Do you find yourself giving into your children, other family memebers and friends because you don’t want to upset them or you need their approval and love?
Do you find yourself feeling used and unappreciated? A victim or martyr? If so you are a people pleaser. If you spend your time and energy always pleasing others you will find you don’t have time energy and resources for yourself. You won’t have a life of your own. It’s time to look at your patterns, where they came from and what you can do about them.
Characteristics of People Pleasers
- I have difficulty telling others no.
- I hold back to avoid conflict.
- I take what others say and do personally.
- I always put others needs before mine.
- I change my thoughts and behavior to please others.
- I don’t ask for help from others.
- I’m the nice guy.
- I don’t want to rock the boat.
- I say what people want to hear.
- I want everyone to get along.
- I want everyone to like me.
Reasons for People Pleasing Behavior
If you say no you risk the chance of being rejected.
Feeling insecure, lack self confidence and needing people to like you.
To avoid feeling guilty.
Fear of dissapointing others.
Feeling responsible for the happiness of others.
You are comfortable functioning on overload.
You are not comfortable with down time.
How You Can Change Your Behavior are saying to you when someone makes a request. It’s never wrong. Learn to go with this inner guidance.
1. Listen to what your inner voice and gut feeling
2. Observe your behavior patterns. Become aware of putting others wants and needs before your own in order to make them happy. You are responsible for your own happiness.You may have learned this pattern from a parent or caretaker. It’s the way you have learned to receive love and approval.
Ask yourself, “What’s in it for me” when I say yes when I want to say no. The answer may be love, companionship or acceptance.
3. Replace fear with confidence.
What are you afraid will happen if you say no? Will the other person be mad, judgmental, hurt? If so, whose problem is that? You don’t have to internalize someone else’s feelings. Instead get in touch with what you are feeling. You can learn to be comfortable when other’s are not. Learn how to “hold your own hand.” It’s your right to say no. It’s important to know you deserve to have a life of your own. You will only gain that when you stop giving yourself away to others. Learn to set limits.
Learn you have a right to be yourself and stand up for yourself. You are worthy.
4. You have a right to put yourself first.
5. Observe the toll it takes on you. What does it cost you to live this way? Ask yourself, “How will this affect my life if I say yes.” Can I afford the time. Can I afford the money? What will I lose if I do this? Will this cause added stress and pressure to my life?
6. Practice saying no to every request you know is going to set you back.
8. Learn to create balance
You will get more comfortable each time. Don’t own other people’s feelings or problems. I advice my clients to memorize the line, “No, that’s not going to work for me.” Say it firmly and with meaning. Let the other person say what they need to say and repeat it up to three times if necessary. After the third time the person with the request will give up. This phrase also teaches you that you don’t need an excuse. Often times you feel guilty and will even lie about why you don’t want to or cannot do something. Saying, “No” is enough. You dont’ have to give anyone a reason, an excuse or an apology. You don’t have to give a reason for saying no.between pleasing others and pleasing yourself. Become your own best friend. Take time to truly nourish yourself and be good to yourself. Discover who you are, what you want and who you want to spend your extra energy, time and resources with. If you lack boundaries and never have enough time, energy or resources for themselves.
A good line to remember is, “What you think of me is none of my business.” When you say yes when you mean know it is yourself you are rejecting not the other person. Respect yourself, time and energy. Then others will do the same. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it. Learn to thing well of yourself reguardless of what anyone else is thinking or doing.
Hey, there isn’t a #7! (Who says #7 is a lucky number!!!)
Loved the article. I actually took a deep, calming breath and said “No-that won’t work for me,” aloud. Then I visualized myself saying such a thing to people in my family, the organizations I support by volunteering, the school… Chuckle. It felt pretty good!!!!
Thanks for the wise words. I shared them with another girlfriend/people pleaser I know. I’m taking the advice to heart. (Wait! Is that a people-pleasing behaviour???) 😉