Is this You?
- You say yes to something you really don’t want to do just to keep someone else happy
- You have a fear of letting others down
- You are constantly apologizing
- You hate confrontation
- You rarely ask for or accept help
- You feel exhausted and depleted from putting everyone else’s needs before your own
Why We People Please
Research has shown that there are 3 major factors that drive our chronic people pleasing:
- Thoughts: Your people pleasing is driven by a fixed thought that you need and must strive for everyone to like you. You measure your self-esteem and define your identify by how much you do for others whose needs, your insist, must come before your own. You believe that being nice will protect you from rejection and other hurtful treatment from others. While you impose demanding rules, harsh criticism and perfectionist expectations on yourself, you simultaneously yearn for universal acceptance.
- Behaviors: Your people pleasing is driven to take care of others’ needs at the expense of your own. You do too much, too often for others, almost never say “no”, rarely delegate and inevitably become over committed and spread too thin.
- Feelings: You experience high anxiety merely from the anticipation or possibility of an angry confrontation with others. Your people pleasing operates primarily as an avoidance tactic intended to protect you from your fears of anger, conflict and confrontation. You never allow yourself to learn how to effectively manage conflict or how to deal appropriately with anger. Consequently, you relinquish control too easily to those who would dominate you through intimidation and manipulation.
This is intended to give you insight and awareness into your patterns. There is no right or wrong. You could have one dominate pattern or some in all three, no worries, and please NO self-judgment.
What Can You Do to Stop?
Saying No to somebody when we’re used to saying Yes, can be challenging as we fear being rejected. Many of us have been taught since childhood to say Yes, be Nice, avoid Conflict, earn Praise and be Accepted.
Here are three tips to get you started on reclaiming your personal power:
- Know your NO. Identify what’s important to you and acknowledge what’s not. If you don’t know where you want to spend your time, you won’t know where you don’t want to spend your time. Before you can say NO with confidence, you have to be clear that you want to say NO.
- Choose some easy, low-risk situations in which to practice saying NO. Say NO when a waiter offers you dessert. Say NO when someone tries to sell you something. Go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and say NO out loud ten times. It sounds crazy but building your NO muscle helps.
- Remind yourself often. The ability to say no is an important aspect of well-being, as it is an indication that you understand the true value of your energy, talents, and time
What Have you Got to Gain?
When you empower yourself to say NO you take back your time, your energy, and your well-being. And conversely, when you empower yourself to say YES to the things that are truly aligned with who you are, you get to have more experiences that truly feed your heart and soul.
You got this…