Comedy Editorial : Puhlease People! Zahra explains why more of us should be people pleasers.
I’m a people pleaser. I think the only ones who wouldn’t agree with that statement are, all my friends and family and my boyfriend. But fuck them, I am one.
Being a people pleaser is easy. All you have to do is value other people’s pleasure over your own. It’s basically like having sex as a straight woman but applied to your whole life.
According to the National Society Of Made Up Statistics, more women than men identify as ‘people pleasers’. Strange, as all the men I know, call their bitches ‘psychos’ not ‘people pleasers’. And they tell me that their ‘bitches’ get really mad at them for calling them ‘psychos’. (Maybe they should be more mad at them for calling them ‘bitches’?)
I, personally would love to be called a psycho by a man because it’s their special way of saying that you’re really good in bed. Although it can also make you smell like a Petrol Station because it goes hand in hand with being ‘gaslighted’. But hey, who doesn’t love the smell of petrol? (‘Gaslit’ the new fragrance by Brett Kavanaugh .) This reminds me, I’ve only just got the courage to spray perfume on my wrists again after watching Killing Eve. (Spoiler alert: Villanelle killed a lady with Poison Perfume. Not the perfume ‘Poison’ by Dior, actual poison).
Now, Jodie Comer’s ‘Villanelle’ was a real ‘psycho’. (Clue’s in the name). And no man would ever have the balls to call her a one because even if they did have the balls to start with, they certainly wouldn’t have them after. (Spoiler alert: Villanelle chopped a lot of men’s dicks off). Some men say the #MeToo Movement has gone too far. I say its gone too far when men are having their dicks chopped off as often as girls are victims of FGM.
Now Psychopaths are actually the antithesis of People Pleasers. A ‘psycho’ is characterised by a lack of empathy and someone who cares only about themselves. They just don’t give a fuck about anyone else.
Sometimes I wish I was more like a psycho, not because I want to smell of petrol or be better in bed. I’m already pretty wild- I’ve had sex in every room in my house. (I live in a studio flat but it still counts). The reason I sometimes want to channel my inner psycho is that I would love to give less of a fuck about what people think of me. So much so that my friend gave me the self help book ‘The Magical Art Of Not Giving A Fuck’ but ended up really giving a fuck that I couldn’t give a fuck.
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It can be hard being a people pleaser. You have to constantly be a martyr. My mantra is ‘What Would Malala Do?’
For example the other day I wanted red wine but everyone else wanted white so I drank the white for the good of the group even though white gives me a migraine and makes me a bit lippy (and slightly violent). Because well that’s what Malala would do.
Well, actually Malala probably wouldn’t drink because she’s Muslim, but you get the point.
I wish more people were people pleasers. The best thing is that I never fall out with anyone (I just slag them off behind their backs). All you have to do is be comfortable lying to people’s faces and saying: ‘I don’t mind’ a lot.
Like when you’re asked if you want peanut butter or jam and you say ‘I don’t mind’ even though you have a severe life threatening nut allergy. Or when you’re asked if you want to go to Magaluf on holiday even though you’d much rather go to a war zone (its what Malala would do) but you say ‘I don’t mind’. Or when you’re asked if you want to leave the European Union and you say, ‘I don’t mind’ even though you really like Europe and Unions.
Speaking of which I didn’t vote in the Brexit referendum because on that fateful day I was too busy moving out of my old flat that I shared with my housemates and moving in to a new place with my American boyfriend. I was literally taking myself off the single market and moving in with an immigrant. I mean I wasn’t in the right head space to deal with Brexit as well.
You think this would be my biggest voting regret but last week I forgot to sign an online change.org petition.
Looking back not voting in the referendum has put me in a great position regarding people pleasing. When I’m with people that voted remain I empathise with them and when I am with people who voted leave I feel sorry for them. I don’t make enemies. It’s nice.
Do I wish I had voted? Of course, but Brexit has made me check my privilege. Literally. I’ve now got an Irish passport.
Being a people pleaser works for other differences of opinions too. Like when I speak to people who tell me that the #MeToo movement has gone too far and say it ‘demonises all men and it’s now a scary time to be a man’. I tell them I understand. Getting judged by your gender sucks. Every time I get on stage as a female comedian I feel like I’m getting judged by my gender too.
Then again I also agree with comedian Sarah Silverman who says, ‘this is not a scary time for men. This is a scary time for men who have sexually assaulted someone’.
I guess what I’m saying is I don’t so much people please, but people appease. Maybe its because I grew up with divorced parents and negotiating and mediating and appeasing meant a happy childhood. I realised at a young age that if you negotiated with both parties and played them off against each other you could get double of everything at Christmas because the other parent didn’t know what the other one was getting. Super Soaker 5000? 2 of them. Super Nintendo? 2 of them. Super Max Tampon? 48 of them, (2 x packs of 24).
After all, doesn’t everyone just want more ‘stuff’? Didn’t we all learn that if we want something we have to be nice to people? I mean, that’s basic ‘Gold Digger 101’. Yet, we have never been so divided, argumentative and uncommunicative with people. So, puhlease people, lets be kinder and nicer to each other, just imagine all the ‘stuff’ we can get if we do.
Zahra Barri is at Nottingham Comedy Festival, this Thursday 8th November with her show ‘Zahra: Warrior Not Princess’.
Tickets are available online HERE