When we get clear on who we really are and what we stand for, we have a strong sense of self.
If you have been pleasing others for a long time, you may have lost sight of what is important to you. You may not have an opinion of your own.
Find out what your core values are - what aspects of your life are most important to you. Our values drive every decision and choice. Your values will assist you to say "no" when you mean "no."
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If you ever say "yes", when you want to say "no", or nod in agreement when you don't agree, you've probably experienced people pleasing.
People-pleasing is linked to a person's self-worth. A people pleaser hopes that saying yes will help him/her feel liked, but this could lead to feeling burned out, or cause unhappiness and lack of fulfillment.
The good news is that behavior can be changed. It is not easy, but making small changes will bring the desired result.
People are often unaware of their people-pleasing behavior. The habit can become so ingrained that it's automatic.
It takes full commitment to stay aware with an intention to change. Write a list of all the things you would normally do in an effort to please. Take note of each time you do them and figure out how you will change it next time.
When you label yourself with "I am...," it has the potential to become your identity. "I am a people pleaser. I am not liked."
Never describe yourself as a people pleaser. Instead, describe your behavior as you make a decision to change it.
You have a set of beliefs behind each one of your values. If your beliefs around your values are too general, they can prevent you from changing your people-pleasing habits.
For example, "I am always there for people who need me" is too general and could include every person. "Always" implies no exception to that rule. When you adjust those beliefs to "I do my best to be there for my loved ones and friends," you have allowed space for exceptions.
If we always say "yes" to others, we are saying "no" to ourselves. We lose sight of our own priorities and instead live by other people's standards. Saying "no" at first may bring feelings of guilt. But "no" is just a word.
You may find it difficult to say no or may fear to disappoint the other people. Because of this, you may try to find lengthy excuses for why you can't help with their request. You don't owe an explanation, but it can feel easier to give one.
Decide to pause before you respond. It could prevent you from responding the usual way. If you are unsure of how you would like to respond, let the person know you will get back to them. Or let them know you will need to check your calendar first.
Don't beat yourself up for the times you slip up. Do notice where you make small changes and pat yourself on the back. Your confidence will increase with practice.
If one’s goal is to please everyone, the road then leads directly to failure and disappointment. Even if we are absolutely right, it is a subjective figure in the eyes of others, due to everyone having a different set of values.
Other people, including friends, family and strangers have diverse ideas about what is right or wrong, and nobody can perfectly align with others. The fear of disappointing others can be a powerful negative emotion, that can be a cause of worry for our mental health.
This is a dangerous path: they end up confusing everyone around them by failing to express their true needs and feelings and they also build up a lot of frustration.