Being a people pleaser doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I mean, you make it a priority that the people around you get what they want, right? Well the problem, as it turns out, is that the people pleaser puts everyone else’s needs in front of their own. Kind of like an anti-narcissist. Two extremes – both unhealthy.
Here are some signs to help you realize whether you are one of these types of people, and also some tips on how to stop.
YOU AGREE WITHOUT THINKING
A principal of good behavior is giving without concern for yourself. That isn’t supposed to mean you should give no matter what. The people pleaser gives due to some sense of low self-opinion and a need to be useful. As a result, they are easily taken advantage of.
SOLUTION: Anytime anyone asks you for anything, STOP. Do not agree. First, acknowledge to yourself that you have a choice. Then, make that choice. It gives you a chance to apply reason intelligence rather than emotional intelligence.
YOU DON’T WANT TO DISAPPOINT OTHERS
We are careful about not hurting or disappointing others. That’s a good thing, but the people pleaser frets too much, regrets decisions and puts the needs of others ahead of their own. That is self-neglect: bad for the individual and those who love them.
SOLUTION: Watch out for manipulators. Just when you are trying to be strong and say “no,” they will hit you with a guilt trip. Well, stick to your guns. When you say “no,” don’t budge. It’s something you’ll have to practice. So start with small stuff and work your way up.
YOU NEVER ASK FOR HELP
The opposite of wanting to create self-value through helping others is asking for help (reducing self-value).
SOLUTION: Practice asking for help. Start with little things with little consequences like, “Can you help me fold this sheet?” Then work your way up. It feels good (sometimes) when someone you care about asks you for help.
YOU WORK HARDER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
Wanting to be reliable and admired often means the people pleaser will sacrifice their own time (and time with loved ones – which hurts, btw) just so they can get all their work done. What they should realize, instead, is that the amount that is being asked of them is unreasonable. Sadly, in order to please on the one hand, we often neglect on the other.
SOLUTION: Practice adhering to time limits. It might mean that you walk away from your workstation without everything done. Unless you are getting rewarded for taking work home or staying late, you shouldn’t do it. FYI, in most places the labor laws are on your side.