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How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

Are you constantly worried about what other people think of you?

 Do you say yes to things you don’t really want to do, hang with people you don’t really like, and act in ways that aren’t true to yourself all to garner some praise and acceptance? If you answered yes to one or more of these, chances are you have some people-pleasing tendencies.

Girl, I’m here to tell you the only person you need to please is yourself and the rest will follow.

Healthy or Unhealthy? 

First off, let me clear something up. I am not condoning self-centered, self-righteous, or un-thoughtful behavior. There is a fine line between making accommodations to get along with someone and self-sabotaging. So how do you know which group you fall into?

Ask yourself what your boundaries are, and then stick to them. If you agree with things that go against your values, you are in the unhealthy territory. If you know when to say yes and when to say no without being all about yourself, you are in healthy territory and girl that’s where we want you to stay to be the best you can be.

Why we people please

There is a culmination of reasons why someone may develop tendencies to people please. It could be one of the items listed below or a combination of many. Here are some of the most common causes someone walks the line into a people-pleaser personality.

  • To Avoid Negative Emotions 

It’s pretty common to fear someone’s negative reaction if we do not agree with or want to do what they do. Maybe that person we’re interested in won’t want to date us anymore if we admit we hate watching sports. Maybe we won’t get that promotion if we don’t take smoke breaks with our boss, even though we’re not smokers. Maybe someone will judge me for not drinking. These are all fear-based assumptions. Understand that these are perfectly normal to have. Acknowledge and accept these thoughts when they arise, and then ask yourself if whatever you’re going along with is in line with your values and boundaries. If so, go ahead. If not, politely make it known and see if there is a possible compromise. If not, it’s never the wrong decision to stay true to yourself. Say no, and move on.

  • Quid Pro Quo 

if I do something I don’t want to for you, I can ask you to return the favor and do something for me. Have you found yourself only saying yes to certain people and situations because you knew you could get something you wanted out of it? If so, check yourself. This is toxic behavior and not the type of person you want to be, or be around for your healthiest self.

  • Desire for Approval

it’s possible you are deeply compassionate, empathetic, and genuinely love to make other people happy. This can be a wonderful quality until it backfires on you. It’s easy to burn out when you put others before yourself on a constant basis. Perhaps you are impressionable and not sure what your values are. Remember the saying, “those who stand for nothing, fall for everything”

Why it’s an issue

If people-pleasing goes unchecked you will eventually burn out and resent others. It’s hard to give without receiving what you want in return. It’s even more difficult when you don’t know what you truly want so you keep saying yes until you figure it out. Take some time to yourself to determine personal values and boundaries before you lose yourself and others. 

How to stop people pleasing

Give yourself time to make decisions. 

 If someone asks you to do something, let them know you’ll get back to them. Ask yourself hard questions to figure out what it is you really want. Journal your answers and revisit them anytime you are struggling to make a decision. 

Instead of saying “I can’t” or making an excuse when you want to turn something down out of fear of judgment, learn to say “no thank you” and see just how far it takes you. We promise, you’ll be a lot happier, and the people who stick around will be too because they’re the real ones. 

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If you struggle with anxious, self-critical, racing thoughts and consider yourself an overthinker then don’t worry..I’ve got you…Check out The Overthinking Toolkit.

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