“When you say yes to others make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
Do you …
not admit when your feelings are hurt?
need praise to feel good?
feel uncomfortable if someone is angry with you?
have a hard time saying ‘no’?
say ‘sorry’ often?
feel burdened by things you do?
take concern in how other people feel?
often agree with everyone?
If you said ‘yes’ to any of these, you may be a ‘people pleaser’.
It took me until my mid 30’s and a lot of deep personal work to realize I had spent far too long making others happy. Putting others needs ahead of my own was not helping me. In fact this is why I ended up burnt out and alien to who I was.
While it is wonderful to be kind and helpful, it can also build negative impact by putting your own well-being last.
I want to be clear - it’s not always a bad thing to people please, UNLESS you are seeking approval because of low self esteem or bringing happiness to another at the cost of your own well-being. I learned this was a deep symptom of something else. Sometimes we do not want to really look at this. If you do - read on.
So why do we people please?
There are a lot of reasons! Among them - poor self esteem, insecurity, needing perfection or past experiences. This can show up differently for everyone. For me the deeper piece was not loving myself and looking to others for approval.
One of the best things I have ever learned is saying ‘NO’ to others, so I can say ‘YES’ to myself.
So how did I tune into my own people pleaser mentality and turn it around? … by learning to say ‘NO’.
I began by starting small with those who I knew well. I started practicing saying ‘NO’. I heard myself say ‘NO’ to an opinion I did not share. Then ‘NO’ to doing something that would mean I could not rest…. In fact I shared what I was doing, so they could also respect and help me.
Every time I said ‘NO’ I was so proud and wondered if I could do it again. This took conscious and repetitive work!
What did this allow me to practice? Boundaries, stress relief, respect for me! How may times do we say yes to something we do not really want to do?
This is a tiny snippet into the world of ‘people pleasing’. To enjoy a more abundant life means being aware of your needs. Once you learn to look out for ‘pleasing people’ behaviour, it is much easier to stop, It’s all about taking little steps towards pleasing you.
Quote for the week
“There’s something very addictive about people pleasing. It’s a thought pattern and a habit that feels really, really good until it becomes desperate.” – Anne Hathaway
Don’t be afraid of losing people. Be afraid of losing yourself by trying to please everyone around you. This is all about building greater mental strength and so
I hope this helps you!
PS: If you ever need a little more support, here is a way I can help you: Start to learn how to please yourself, check out these resources.