People-Pleasing Is Sabotaging Your Success
People-pleasing is weird because everyone loves a people-pleaser. But, people-pleasing is not just about making others happy. When you have are a people pleaser, you try to be all things to everyone and regularly place others’ needs and wishes before your own. When you embrace this mental habit, you will never be able to effectively reach your goals and please the most important person in your life, which is yourself.
The Drawbacks of Being a People Pleaser
The desire to please other people is often a symptom of other issues. For example, when you focus on others’ needs, you may not feel that your own needs are worthy of attention. The need for acceptance and admiration may also be driving your chronic people-pleasing behavior. If you have been poorly treated in the past, whether by abuse or neglect, you may turn to this type of maladaptive behavior as a way to stop being mistreated by others.
Being kind to others is not the same as a people-pleasing mindset. A people pleaser will nearly always say yes when asked for a favor (and feel guilty when they have to say no), will pretend to agree with opinions or ideas they don’t support, and will feel responsible for the emotions and reactions of other people.
How can you tell if you have a people-pleasing mindset? Here are some signs for which to watch out. If you often apologize for your behavior, even when you are not at fault for anything, you may have this mindset. Another sign is if your schedule is crammed with activities that benefit only other people, not yourself.
If you can’t say “no” to others, are uncomfortable with someone is mad at you, or if you adopt the behaviors of others in your life, you are trying very hard to make others happy. But where in all of this are you and your needs?
People pleaser have lost sight of their own priorities, personality, and dreams. This can lead to feelings of resentment and anger as well as frustration over unrealized goals. Need the constant approval and recognition of others to be fulfilled means you lack the self-worth to love yourself. Pleasing others often comes at the expense of you and your needs, which is not a healthy way to live.
How To Overcome A People-Pleasing Mindset
To shift your people-pleasing mindset, you must consider what emotional need is being met by engaging in these behaviors. Perhaps you enjoy that people rely on you or consider you very capable, which is why they keep asking for your help. But what other emotions are you experiencing because of your behavior? Are you really happy, does this mindset bring you gratification? Or are you drained and disappointed most of the time? Get in touch with your emotions to determine if being a people pleaser is all you want in life.
You can still do good deeds for others and not be a people pleaser. Volunteering, donation, and helping others can still be a mission in your life without sacrificing your identity. Find healthier ways to give to others without giving away too much of yourself.
Focus on establishing goals for yourself that help meet your needs. For a portion of every day, you should dedicate time and energy toward these goals, with no thought to how others are doing or how they view you. Set aside time for yourself every day to get back in touch with your needs and dreams.
Before you say “yes” the next time someone asks you to do something, stop and think carefully. Is this something you really want to do? How will doing this benefit you? Will doing this stop you from doing something else that you want to do?
Instead of denying help to everyone, start by focusing only on giving support to those you really love. Giving to people is a noble goal, so you don’t have to stop this priority, but be choosier about those whom you allow to occupy your time and energy.
Learning to please yourself before others may be a new mindset for you, but it is one that can lead to more happiness, better balance, and the fulfillment of your own demands and desires.
You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own and learning to say no to guilt and obligation for others will allow you the perspective to understand this. Learn to value yourself and you will find new ways to help others in ways that respect both you and them.
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