بسم الله .
The reality is that these “people-pleasing” behaviors would never earn us true respect in reality. This is despite the fact that the whole reason we are people pleasing is to earn other’s respect and acceptance. The painful reality is, people pleasers don’t get the respect they so badly desire from people.
Someone who is focused on pleasing others has lost something very important. Their own core values. They have forgot or never even realized their own principles and morals by which they should live by and stand for no matter who they run into in life. These core values should never be separated from the person. Humans by their nature look up to people who live by their own principles, even if others may disagree with them. There is something attractive about the person who is so strong on his ethics & principles, that he is willing to die for them. Looking towards the movers and shakers of society, we see that to be the case. Even some of the dating gurus, such as David DeAngelo, have talked about this topic at length with respect to attracting women. He has emphasized the need to have a set of morals and ethics that you strongly believe in, that you stick to and you remain consistent on. That you are walking the path of life with a purpose. That stability found in those with their own set of core values ends up being a true turn on for women.
We see these values in the greatest men to walk the face of the earth; namely the Messengers and Prophets sent by Allah. Nothing could shake these men from their mission in life, which was to call their people to the worship and obedience of the one true God. They were willing to die for this mission, and many of them did.
Socially anxious people may benefit themselves by realizing that true respect and acceptance from people was never in the people’s hands to begin with. Respect and Honor comes from the Creator.
من كان يريد العزة فلله العزة جميعا .
Whoever wants honor & respect, honor & respect in totality belongs to Allah alone.” Chapter 35, Quran
If we realize that respect from people can only be obtained through God, by being sincere to Him, by doing things for him, and knowing God is the One who puts respect in people’s hearts for you, then all efforts of seeking honor and prestige can be directed to God directly, without fear of disapproval of the people. Just by keeping yourself sincere to your Lord, which in turn brings out an authenticity in yourself, you will maintain true respect in people’s eyes.
Also, the 2nd caliph in Islam, Umar ibn Al Khattab strongly expressed his view of seeking respect from people. The story goes, He was taking turns with his servant in riding a camel traveling to Palestine to meet the ruler. And as they were walking into Palestine, it was Umar’s servant’s turn to ride the camel. Then the servant told him to ride the camel because he is the khalifa and he will look honorable coming into Palestine, one leader meeting another. This is when Umar got angry and strongly stated to his servant;
أعزنا الله بالإسلام. و مهما ابتغينا العزة في غيره أذلنا الله .
“Allah honored us with Islam. And whatever honor we desired from other than him, Allah will humiliate us.”