Wynn Helms, M.A.


Our Need to Please

please others pic.jpg

Have you ever—at one time or another—said “yes” when you really felt like saying “no”? So have I! Why do we do this?

Maybe it is “fear” and its annoying cousin “shame”…But fear of what? How about:

 •             Fear of not belonging, of being alone, of not being liked

o             Have you ever said “yes” to someone for fear of not fitting in? Then, afterwards, felt shame for the decision to acquiesce? I know I have.

•             Fear of being judged if we show our true and authentic selves

o             We make ourselves vulnerable if we show our true selves. Each time we show how authentic we are, we run the risk of being judged and/or labeled as “odd” or “weird”. I once posted a Peanuts comic that said, “Being a little weird is just a natural side-effect of being awesome.” I sure didn’t feel awesome in the moment…I felt judged as I showed my true self. It was scary.

•             Fear of being wrong

o             Being wrong can be shame-filled and/or embarrassing—there’s that “shame” word again. I have disregarded a wrong answer—or skirted the issue—KNOWING that I was right, so that I wouldn’t shame the other person for being wrong. I now recognize that in that moment I betrayed myself—my true self.

•             Fear of hurting someone

o             Most of us shy away from saying anything with the potential of hurting someone. Have you ever made an untrue remark to someone in order to spare their feelings?

  It was a silent, uncomfortable moment: I said “yes” when I really wanted to say “no”; have you?


Wynn Helms