The idea of pleasing everyone around you may look quite appealing. Here’s the logic: the more people you please, the more they like you, the more secure you feel yourself in the end.
People’s loyalty serves you as a safety net in the human society. If you experience a setback in your life one day, you may count on some help from those, whose demands you satisfied back in a day.
Let’s use the business analogy: the more customers’ demands your company satisfies, the more money it makes, right? Then why it is wrong to try to please each and everyone around you? There’s one thing we forgot to take into consideration.
If we go along with the business analogy, what we’ve forgotten to mention is that every company has its capacity. Capacity is the amount of “pleasing” it can provide to a customer before beginning to hurt itself.
Let’s assume an example. A customer comes into a shoe shop. He wants to buy new shoes. He looks at the price. It’s pretty high. So he asks the salesperson for some discount, let’s say, 10%. If company’s capacity permits to make a discount of such an amount, the salesperson agrees to please the customer and satisfy his demand.
However, if this discount goes beyond shop’s capacity, i.e. it will lose money by giving away one-tenth of the shoes’ price, the salesperson rejects the customer’s demand. And no matter how hard the customer may beg for the discount, the salesperson cannot please him.
A commercial structure can provide service to the customers while its capacity permits it to do it. While almost every corporation nowadays claims that its mission is to serve the customer and please his or her (or its, if it’s another business organization) wishes at once, it still has very definite set of boundaries how far it may go with this approach.
Every commercial company’s (no matter how big or small) management has a clear realization of that fact that it cannot please a customer if it harms the company’s income in a dangerous way. If the company’s management becomes careless enough to give the clients too much, it will lead to the bankruptcy.
The same applies to you as a person. You are your company, the shoe shop, you are responsible for.
In terms of human life, capacity is the time available to you, your mental well-being. If you’ll spend to much of it on your customers, you’ll go bankrupt eventually. It will be expressed in prostration, nervous breakdown, low self-esteem, self-beating, and in tens of other very unpleasant things.
You’ll spend a lot of time (and money) on recovering and restoring your capacity. During this time neither you can function properly, nor people’s demands can be satisfied.
What if the manufacturer of your favorite product goes so far with pleasing its clients (for example, making big discounts and making them too often) and ends as a bankrupt? I guess, you’d be sorry that you can not acquire this product anymore, wouldn’t you?
It’s a lose-lose situation.
Be cautious. Whenever you feel like going beyond the amount of resources you may give to other people, take a break. Take time to restore them. There’s no dignity in sacrificing yourself for other people so much, that you cannot function any further.
You may find more advice on the issue of pleasing people in this brilliant article by Aletheia Luna at Loner Wolf.