Do you want to stop people pleasing? Do you feel like you have to put on an act for other people, even when you’re by yourself? Do you struggle to say no?
If so, then you are definitely not alone. Many people struggle with the urge to please others at the expense of their own happiness. This blog post will discuss how to stop pleasing people and just be your authentic self.
The Signs of a People Pleaser
Some of the signs of a people pleaser are
- They struggle to say “no.” And if they do say “no”, they feel guilt.
- They worry about looking mean or selfish when they aren’t trying to make others happy.
- They are overly concerned about what other people think of them.
- They say they agree with others even if they secretly disagree.
- They have low-self esteem.
- They want to be liked and seek the approval of others.
- They apologise for everything.
- They take the blame even when they aren’t responsible.
- They spend a lot of time doing things for others.
The Dangers of People Pleasing
In a recent conversation, it became clear that my client felt overwhelmed and overworked. He candidly told me how he’d been struggling with saying no. Taking care of both elderly parents and working beyond his role had exhausted him.
He was unwilling to ask his two siblings for support. And at work, he would run the office even though it wasn’t his responsibility and now had been lumbered with organising the Christmas party.
And if by coincidence, a friend on Linkedin highlighted this exact fact. If you spend your life trying to please others, you will miss out on the joy that comes from living. And in the end, you may pay the ultimate price.
People pleasing leads to you making decisions that aren’t in your best interest. Usually, because you’re worried about what other people will think. It can also lead to you sacrificing your own happiness in order to make someone else happy.
Finally, if you’re always trying to please others, you’ll never truly be yourself. The world won’t see your essence because you’re too busy worrying about what other people think.
What Causes People to Please Others So Much Anyway?
People pleasers usually began as parent and teacher pleasers. In the Chimp Paradox, the author gives a relatively innocuous situation of a parent praising a child for drawing a picture. However, this could lead the child to think love is dependent on achievements. So, the child learns that to be loved, they need to make others happy. The child then grows up trying to please others for love.
People pleasing can also be the result of poor mental wellbeing. For example, people with anxiety are more likely to please people because they need external validation. Their own self-image is so poor that without the acceptance of others, they feel rejected.
Worrying about how others see you and your insecurities can also result in you doing things that aren’t in your best interest. So, working on these can help you stop people pleasing.
Finally, if you have experienced abuse, you may look to people please so that you avoid a similar situation in the future. This is a natural response. However, it’s important to remember you don’t have to please anyone but yourself.
How Can We Stop People Pleasing and Start Being Ourselves Again?
From the time we are young, we are taught to be nice. We learn that it is important to make other people happy and that our own happiness comes second. As a result, we often suppress our needs and desires to maintain relationships.
However, this can be damaging to our mental and emotional health. We also put ourselves at risk of being taken advantage of.
It is important to learn how to balance the need to please others with the need to take care of oneself. Here are some tips:
- Know your priorities: What is important to you and your wellbeing? When you figure this out, it will be easier to say no to people.
- Set boundaries: Know your own limits and stick to them. This will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed or taken advantage of. This doesn’t mean that you don’t show an interest, just that you are not responsible for their problems. Read Boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud for some great tips on setting boundaries.
- Communicate assertively: Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Other people will respect you more if you are honest about your needs and wants. You will also be showing the world who you truly are.
- Say no: Sometimes we might say words that seem like we aren’t sure, like maybe. But really, we mean no. If the word seems harsh, try I can’t or I won’t.
- Don’t say sorry: This can be hard, especially if you’re English. But if you are apologising for something, check it’s your fault first. If not, don’t use it.
- Don’t try to make people like you: Let people see the real you. The world may not always like what they see, but that doesn’t make their opinion worth less than yours!
Developing Confidence in Yourself
It is essential to develop confidence in yourself if you want to stop people pleasing. When you have this, you won’t feel the need to seek validation from others. You will know your worth and will be able to stand up for yourself when necessary.
- Start by practising self-acceptance. Be kind to yourself, even when you make mistakes. Cut yourself some slack and learn to forgive yourself.
- Set aside sometime each day to meditate. It will help you to control your critical voice and improve your confidence. Remember that you are human and that everyone makes mistakes.
- Consider working with a coach that specialises in working with confidence.
It takes practice to develop confidence in yourself, but it is worth it. When you are confident, people will respect you more, and you’ll be happier.
Embracing Your quirks and Differences
Too often, we allow other people’s opinions to dictate how we live our lives. We try to fit in and conform instead of embracing our quirks and differences. But what happens when we stop people pleasing?
For one thing, we become more authentically ourselves. We start to live life on our terms instead of someone else’s. We become more confident and self-assured. And ultimately, we attract better relationships into our lives – relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.
So if you’re tired of living a life that isn’t truly yours, it’s time to stop people pleasing. It’s time to embrace your quirks and differences. It’s time to start living life on your own terms.
Letting Go of Toxic Relationships
You deserve to be treated with respect, and if someone is taking advantage of you, it’s time to let go. This can be difficult, but it’s worth preserving your mental and emotional wellbeing.
If you’re unsure whether your relationship is toxic, there are some key signs to look for. For example, do you constantly feel on edge around them? Do they make you doubt yourself or question your reality? Do they withhold affection or withdraw support when you need it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship and consider whether or not it’s something you want to continue.
Remember, you have the power to choose who you allow into your life, so make sure that those who are there add value and make you feel good about yourself.
Building Healthy Relationships with Others
It’s natural to want to be liked and accepted by others; It becomes an issue if we go out of our way to do things for them, even if it means sacrificing our own needs and wants.
Start building healthy relationships with others by setting boundaries and communicating your needs. If the other person cannot accept this, then they really shouldn’t be in your life. The people who respect your boundaries will love you for you. They will also be the people that you build a genuine bond with, and both of you will feel it.
Final Thoughts on Stopping people pleasing
It’s time to stop people pleasing and start living for yourself. When you live life by your own rules, you open up a world of possibilities. You get to experience all the joy that comes from being authentic and genuine. You also put yourself in a much better position to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.
Start today by taking small steps towards being more true to yourself.
Eventually, you’ll find that people will like you even more for it!