Are you kind to everyone you meet? Would people describe you as big-hearted? That is not the same as being a people pleaser. Do you sometimes accommodate others even though you'd rather not? That still might not be enough to classify you as a people pleaser.
To be clear I am not talking about pleasing customers, clients, friends and others in a positive sense. I am referring to a deep seated pattern of pleasing others without regard to self.
People pleasers are those who get caught up in a lifestyle of saying yes to everything and everyone because they are incapable of saying no. At a subconscious level they are saying, “If I don’t buy this product or please this person they will think less of me.”
At root is their search for acceptance and so they allow others’ wants, arguments, and desires to take precedence over their own. They fall prey to the smart marketing strategy of the seller without fully understanding what is really driving them to buy.
This is great for the seller, not so great for the buyer. And if you are dealing with an unscrupulous seller they don’t care ‘why’ you are buying their product, they are only interested in selling it.
People pleasers who grab everything that comes their way go beyond a level of no return in their quest to be successful yet continue to purchase more without a clear vision or strategy of their own.
Everyone wants to feel safe, accepted and loved. It's literally written in our DNA because humans are social creatures. We form communities and we always have so we have evolved to seek acceptance from others. Unfortunately, people pleasers figure out the most effective way to find acceptance is to allow someone else's wants, wishes, and desires to take precedence over their own. It's fine at first because it seems to work for them.
We experience less conflict so everything must be great, right? The only problem is that external conflict dissipates while internal conflict builds.
In business we often hear of people pleasers who become desperate because they have bought too much. They become anxious, guilty, depressed, and stressed. They fall into a sense of ‘victimhood’ and ‘buyer’s remorse.’
For many it has gone on too long by this point, and if this is like you you've been marked as someone who says yes to everything and trying to redraw your boundaries will become stressful. You feel guilty with every no and worry about upsetting or disappointing people. Sometimes, you have to choose between yourself and everything else.
People-pleasing is denying yourself and your needs to accommodate everyone else's. You're a nice person, but you're hurting yourself in a bid to serve others. There's a good chance you're stressed out, exhausted, and overworked. This might take a toll on your health, both mental and physical. You're running out of time and energy and you may be approaching the breaking point. Don’t become worn out and rusted out like the vehicles of old.
There is a way out of this conundrum because you can help others without harming yourself.
Take Care Of Yourself
Your needs should always be met first. If you, do it the other way around you will never have the time or energy to address your needs. It's okay to make yourself a priority. If someone makes a request of you, you can simply explain you have some things to do for yourself right now. It's all about setting and enforcing limits thus prioritizing yourself as important. You have to recharge your batteries. The important point here is if we don’t take care of ourselves it becomes difficult to take care of others.
Keep to a Schedule
Many people keep tabs on their finances. Think of your time like you do your finances. Afterall they say in the business world that ‘time is money’ for a reason. Just as you sit down and create a budget, you can sit down and create a schedule for your time. What time do you need for yourself? What time do you need for tasks, errands, and responsibilities, and what is left over? When someone asks for your help, you can consult your schedule.
Make sure you build in flexibility in your schedule. Don’t make it so tight that you do not have wiggle room for the unexpected phone calls, emails, interruptions that come your way. Be prepared because they will come. And it’s best to plan the next day before the end of the day. This way you can close off the day and sleep better.
Just as you do with time, you can also budget energy. Do you have the energy to undertake this request? Don't overwork yourself just because you feel bad. In the process make sure you are building in energy breaks. Work in 60 to 90 minute time frames if you can.
Delay Your Agreement
Don't feel compelled to agree to something or someone immediately. A common people-pleasing response is to immediately agree only to realize later that it's impossible. Giving yourself time and space to check your schedule gives you space to consider whether you want to or can help out.
If you are scheduling appropriately you have set out critical priorities for yourself. Work on these priorities first thing in the morning, place your emails, text messages and other interrupters on hold until you have accomplished your priorities, or at the end of the 60-90 minute time frame.
When you strive to only please others and get caught up in purchasing things you don’t need or they don’t fit into where you want to go in life, then it is time to simplify. It’s time to remove the junk and focus on the important and not the clutter. Clutter plugs up the mind and disturbs a peaceful environment, whether that be at your place of work or in your home. Clutter becomes a distraction and takes you away from where you want to be. Create the balance necessary to give to others while living simply for yourself.
When Else Fails Just Say No
While some say sorry is the hardest word, no is often just as difficult. At least, it is where people-pleasers are concerned. When you say no, do not feel as though you have to offer a justification. There is no need to provide an explanation or an excuse. Learning how to say "No, I can't do that," is a great way for people-pleasers to reestablish their boundaries.
If that sounds like the scariest thing you have ever heard, then you can practice with explanations and work up to a flat no. Just remember this, the more of an explanation you offer the easier others will find it to talk you into it. If you must offer an explanation, be as vague as you can to give yourself space.
If you think you fall into the category of ‘people pleaser’ you may need to check out where life is taking you, if this is you just drop a note in the comments below and we can talk. If you want help in becoming better organized fill in the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you.
As always, stay safe, be well and become the best version of yourself through personal growth and development.
Thank you for reading,