It is natural to want to be liked. This is something most of us strive for, however, spreading your own happiness and feeling it emanate back and being a people pleaser are two opposing ways of achieving this goal. The former involves surrounding yourself with friends and maintaining a positive outlook; the latter relies on your ability to put other peoples’ feelings and interests ahead of your own, resulting in low self-esteem and heightened stress levels.
The Disadvantages Of Being A People Pleaser
The downside of pleasing people is not immediately obvious. Being viewed as considerate and helpful can make you feel valued, which encourages you to continue in this vein. Yet putting others ahead of yourself can be incredibly damaging in the long term. Being a people pleaser often means overloading your schedule and putting pressure on yourself without any resulting self-benefit. This can lead to resenting other people for taking advantage of your good nature and irritation with yourself for your inability to say no. By taking care of everyone else, you begin to neglect yourself, which can lead to an increasingly negative outlook.
There will, of course, be many occasions in which you are able to offer help or support at no cost to yourself and times when it is right to put the wellbeing of others ahead of your own. The skill is in identifying situations in which you are putting yourself under undue pressure for somebody else’s benefit. If you have a fear of letting other people down, or frequently feel like a doormat, it is time to make a change.
Learning How To Say No
Understand Your Limitations
If you are a people pleaser, you no doubt feel overloaded. You may say yes to other people’s requests before considering the impact helping the other person will have on your time. Pushing your own commitments to help others may cause your stress levels to rise and create a feeling of bitterness towards the person you are helping.
When someone asks for your help, take time to assess their request. Consider whether you have the time and resources to offer your support and, more importantly, whether you actually want to!
Refer To Someone Else
The majority of people have a larger bank of people that they can rely upon and it is important to remember that you are not their only option. If you are unable to help with a task, try referring them to someone who can. In this way, you still feel like you have offered support, but remain free to focus on yourself.
Don’t Over-Explain Yourself
A common people pleaser habit is to attempt to justify why you are saying no. Whether you have a legitimate reason not to bow to someone’s request or not, you do not need to give a reason. By over-explaining, you are reinforcing your need to please others as you feel that they need to know that you would do anything within your power to help if you could.
Keep your responses short, such as ‘No, I’ll have to pass’ or ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have time today’. You will be surprised at how quickly the person asking for help will accept your response and move on!
If you are a people pleaser then people may expect you to help. Your decision to start saying no may catch them off guard and they may assume that given enough time or persuasion, you will change your mind. This can be difficult to deal with at first but, if you stand your ground, their perception of you being a pushover will soon change.
Life Coaching Sessions With Dr. Jan
It’s time to put your mental health first. If you identify as a people pleaser, you probably feel taken advantage of or under unnecessary pressure. Dr. Jan can help. Using his unique BrainTuning® System, Dr. Jan’s coaching sessions begin with self-exploration to provide you with an open and honest understanding of your mindset.
Using this as a starting point, you will explore how to eliminate the negative thoughts and unhelpful habits that cause your stress and anxiety, rebuilding your thought patterns in a more resourceful and positive manner. By making simple changes, you become more relaxed, confident and content. It will soon become clear that people like you for you, not the things that you do for them, which will enable you to leave your people pleaser persona behind. With more time to focus on yourself, goal setting and personal growth will become your focus, allowing you to live the life that you really want.
To book your first session with Dr. Jan, complete his online contact form and he will get back to you right away.