© 2019 Making Sense out of Style

  • Jen

Are you a People Pleaser when it comes to your Style?

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

My happy purchase. Madden Girl sandals at Famous Footwear.

The other day I was with my daughter trying on shoes. She was looking at Birkenstock sandals and I was trying on some sandals that looked similar. I really liked them. They fit, they were comfortable, they were the right price. I could wear them with a bunch of different outfits. I was going to get them. No I wasn’t. Yes I was. No I wasn’t. Aargh! I seemed to have lost my ability to decide. I asked my daughter what she thought.

Later I got thinking: what goes into the decision of making purchase? Wasn’t I asking the right questions? Fit, comfort, price, wearability. What was I missing? After I started doing some research, it finally hit me. I was getting gummed up by something i wasn’t acknowledging while it had been going on...my emotions. I was struggling with the purchase because I was worried about what “other people” may think of my choice. The internal struggle of what people may think of rhinestone studded footwear was drowning out my reaction of how much I loved them. I did know it was happening on some level, but I think I’ve just gotten so used to it that I didn’t call it out for what it really was.

Pathetic, right?! I’m a people pleaser. I'm working on getting over it, but it’s still very much a thing for me. Until now, I’ve never given a lot of thought to how it rears it’s ugly little head when I’m just trying to pick out a pair of shoes! This has been eye-opening. How many other ways does this come out?

At least for this shopping trip, I had a secret weapon: someone who had better perspective than I did. When I asked my daughter what she thought of the shoes, she said “I could see you wearing them! They’re you” That snapped me out of it. Real quick. She wasn’t suffering from my baggage about what makes a good purchase for me. I brought them to the cashier and I’ve been enjoying my fun sandals ever since.

Now that I see what’s going on, I’m going to be watching for it and have a simple strategy to deal with it. First, bring one of my daughters. They are so fun to shop with! Haha, I know that’s not realistic since they have lives of their own :) But seriously, while I work on this, I need to have someone else’s perspective. So, if I don’t have someone with me, my second option (although, tied for first as far as who I want shopping with me) is texting a picture to my dear friend Carey to ask her advice. She has great fashion sense and she knows me well. If she’s not available for some reason, then I have option three: check out the return policy. This is probably some of the best shopping advice that I’ve ever gotten for when I’m stuck about a purchase. Working it out at home and talking to whoever I need to while having the item in hand is a great alternative.

Maybe you don’t struggle with people pleasing. Maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, you may find it pops up while you’re shopping (or getting dressed) and it keeps you from making what could be your best decision. I’m excited to think that I could just be a little less stuck than I was before I had this outing with my daughter. Now, when I wear my sandals, I remind myself how much I’m enjoying them and how they feel “right”. It’s been great positive reinforcement. I’m looking forward to the next time I’m out shopping. I want to practice the looking, thinking, and feeling that’s involved with building my own style. I hope you will too!