5 TECHNIQUES TO STOP BEING A PEOPLE PLEASER
Nice people are needed in this world. They walk by us with a big smile on their face, they hold our doors open when they are ahead of us and they pick up our napkins when they fall on the floor. We love them and appreciate them. Now lets take a moment to talk about the people that are “too nice”. The people that are constantly bending over backwards to make sure everyone around them is happy. The ones that make a point to never disappoint others and will literally suffer in silence to ensure others are having a great time. These are called “People Pleasers”.
Sound familiar? If you have found yourself going to an event you really didn’t want to be at or maybe eating things that you really have no liking because it is what others have ordered… then you fall into this category. The good news is that we have put together a list of ways to help you stop this behavior and start to learn to make healthy boundaries of putting yourself first.
Let’s dive in!
#1 - Learn to Say No
We know this is the main problem. You can’t say “no” but saying “no” is okay. Taking the time to retrain your brain that not making the best decision for you is okay and healthy relationships should encourage you to do so. Her are a few creative ways you can start to say “no” a little bit more easier:
- “That was so sweet to think of me, but I already have plans that day.”
- “That place seems awesome, but I am really not into that type of event, but I hope you guys have a wonderful time.”
- “During the week I am so busy with work, but my weekends are open. Let’s plan something soon.”
#2 - Delay Your Response
Get into the habit of not answering things you would normally say “yes” to right away. Start using, “Let me get back to you on that”. This technique is especially helpful If you have a hard time saying “no” directly to people in the moment. Going forward, ask them to give you time and then respond when you are more comfortable with the response you really want to say.
We know this strategy sounds great in a perfect world, but we also understand that sometime answers are needed on the spot. In those types of occurrences simply just take an extra 5-10 seconds to stop and think before you respond. People pleaser a lot of times say “yes” out of habit. This slight pause will give your brain time to decide what is best for you. Remember to respond with you in mind, not them!
#3 – Stop and Look at Your Relationships
As we mentioned before, when you are a people pleasing you will do anything to make others happy, avoid conflict or uncomfortable feelings. However, if you take a step back and look at the quality of the relationships you have you will realize they aren’t in the best of shape. Do you know why? Because these relationships have been one-sided. They have been all about the other person and how to make them happy, not you. Doing this build animosity, resentment, hurt, anger and more. Looking at the reality of these relationships is a good driving force to start to make the change.
#4 - Change “Can’t” to “Don’t”
A lot of times when we do not want to do things, we say it in a nice way by saying “I can’t”. In example, “I can’t” go to that party. Sorry!”. This gives the message to the person who asked you that you really wanted to go but are unable to attend. This opens up lots of room for more uncomfortable situations. Such as additional questions on why you are unable to attend, peer pressure to come anyways and so on. When you are clear and say that you don’t want to do something, you are sending a message to that person about your personal wishes.
#5 - Stop Saying Sorry
Do you find yourself apologizing for everything? Even the things that are not even your fault? Don’t worry, you are in good company. This is one of the most common traits of a people pleaser. Learn to find new words when this occurrences arise. Can’t stay late at work? Don’t say sorry to your boss. Set your boundaries around your time and the things you want to do will make a direct difference in your own happiness.
Starting to practice the above techniques will not only feel good because you are honoring yourself, but your own confidence will begin to increase along the way. There is power in putting yourself first. Remember, you can still be your kind and giving, but this time with healthy boundaries around what you want in life!