This post was written by Izuzu Nworgu from Positive Voice Blog.
At some point in our lives, we’d want some people to approve the things we do, we’d love to be helpful to others, we’d love to make other people happy, and there is nothing wrong with that. It becomes totally unacceptable and extreme when we put our integrity, our dignity and happiness on the line, when we hide the real us just to make other people accept and validate us and when we become people-pleasers.
People-pleasing is an unhealthy habit that will rob you of your happiness and leave you feeling drained and stressed out.
There is a huge difference between being helpful/kind and being an extreme people-pleaser.There is a huge difference between being helpful/kind and being an extreme people-pleaser. Click To Tweet
People-pleasers yearn for external approval and when they get it, they feel super happy and fulfilled and when they don’t, they feel worthless and neglected. They put other people’s needs before theirs and find it hard to say NO maybe because they are afraid of rejection, afraid of what others would say/think or afraid that people will turn against them.
Cons of people-pleasing:
- You will be manipulated.
- People will take advantage of the fact that you find it hard to say NO and they’ll take advantage of your extremely kind nature.
- You’ll lose your self-confidence.
5 tips to help you stop people-pleasing:
1. Learn to say NO.
When your friends or colleagues give an extra task you can’t handle or when your friends ask you to go to a party with them, meanwhile, you want to study or you need to take care of something else, tell them NO. You don’t have to be rude or mean. A simple and polite reply is just enough.
Sorry, I can’t handle that.
I have something else on my schedule and I can’t go to the party with you.
They’ll try to persuade you and they’ll try to talk you into changing your mind and when this happens, tell them you’ve made your decision and that’s final. Speak your mind and be bold.
2. Realize that not everyone will like you.
No matter how awesome, smart, good-looking, talented, nice, wonderful or popular you are, there are still people who will not like you for reasons that are best known to them and there is nothing anyone can do about that. Don’t go into the business of trying to make everyone like you. You’ll get frustrated in the middle of it.
3. Realize that your self-worth is not measured by external approval.
One thing people-pleasing does is to rip you apart and make you think you’re worthless especially when people don’t approve the things you do. Make peace with yourself, be proud of yourself and love yourself for who you are.
“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are. What others say is irrelevant.” –Nic Sheff
4. Be conscious.
If you’ve been in the business of pleasing others for a long time, it might be a little difficult to break this negative habit. Be conscious of the things you do and the decisions you make. What are the intentions behind your decisions and actions? Ask yourself; am I doing this to please him/her? Am I doing this because I really want to?
5. Realize you have a choice.
At every moment, you have the power to make your own choices. Go for what you want. Say YES/NO when you want to not when you have to.
“Stand up for yourself even if you have to stand alone.” –UnknownStand up for yourself, even if you have to stand alone. Click To Tweet
- Set your boundaries and values.
- Learn to focus on yourself first.
- Get help from professionals.