How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
The need to please people may seem to be an easy answer, but as you can see, you have to find an alternative solution to sustain your well-being. Here are a few ideas for you to consider when attempting to no longer act in the role of being a people pleaser:
Develop Self-Awareness and Practice Self-Reflection
To stop being a people pleaser, you will need to slow down and make the time to do a bit of self-reflection and build self-awareness. Self-awareness helps you to understand better who you are in any given moment.
You are clear about your dreams, wishes, and goals and you can achieve those things by taking the necessary steps to get there.
- What is it about you that makes people think they can take advantage of you
- You want to assess why you have this problem.
- Why do you let it happen?
- What from your childhood might have caused you to become this person?
Next, when you find yourself in a people-pleasing act, ask yourself the following questions?
- How did I get here?
- Why am I allowing this to take place?
- What is triggering this event?
- What do I need to say to stop this from occurring in the future?
Work on Breaking the Cycle
You need to work on disrupting the cycle of people pleasing and changing your life. To do this, you will have to set a few goals that enable you to take small steps towards making better choices.
One of the biggest goals should center around making more time for you. You have to become your greatest advocate. You must always remind yourself that making you a priority will not necessarily classify you as being selfish but instead looking out for your best interests.
To breathe a bit of life into this goal, purposefully schedule 15 to 30 minutes of time you give to yourself. This time might be used to take a walk, meditate, go to a store, turn off your phone, or merely lie on the couch and do absolutely nothing.
Next, consider your own self-worth. Your approval should not come from others but will need to come from deep within yourself. Let go of the fear of what others will think. Let go of the need to please others, and start pleasing yourself.
Establish Your Values
Know what your priorities and values are in life and use them as a metric to determine whether or not putting yourself out there for someone aligns with those values and priorities. During the decision-making process, ask yourself:
- “What is most important for me?” and
- “How will this decision affect me?”
Practice Being a Disappointment to Others
This particular tip is vital to yourself. You must accept the idea that you are going to let people down. Your assertiveness will not go over well because it is highly likely that you will not meet their expectations. It’s okay. Permit yourself now to say ‘NO’ to those things that will contradict your values and self-worth. Be okay with the fact that someone will not like your answer or decision.
Do not allow shame or guilt to steer you in the wrong direction. Use it to motivate you to do the what is most important for you.
The hardest thing you will probably have to learn is how to say ‘NO’ to a lot of things you said ‘YES’ to in the past. Get good at it. (Source)
Stand in the mirror and learn to say ‘NO’ with conviction. Don’t worry about explaining yourself or feeling as though you have to make someone understand your values or why it is you cannot do what it is, they are asking.
They more than likely will not hear what it is you are trying to tell them anyway. This person will be mentally cycling your words and looking for some approach to convince you that your reasons are not legitimate or worthy.
Become a Decision-Maker with Choices
In addition to being prepared to be a disappointment to others, practice making tough choices. Sometimes, we talk ourselves into believing that there is no option to say ‘NO,’ but you always have a choice in the matter. You can say ‘NO.’ If the decision you have to make generates feelings of discomfort or guilt, you may have to make the decision that is uncomfortable.
Do Not Try to Own Everyone’s Feelings
Your personal need to empathize with others may be in the right place, but do not try to be the guardian of how everyone else is feeling. Instead, take responsibility for your feelings and adjust from there.
Don’t Worry about Being Likable
Being likable is nice but being yourself is even better. People will get you or they won’t. If they don’t, it’s okay. Your goal is to stay true to who you are, and everything else will fall into place. Your goal should be to work on improving your self-esteem and better understanding what it is you need to be happy.
Look for Signs Someone is Taking You for Granted
Now that you know there are people who are probably taking you for granted, you can look for other cues that someone may not always have your best interest at heart when they are asking something of you.
Keep an ear out for statements that make it seem that you are the only one who can help this person and it will command a lot of your time and energy. Do not allow others to decide you are the only one who can ‘fix it.’
Stop Being a People Pleaser and Buy Time
Sometimes, we might feel compelled to give someone an immediate answer when they are asking us for something. You have the right to delay and advise your counterpart that you will have to follow up with them a little bit later. (Source)
Be Upfront about Your Problem with Others
Congratulations. You now know that you are a people pleaser. Let others know about your latest self-discovery and the actions you are beginning to take to remedy it. This action may help to inform others that you will not continue to be their doormat and your true friends, family and support team will help you to recognize when someone is daring to take advantage of you.
Learn to Speak Up
Being assertive may not be your strong point, but you are going to have to make it your best quality if you are going to stop being a people pleaser. Be prepared to tell people what you want, what you do or do not have to offer, and be ready to state your needs precisely.
Evaluate and Adjust Your Inner Circle
Take some time to assess and evaluate who is in your inner circle. Determine which people are supportive and exude positive energy and identify which people are cynical and draining. You may have to make some adjustments and make difficult decisions about who it is that should remain in your circle and who needs to go. (Source)
Get Professional Help
If your people pleasing has generated feelings of depression or anxiety that are not improving, you should seek professional help. There is no shame in getting the counsel of a professional who can give you the tools you need to overcome these feelings.
Stop Being a People Pleaser – Final Thoughts
People pleasing behaviors are not a bad thing but do become dangerous when you allow them to disrupt your emotional, mental and physical wellness.
People pleasing is a behavior that can be changed. It only takes a willingness to try and a deeper understanding of what drives it.
If you are a people pleaser, now is the time to begin to break the cycle. Start by setting small, measurable and attainable goals that begin to allow you to change those bad behaviors. Start noting when you people please and identify your specific patterns.
If necessary, seek professional help if you are experiencing depression or anxiety.
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