Management Blog by Cinnie Noble
For this week’s blog I thought I would bring back a blog that was very popular a few years ago. So, this one is from the archives (originally posted January 12, 2016):
Some of us have a pattern known as people-pleasing. When it comes to conflict this may refer to a tendency to avoid expressing ideas, thoughts and feelings when they differ from another’s for fear of offending them. Afraid to say no, or to defend ourselves, or having a tendency to comply rather than assert a different idea or suggestion, are other examples of behaviours that reflect people-pleasing.
This way of being often means living our lives according to other’s values and beliefs and, as a consequence, acting in ways that are continually out of alignment with ourselves. Having low self-esteem and trouble envisioning ways to manage dissension that will serve us better are commonly prevalent. This makes engaging in conflict a huge challenge.
Not all people are fully aware of how our people-pleasing patterns adversely affect conflict engagement. Others of us are fully aware, but prefer to accommodate others or give in so as not to be part of a conflict. In any case, we may experience self-anger, feelings of inauthenticity and dishonesty about the conflict and its impact.
It’s not a straightforward and easy process to change people-pleasing patterns. However, the following questions may help to open up an internal conversation to be able to gain some sense of who you prefer to be if you tend to be a people-pleaser in some or all conflicts – and don’t want to be.
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