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  • Writer's pictureJen

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

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

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 own 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 some simple strategies to deal with it. The first one is utilizing someone else’s perspective. Whether I take someone with me or text a picture to my trusted friend with amazing taste, I need help to refocus. Another option is going with the purchase but only if it can be returned. That is probably some of the best shopping advice that I’ve ever gotten for when I can't decide what to do whatever the reason. 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!

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