You are here! Thanks for connecting! I am just like you. It took me some time and an account from someone else to realise that I am a people pleaser. Don’t worry! You don’t have to think of it negatively.
Regular day-to-day scenarios that are People Pleasing
I’ll explain some scenarios from my own life. Just have a read to get an understanding and to identify if you are a people pleaser.
I would work overtime or agree to do those extra hours because I thought saying no would upset my higher bosses or I would be letting them down.
There were days when I would be mentally exhausted and physically drained. I would not have slept the entire night before because I had a panic attack or I had significant bouts of anxiety. However, I would still do those extra hours just because I thought I was disobeying my elders at work or I was letting them down. Maybe the overachiever in me couldn’t take a break or couldn’t say a simple no. Saying ‘NO’ would mean that I am not going to do those extra hours.
I am going to prioritize my well-being instead and just stick to my contracted hours because they were more than enough. But unknowing I was just a people pleaser who would say yes and agree to everything someone else would say or treat me a certain way and even though I knew it wasn’t right I didn’t let them know and I just let them treat me however they wanted.
You are afraid to quit that job which is not helping you mentally. That same job is driving you literally nuts. That job is neither helping you much with what you want to do as a career eventually. You definitely acquire some skills through that job and because you’re doing well you even get a promotion.
But you quickly get guilt-tripped into staying in the job because someone said it will help you in the long run or it will help you have a more realistic future or a more practical future because they didn’t believe that content creation or whatever path you want to take for your future is a workable route or practical path.
You thought that promotion was a huge responsibility given to you. You thought if you quit, you would let many people down. But no honey, you were just being a people pleaser even without knowing it. Leave a comment and let me know if we are similar. Yes, girl! #findyourown tribe.
This is something I majorly face with my family. Sometimes you just move on from family or friends you’ve once been very close with. You’ve grown as an individual. You’re a different person than you were even a few months back. But some people within the family or your close friends think that they can say whatever they want to you and you just end up apologising to them when they can be very unfiltered with what they say and hurt you may be knowingly but mostly unknowingly. You are too afraid to tell them how you actually feel because you are afraid of being judged by them.
We feel resentful for being taken advantage of because we come across as kind and helpful. Sometimes we are unable to set those boundaries. We end up saying yes when in reality we want to say no or the need at that particular time is to say no. Maybe we think we will upset them or displease them. We think or overthink those awkward situations or conversations so much that they can be detrimental to us mentally. They make us feel a certain way but we allow them to make us feel that way.
Sometimes people have a very none filtered way of saying things to you or about you to you or to others when asked about you. They’ll make sure to tell you that they told others that you don’t keep in touch much like before. You just end up saying I’ll keep in touch or I’ll make more effort to stay in touch because you are a people pleaser even when in reality you don’t want to have those kinds of people in your life anymore. You want to have limited contact because they come under the brand of ‘family’ or ‘close friends’ and you’ve been told not to behave that way with family or you can’t behave with family that way.
But in reality, every message you exchange or every conversation you have with that person only makes you realise how you don’t want them in close proximity to you or you don’t share the same vibration with them anymore. They aren’t #yourvibe. That is okay! Accept that!
Remember this instead…
Our aim is to keep people happy. Be kind to others. But when that isn’t reciprocated, or if having a disagreement is followed by rage or unnecessary arguments then we automatically believe that we should stay away from that situation. Sometimes we learn to wear a mask and pretend we are someone else so well that it isn’t something which helps our mental well-being in the long run. Long term those are the same behaviours which kill our relationships because we weren’t transparent enough because we are people pleasers.
Our mind is continuously busy thinking what if they get upset or hurt by our behaviour. We continuously blame ourselves. Sometimes they can be narcissists but we just let them treat us that way. We second guess every little move. We ponder and ponder on every little situation sometimes without even being able to reason out the situation.
Sometimes being a people pleaser doesn’t let you be your true self in front of newer people you meet in life. You are always on your guard. Maybe you pretend to be someone you are not. You hold back your true self.
Being a people pleaser is thinking that someone is critical of you or disapproving without them even saying a word. In reality, they just don’t think of the situation or even about you but we create that situation in our own mind. We think we are a topic of discussion. We assume people are judging us. Sometimes this makes you socially anxious. You try to avoid the situation by not meeting anyone but that doesn’t help you either. You ultimately self-doubt yourself.
How do you deal with this feeling then? How to stop being a people pleaser?
Simply learn to set healthy boundaries for yourself and others
These are the limits we set for ourselves and others. In those limits we simply determine what will we tolerate and what we won’t. We must set boundaries for what is okay and what is not okay and whenever appropriate let the other person know.
Own your self-power and know that it is yours
As people pleasers, we spend so much time and energy making sure others are okay or avoiding conflict or having that necessary confrontation because we think and overthink about the other person getting hurt. In turn, this leads to us hurting ourselves. Give yourself some grace. Check-in with yourself regularly to make sure you are okay. You gotta have your own back. You are your #1 supporter and cheerleader. Never forget that.
Be self-aware of your needs and preferences
Whenever a situation plays out, make sure to ask yourself these questions:
- How does this situation or person make me feel?
- What are my preferences?
- What can I do to make sure I am at peace with myself at all times?
- Do I know my boundaries and limits?
- What are my desires?
Having self-awareness can prevent others from stepping all over you and crushing your spirits. If you don’t decide for yourself, others will decide for you.
Express and communicate those boundaries to others
By doing this, you can tell others where you stand or what boundaries you’ve set for yourself. If you don’t let people know they will never know. Speak your heart out. You don’t have to be rude. Just explain to them how you feel about the situation which is created. They might disagree with what you say but no matter what, just be true to yourself. Express your thoughts, and your opinions, and speak your truth even if it is uncomfortable. This will help you even more than you know.
You are not responsible for other people’s feelings
It’s not you, it’s them. Even if they make you feel like you are the problem or it’s your fault, probably that is their time to introspect within. We hold back from being our true selves or being honest to them because we think we will offend them. But when you are honest and what they feel because of your honesty is their problem, not yours. You just need to focus on putting yourself and your needs first in a way that protects your energy.
Say ‘NO’ unapologetically
This will get easier with time. Start with the smaller situations. You can simply say, ”No, Thank you!” whenever appropriate. You’ll feel free and liberated and there’s nothing like that feeling. Just remember to say no with grace and gratitude.
Avoid making excuses
Just say no when you want to say no. Don’t back that up by excuses because then you aren’t being true to yourself and others. Besides that, you are also giving others a chance to manipulate you or treat you poorly or sometimes even ultimately manage to get a yes from a half-hearted you.
Don’t keep apologizing for everything
Don’t say, ”I’m sorry you’re feeling like this” when in reality you feel horrible about what was said. Be assertive in your communication and make sure you are clear with your thoughts irrespective of how the other person you think would feel. Don’t let anyone take advantage of your kindness.
Cut off from others’ opinions about you
This is easier said than done. Don’t let others’ opinions and views bring you down. Don’t let them manipulate you into believing what they want you to believe.
Learn the difference between being kind and being a people pleaser. Draw the line. Always prioritise your peace of mind.
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