Do you feel like you never have time in your schedule for yourself because you’re constantly doing favors for others? Do you feel like you’re everyone’s shoulder to cry on, but when you’re upset, no one is around? If that’s the case, stick around! Because today we’re going to show you how to stop being a people pleaser!
First, we’re going to go over the signs, then, five tips on how to stop bending over backwards to please everyone.
What are some of the signs of people-pleasing?
1. You apologize even when you don’t have to.
People Pleasers are often quick to be the first to apologize, even if it wasn’t their fault. They’ll often take blame or feel guilt for things that were purely accidental or out of their control. For example, if they need to miss work because they got food poisoning, they might feel a tremendous amount of guilt for calling in sick and apologize profusely.
They might also be easily manipulated into accepting blame in relationships. If they try to confront their partner with something hurtful they did and their partner shifts the blame back onto them, they might give in and apologize instead of staying firm with their point.
2. You have difficulty saying no.
People who are people pleasers usually struggle with saying no to requests, even if the idea of obliging fills them with dread. As if by reflex, when someone asks them if they can do something for them, they say yes.
People who are people pleasers tend to put others’ needs before their own. Even if they don’t have the time, energy, or money to commit to a certain request, they’ll say they can regardless. This usually leads to burn out, from trying to fit in everyone else’s needs and their own into their life. Their sleep, physical, and mental health may even begin to suffer from taking on too many tasks.
3. You need others to like you.
People pleasers often rely on other people to feel validated. As a result, they may feel a need to have everyone they meet like them, regardless of who they are.
Often people pleasers are relatively insecure people and will bend over backwards to try to feel appreciated and liked.
People pleasers may also find it difficult to be authentic. Sometimes they’ll say they believe in something they don’t or agree to do something that goes against their values, just to make other people like them. This can often cause a lot of shame inside them, making the problem even worse.
4. You feel taken advantage of.
People pleasers often feel taken advantage of. One reason for this could be because more manipulative and exploitive people may be able to sense this trait within you and take advantage of it. As soon as they sense that you easily cave to picking up other people’s shifts or that you’re always there to take the blame, they might latch onto you and drain you.
Even if people aren’t inherently manipulative, you still may feel taken advantage of just by helping so many different people. As a result, you may begin to grow resentful of the people around you.
Clearly, people pleasing has some negative impacts on our mental well being. Don’t worry, we’ve got five tips on how to stop!
1. Only apologize or show kind gestures when they are deserved.
Although it may be a reflex, avoid apologizing for being overly kind to people who don’t deserve it. That doesn’t mean you need to be rude to your peers or anything. Being respectful is always proper, but try not to give out your kindness to people who haven’t shown it back to you. And if you are in the habit of saying “sorry” too much, remember, the word loses its value and meaning if you use it too often. Instead, when you feel you are about to say it, try pausing and think about how important the apology really is.
2. Set boundaries for yourself.
For people pleasers, setting boundaries can often feel impossible and scary at first, but the more you practice the easier it gets. A good way to identify your own personal boundaries when approached with a potential scenario is to ask yourself three questions:
How do I feel about this action? When first given the request, how do you feel? Are you excited or does it fill you with dread.
Will my own needs be neglected if I agree to this action? Will something that you need be sacrificed? Whether it’s chores, money, or personal time?
How will I feel after I complete this action? Will you feel happy to help or will you resent them?
3. Don’t volunteer your help.
Because people pleasers often want to be liked by everyone, they often volunteer their help before anyone even asks them! Even though you might feel cornered into giving up your only free Saturday to work for your coworker, don’t do it unless you’re required to or you genuinely want to.
Oftentimes People Pleasers volunteer their help in hopes that they’ll feel appreciated in the future, only to have the good deed go forgotten. Instead of eventually feeling like a martyr or resentful, try simply not offering your help in the first place.
It might be second nature to immediately rush to your friend’s house if she’s going through a break up or to help out with extra work duties, but try using all that time spent on others on yourself. Your mental health will thank you!
4. Build up your self esteem.
A great way to spend all your new free time would be joining new groups or trying different hobbies. A great way to learn to love yourself is to find new skills you never knew existed. Sure, you might not think you’d ever be able to try woodworking, but if you put your mind to it, who knows? Maybe you could build your own house one day or turn it into a career?
Because people pleaser’s self esteem is so reliant on other people’s validation, it’s easy for them to fall into loops of burning themselves out from trying to make everyone happy. Instead, try asking one of your friends for help if you need support. Knowing they’re there for you will help increase your self esteem. Or, learn to enjoy your time alone, free of any other influences. Studies show that practicing mindfulness meditation can have great impacts on self esteem.
5. Get therapy.
Of course, the best way to get your people pleasing traits under control is to talk to a therapist. They might be able to help identify what the source is of these characteristics, along with assisting in treatments to manage the toxicity of the characteristics. If there’s one person in your life you should be pleasing, it’s yourself. And the best step in that direction is to talk to a psychologist.
We hope these tips taught you how to stop being a people pleaser! Which tip was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!