There is a thin line between trying to keep the peace and being a full-blown people pleaser. You see, people-pleasers tend to go out of their way to keep everyone placated. There is no way you can completely wholly win approval from humans. In fact, pleasing one person could directly displeasure the next. I know how it feels to feel exhausted as a result of bending over backward for everyone. So, if you are finally ready to take your own needs into account, this is the place to be. Your emotional well-being is at stake if your people-pleasing tendencies run loose. With that in mind, here are ways to stop being a people pleaser.
What is a Pleaser Personality?
Anyone with a pleaser personality type is constantly seeking validation from others. This stems from a place of low self-esteem and a self-worth deficiency. As a result, people pleasers find it hard to set healthy boundaries in all types of relationships. Altogether, they tend to be emotionally needy and believe that people only like them when they bend over backward.
1. Think Things Through
Every people pleaser tends to jump at the chance to do things for others when they ask. They feel that they lead a transactional relationship with the people around them. If this sounds like you, then this is the first port of call. Once your mate, a colleague, or even a family member asks you to do something, it’s ok to ask for some time to think things through.
You already know that you jump through hoops for others. So, sit down and consider this. Do you have time to help them out? Are you giving up personal obligations to help them out? Do you truly want to help? If the answer is no, then you should sit that one out.
2. Baby Steps
People who aren’t people pleasers often feel that it is simple to ‘snap out of it.’ Meanwhile, the truth is that just because something is easy for Mr. A doesn’t make it easy for Mr. B. Saying no is incredibly difficult for the people-pleasing type. So, instead of diving straight into the deep end, it pays to take baby steps.
Start off by saying no to tiny favors, you do not have to go for the big ones right off the bat. These things take time and putting yourself in an uncomfortable position based on popular demand is also people-pleasing.
3. Get to Know Yourself
People-pleasing types know what their friends or family need. Due to years of accommodating their needs, they understand them thoroughly. As a result, people-pleasers are hardly what you would consider self-aware. One of the facilities needed to establish boundaries is self-awareness. With this in mind, it is vital to go on a journey of personal discovery. Finding out what you enjoy and what you dislike will help shape the things you accept to do. For instance, let’s say you discover that you do not like margaritas. Yet your friend holds a steady margarita night that you are obliged to attend.
With this new information, maybe you could put your foot down and opt for other drinks instead.
4. Learn How to Sniff Out Manipulation
Individuals with people-pleasing tendencies feed off the acceptance offered to them. So, once anyone pays them a compliment or rubs them the right way, they fall in line. For instance, a friend may get you to watch their kid by saying, “ You know you are better with kids than I am, please help me watch Alice tonight.”
Of course, helping your friend out is not a bad thing. Nevertheless, the manipulation aspect is not great. Sometimes, a compliment is a compliment. But, if this friend dictates your availability to accommodate their needs, that is manipulation. Learn to identify the tell-tale signs of manipulation and put your foot down when the need arises.
5. Be Your Biggest Fan
Seeking external validation is a huge issue when it comes to people-pleasing types. That is why you need to learn how to be the first port of call when validation is involved. Engage in positive self-talk any time you feel like you cannot hold your reservation. I assure you that the journey to coming into your own will not be easy. But it will be worth it at the end of the day.
In that sense, you need to learn how to pick yourself up when no one else is there to do it. Reassure yourself that your needs are valid and you are not a horrible person for taking care of number one.
6. Set Milestones and Rewards
The road to becoming more assertive is not a straightforward one. You will have setbacks, you will have relapses and you may break down along the way. To ensure that you can look back and gauge your progress, set out some milestones. It is not enough to set milestones, also make efforts to reward yourself when you reach your set milestones.
Everyone’s people-pleasing concerns are different. In some cases they can never say no, in others, they go out of their way to avoid confrontation. Tackling each of these one at a time within a given timeframe will make it easier. The incentives along the road will make it even more worthwhile.
7. Establish Clear Boundaries
Boundaries are important in every relationship. Whether this involves your mom or boyfriend, without boundaries you will have no life of your own. First, figure out how much you are willing to take on. Then if someone asks for more than that, you are well within your rights to say no. Also, do not be vague and passive-aggressive about your stance.
Clearly and politely let people know that their requests are overboard. It may not warrant a response that you will like, but it will stop people from constantly taking advantage of you. Do not just establish boundaries surrounding what you are willing to do, but when you can do them should also be covered.
8. Pick Your Battles
There is that initial thrill when you first start asserting yourself. You feel the need to rip everyone a new one. Here is the thing, you do not have to be rude to be assertive. With that in mind, you need to pick your battles. Sure, picking up your boss’ laundry is not part of your duties. But if they ask you to stay late at the office every now and then, that is no reason to lash out.
If it is not particularly worth it to assert yourself, then take the high road. Life is all about striking a balance. So, know when to say no and when to let things slide.
9. Stay Away From Excuses
People-pleasing types tend to try their best to stay neutral. They do not want to get on anyone’s bad side, so even when they say no, it’s ridden with excuses. This is a no-no. If you do not want to do something for someone then don’t. Even more, you do not have to make any excuses for it. As long as you are not being rude about it, it is alright to straight-up say to someone no.
The minute you start making excuses, you give people the space to discredit your reasons. Even more, you give them room to adjust their requests. Do not give anyone the rope to hang you, the blow is more painful.
10. Remember to Receive Once in a While
Does this sound selfish? Well for a typical people pleaser, being selfish is completely out of character. Look at it this way, every relationship should have that give and take element. If you notice that you are always giving, then there is a problem somewhere. As much as you enjoy doing things for other people, you need to get something back once in a while.
Make a conscious decision to receive every now and then. Oftentimes, the case is not that no one wants to give. It is simply that you do not even give people the opportunity to do anything for you. So, take a breather once in a while and receive.
11. Take Care of Yourself
Some people need to be reminded to take care of themselves. If this sounds like you, then you need to make a conscious decision to practice some self-love. This involves doing things that will refresh your spirit, body, and soul. If you enjoy spa days then by all means indulge. Also, if spending time with family works for you, then go ahead and do that.
Practicing self-care will not just refresh you thoroughly, it will teach you to regard yourself. The moment you do this, it will be easier to put yourself first in stressful situations. Also, it will make you feel good and more confident.
12. Understand That You Cannot Please Everyone
This cannot be reiterated enough. When it comes to human beings, their needs are insatiable. If you keep giving, it is human nature to keep receiving. Even more, you cannot please everyone. Some people will never be satisfied, regardless of how much you put into the relationship. So, do not spread yourself thin in a bid to be everything for everyone.
On one hand, people will keep expecting more from you. On the other hand, you will neglect your personal needs in the process.
What Do You Do if You Are a People Pleaser?
The first step is to come to the realization that you cannot please everyone. Some people are bound to be displeased with everything you do. With this in mind, the next step is to accept that your true self may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Then set boundaries to ensure that people do not get in the way of your own happiness.
The only person that can put an end to your people-pleasing actions is you. It does not go away overnight, rather it involves conscious actions.
Article Credit: https://hernorm.com/how-to-stop-being-a-people-pleaser/