cancelled my wedding. It was one of the
hardest things I’ve done – right up there with quitting smoking.
a people pleaser, I didn’t have the skills to this tactfully –
not that there’s a tactful way to end an engagement. But I knew if
I took the slow, nurturing approach, I would chicken out. I took the
‘rip the Band-Aid off as fast as you can’ approach. Not the best
method! I felt so guilty! I was sick for months. I cried every day.
I began to think I was CrAZy.
Mostly because my former fiancé told me I was.
the women I’d questioned about their own marriages, engagements
and happiness told me how proud they were of me. They told me that
they wished they’d had the courage to at least give themselves the
time to re-think marriage to their fiancés before getting married
rather than stuffing their fears and second-thoughts.
could have gotten married to my fiancé and things might have worked
out fine. I would be where I was three months ago and maybe that’s
not so bad. But I chose to make a decision that went against what
every rational person would have done and now I live a whole new
not saying this is good or bad, but it’s breaking the pattern of
people pleasing. At least I’m doing something for myself –
because I want to. Guilt and fear are not holding me back. I will
make mistakes, but I’ll be living life on my terms – not my
parents’, peers’ or fiancé’s. I think I’ve killed the
“need to please disease.”
Melisa Uchida is a freelance writer and
journalist. She’s a Boston University graduate with a degree in
Journalism and is pusuing a Masters degree at Hawaii Pacific
University. Contact Melisa at melisa