Some people are born with the ability to say no; others mumble their way through hours-long phone conversations, unable to end the call for fear of offending the person on the other line. If you belong to the latter category, you don't need writer and comedian Sarah Cooper's "People-Pleaser's Guide to Pleasing People," because you're already on track for a life full of doing things you don't feel like doing — but you might love it anyway. Welcome to the club — unless you don't want to join. Do you not want to? I don't want to force you into anything. Whatever you decide is totally fine.
Cooper is a writer, comedian and creator of TheCooperReview.com, a satirical website focusing on office humor. "I am a recovering people-pleaser. I realized I had a lot of codependent tendencies about a year ago," Cooper tells Bustle. "I always thought the term 'codependent' meant that I was dependent on other people, so I thought this couldn't be me because I'm so independent! But then I did some research and realized it's not about depending on people for what they can give you, it's about depending on people to like you in order to be happy."
She recently addressed this realization in a Cooper Review post. In seven spot-on illustrations, "The People-Pleaser's Guide to Pleasing People" lays out exactly what it takes to ensure everyone else's happiness. First order of business: If you want to join the ranks of the people-pleasers, start working on your poker face.
Cooper recommends maintaining a vaguely beatific expression at all times, because anything less could come across as a total downer. "This will make people feel good, as if you’re totally fine with everything all the time," she explains on the Cooper Review.
Similarly, true people-pleasers never have opinions on what they want to do — they're down for whatever, up for anything, or whatever else Youths say these days. When two people-pleasers collide, a consensus may never be reached.
Most importantly, prepare to forget your own preferences until you no longer have a sense of self. When plans are being made, it's time to bust out your best impression of a blank slate. "Your suffering is the key to fitting in anywhere you want to go," Cooper writes.
When asked about the source of her inspiration, Cooper writes that she examines her own life. "My only formula [when writing for the Cooper Review] is honesty. I try to stay as close to the truth as possible then go from there," she explains. "So I start with a real struggle I have — like always putting on a happy face — and then exaggerate it to make it funny."
In the past, this has resulted in clever articles like "Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women" and "How to Use Math Words to Sound Smart," and her "People-Pleaser's Guide" is equally relatable. Check out the entire post over at the Cooper Review.
Images courtesy of Sarah Cooper/TheCooperReview.com (3)