Can you please other people and still make yourself happy? Sometimes. However, more often than not, when you spend all of your time making other people happy your own happiness suffers. It’s not uncommon for people pleasers to feel emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and overwhelmed. It’s no surprise.
If you suspect that you’re a natural people pleaser, it’s time to make yourself a priority. Let’s look at the signs and then discuss how you can change your life and finally put yourself first.
1. You Can’t Say No
If you struggle to say no to people, regardless of what they’re asking, you always agree. You loan money, help friends move, volunteer when you don’t have time to and so much more. This is one of the tell-tale signs of a people pleaser. And it can cause significant problems for you and your loved ones. You’re tired, cranky, and your health can suffer. So what do you do about it?
You say no. It’s that simple and that complicated. Not sure how to get started? Try saying no to small things. For example, someone at work asks you to get coffee and you’re busy. Say no. Someone asks you to be a leader of a scout troop and you don’t really have the time. Say no. Then when bigger favors and commitments are requested, you’ll be ready and comfortable with your answer.
2. You’re Uncomfortable Sharing Your Opinion
How often do you find yourself saying, “Whatever you want is fine with me?” While that may be true sometimes, you probably have an opinion and a preference. Sharing it is the issue. Maybe you’re afraid of confrontation or of making someone dislike you because of your opinion. Neither are likely to happen. If someone asks for your opinion, it’s okay to share it. Get comfortable with this practice by saying, “I would prefer… but I’m okay with….” As you become more comfortable sharing your opinion, you can drop off the second part of that sentence.
3. It Hurts Your Feelings When People Don’t Like You
Do you like everyone? Of course not. And not everyone is going to like you. It’s okay and it’s to be expected. However, if you’re absolutely crushed and spend time fretting when you learn that someone doesn’t like you, then you’re a people pleaser.
Getting over this one can take some time. The best, and healthiest, approach is to let it go. Shrug your shoulders and move on. You can’t please everyone. However, it can take time to get to this point. Consider giving yourself a timetable for getting over it. Allow yourself to feel hurt for ten minutes and then let it go.
People pleasing means putting yourself last. It’s okay to do things for other people, sometimes. It’s also okay to put yourself first and to say no, share your opinion, and be comfortable with who you are.