5 tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser

  • Are you a people pleaser?

Or let me put this another way…

Do you put the needs of others before yours? 

See if you answer Yes to any of the below…

Are you the go-to person for family and close friends?

Do you avoid conflict and confrontation?

Do you agree to help others even when you don’t really have the time or resources to do so?

Does your relationship or friendships feel one-sided, that you do most of the work?

Do you feel taken advantage of?

Quite a few? Well chances are you are a people pleaser.

You may not even notice you are doing it. You may only do it to certain people in life… Your loved one, your best friend, your manager or your parents. Either way…this behaviour is making you ill.

It took me a long time to realise that I am a people pleaser and my god it was a harsh reality.

It dawned on me when someone said that I apologise for the actions of others? I thought to myself… do I? I was noticing I was making excuses for everyone in my life at the sacrifice of my own happiness. Thoughts like “if I don’t do the washing up, then no-one will, then there will be tension and I don’t like tension”… sounds crazy but welcome to my head.

I took a good look internally and tried to track back… I had been doing this for quite a while

It was becoming my natural response to put the needs of others above mine. Apologising for the actions of others? Taking responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me. Laying down horizontally to keep the Peace.

Saying No was no longer a top response in my vocabulary.

I was putting myself out, taking the blame, doing things for the sake of others, not being appreciated for the efforts and becoming internally resentful.

When you do things in life to meet the needs and expectations of others you need a reality check!

Now I am not saying that being selfless and thoughtful are bad traits but sometimes in life you need to listen to your inner self.

What do you want?

Does this action make you happy?

Are you putting your true self aside for another human being?

If you can’t put yourself first – how can you expect anyone else too.

Here are some tips for helping you re-connect with your inner self. It may go against the grain of your personality but over time the strength of the connection to the real you and your real thoughts, opinions, loves and passion will be the best feeling.

1. Realise you have a choice: Start simple and think before immediately saying yes. When someone asks you to do something pause and ask yourself “Do I want to do this?”

2. Don’t apologise – its not your fault: Your partner didn’t have a good nights sleep? There isn’t any milk in the fridge? You don’t have enough money for a big night out? Stop apologising its not your fault. Its not your fault someone didn’t sleep (well unless you’re a chronic snorer) It is not your purpose in life to make sure there is always milk in the fridge. Next time you feel yourself about to apologise – STOP

3. Don’t be scared of falling out: Life is full of confrontation. Problems arise, people vent, people calm down and life moves on. Don’t be scared of being in a conflict. Live with people who never clean? You find yourself as the free cleaner? But you’re too scared to kick off as you want to keep the peace? well guess what! Everyone wants a free cleaner. If people think they can get away with it they will. Think back to when you were a kid – and your mum would say “I am not your slave” but in the back of your head you kinda knew dinner would be on the table, your washing would be done and eventually she may clean your room? Well guess what don’t be someone else’s mum until you choose to take on that responsibility! People get over arguments more or less as soon as they start. Stand your ground, be clean, calm and collected. Don’t be the first to bow down. The best relationships are built from differing opinions and strength of conviction.

4. Learn to walk away from toxic relationships: Can you identify someone in your life that you are trying to please yet never receive the same behaviour back? This may be the toughest of them all – but it may be time to walk away from that friendship, relationship or job. Toxicity in your life brings about all sorts of negative health impacts. It may be hard at first but clearing out the toxicity in your life may be the best place to start.

5. Realise you cannot give a 100% to everyone: My mother once told me “If you try to please everyone you will end up giving 50% to one person and 50% to the other, thus you end up exhausting yourself at 100% but only really achieving 50%”. People will feel like you are only giving them a small part of your attention as you are too pre-occupied with trying to please everyone. People will respect you more if you say “no” when you cant give them your full attention and find a time when you can dedicate all your attention and love to them.

It will take time.

People pleasing is a personality type. It is a behaviour. It will take time and training but the benefits will lead to you being in touch with who you truly are and what you want to achieve from life.

I would love to hear what you think about this article. Are you a people pleaser? Were you a people pleaser? How did you change your behaviour?

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