Are you a chronic people pleaser?
Have you always gone out of your way to make yourself and your personality accommodating for other people?
From making myself smaller, to more feminine, to less loud to just less, less, less.
Why do we do it?
It can come from a fear if rejection and a fear of failure, both which are associated with other people not agreeing with our choices and therefore rejecting us.
Perhaps because of a judgemental family, who constantly put the pressure on, to friends who could have applied peer pressure. It’s often routed in an early experience which needed us to please other people ahead of putting our own needs first.
We do it because other people have spent years judging us, defining us and telling us who we need to be. We did it because it made our lives earlier. We did it because it was EASIER to be what other people wanted us to be, rather than actually being who we are.
But is it really easier, long term?
How does it affect your personality long term?
What do you have to give up?
Who do you have to give up?
There’s too much at stake by constantly thinking about the ways you have to accommodate everyone else and their thoughts.
How to STOP:
- Put time into yourself: write down your long term goals, your short term goals and plan out what is important for your life. If you have this defined and you’re not willing to settle for what other people want for you, then it makes a lot easier to say no to people. You have to be able to live your life from a feeling of being full and if you’re constantly doing things because other people expect them, then you’ll often feel tired, exhausted and depleted. This is no good for you or your loved ones, because you need need time and energy to pour into people and situations that actually matter.
- Create boundaries: telling people no can be very difficult, but unless you do it, they’re going to keep using the same script, expecting the same results. Because that’s how it’s always gone, right? But you have the power to say no. Once you start doing this, you can change the script and start letting people know what you will and won’t accept.
- Live up to your own expectations: start asking yourself how much you’re currently doing in your life that is for other people vs for yourself. Are you in your current line of work because it’s expected of you? Are you living somewhere, because it’s expected of you? What is it that YOU want? If you had 6 months left to live, what would you be doing? Using that as a rule is a good way to live your life, because it means you’re going to put more value on yourself and your wishes. The best way to fight people pleasing is to build up what makes you feel good. If you feel good, you don’t need others to make you feel good.
- Choose the people around you carefully: by surrounding yourself with people who actually care about what you want, instead of forcing their own expectations on you, you’ll have a squad cheering for you. Instead of putting their wants, wishes and opinions onto you, you’ll start to have people around who only want the best for you, but trust your opinion enough that you’ll do the right thing for yourself. If certain people around you are being nothing but negative, then you have every right to not have them in your life. If they’re not supporting you, they simply don’t deserve to be there.
- Get your validation from yourself: there’s a certain amount of pride and validation that comes from pleasing people. When they cheer for us, even it’s because it meant their ends, then it makes us feel good. But of course we know that’s a double-edged sword if they’re only cheering when they’re winning. You can train yourself to ask questions first, before accepting someone else’s validation. You can ask ‘is this what I really want?’, or ‘will this make me feel good?’. By assessing these questions first, you can stop immediately reacting to demands from other people. You can also start to get validation from yourself by completing your goals and making yourself proud first. This allows you to build an inner confidence that people cannot take away from you.