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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Teixeria

Clues you should stop being a people pleaser

Updated: Nov 30, 2021




People pleasing


What is a people pleaser? It is someone who always tries to make others happy even if it is a sacrifice to self (time, energy and resources).


It is not being able to say no even though you want to because you don’t want to disappoint someone else.


The validation that can be gained, can make you feel needed and useful. Feeling needed plays into what we are born human for and that is connections. Feeling loved and connected to others is important.


However, with most things in life we want to find a balance. One downside to being a people pleaser is that others can take advantage of you. This can be family members, friends, your boss and co-workers. People know and learn who to go to and who will say yes.


Somehow I thought I was being a team player but I wasn’t allowing others to step up either.
This can leave you feeling frustrated and resentful towards them. But the real deal is learning to say “NO”, nicely but firmly.

It is not an easy process but one that can be accomplished with time and practice. Starting off with saying no to easy things and building up to bigger ones.


I say all this as a reformed people pleaser. Now, I didn’t set out to do this, but growing up I learned to help out and liked peoples reactions. Whether it was a thank you or a smile but it felt good and I felt needed. So why not keep going with it.


Well, it kept going into my adult life where I felt taken advantage of, even though I agreed and other times volunteered. OUCH!!


So, I decided it was enough, time for me to start to do something different. To take control of what I wanted and didn’t want to do as much as possible. Overtime, it worked and I now feel I have a better balance.


Now, I may say yes to some things I don’t want to do because I feel it is the right thing to do, not because I am the rescuer.


I still am very much a team player but I want others to shine. It actually feels good to be supported and support others too. Mutual respect and sharing responsibilities feels good.


So if you feel you are struggling with pleasing people, work towards finding your balance.

A few tips:

  1. You don’t have to say yes right away to everything. Some things when people say “can you…..” does not require an automatic response. You may be able to say “can I get back to you” to give you some time to think about doing it and if you want to.

  2. You don’t have to always explain in great length why you can’t do something. Sorry, I won’t be able to do that, but it can be enough.

  3. If you feel comfortable sharing it with your boss, you can say I want to do a great job and be a team player but I tend to take on a lot of tasks. I want to learn how to delegate or prioritize by saying no to some tasks. View it as personal development.

  4. Remember, if it is not your company, the future of the company doesn’t rest on you alone. It can function (maybe not as well) with other people sharing the workload more evenly.

  5. Finally, there is only one you. The more thin you spread yourself the less energy you have to give people and activities the true attention you may want to give. So see saying no or sharing more as a self-care strategy.


 

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