April 26, 2019
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered my dire need to be a people pleaser. After many devastating interactions and my inability to stand up for myself to people, outside of my immediate family and husband, I realized that I have a problem.
To be honest, people pleasing never felt like something that was important to me. Over time, however, I noticed that I would find myself crippled with an inability to decline invitations, speak up for myself or deal with being anything less than perfect to other people.
Truthfully, I don’t feel like this comes from a place of really pleasing other people, but more from a place of fear. Fear of them seeing the real me. Fear of upsetting others or seeming selfish. After looking more into this fear I realized that maybe I am a people pleaser, but to the entirely wrong group of people.
Instead of trying the most to please my husband, I find myself seeking the approval and praise of close family and friends. At the end of the day, I want people to like me even if it means I let them walk all over me. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I snap. But, most of the time I will agree with what people say, even if I know they are 100% wrong because I could not dare think about correcting or suggesting something different.
Most of the time it’s easier to go along to get along. But, what about when it begins to challenge your mental and emotional health?
Set Your Priorities
One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to being a people pleaser is “having my priorities out of order.” This is a running joke in our family and a quote from one of my uncles. Having your priorities out of order can really throw you for a loop if you know what I mean.
When it comes to my life, Jay and Diesel are my biggest priorities. They come before everyone and everything else. I often find that I struggle the most when I lose sight of these two guys being number one. When I begin to worry about work or placing our families above them, things start to slip. This is when I find myself stressing over being that perfect version of me and not letting other people down.
Who or what are your number one priorities? Put those things first and foremost and I promise you will have much greater clarity on what is most important in life. All other stressors will seem to fade away. Maybe this looks like jotting down your top 3’s on post-it notes and placing these in your car, at your desk, on your bathroom mirror, etc.
Skip the Excuses
As I mentioned before, saying “no” or declining an invite is so hard for me. Even if I know it really won’t make a difference if I attend or not. Somehow I have this deep level of guilt when it comes to declining anything.
Suddenly, I feel the need to have 50 excuses as to why I can’t do it. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, yet being a people pleaser somehow makes you feel like you have to be at every event or moment. You feel the need to explain yourself and that is completely unnecessary.
It’s much better to just skip the excuses altogether and trying some like, “Thank you so much for the invitation! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. Thank you again for thinking of me!” Period.
Here is a quick little exercise for you, that I find helpful when I am feeling guilty about politely saying no. Imagine those people who irritate me because they never feel guilty for saying no and doing what makes them happy. The ones that infuriate you when you realize they are off living their life guilt free, while you are sitting there doing something that brings you no joy and only anxiety instead. Then, realize that it is ok to politely decline.
It’s just fine to want to live your life on your own terms and not doing what other people believe is necessary that you are doing with your time. Remember your priorities when you feel guilty. Sometimes you have to say yes
Don’t Avoid Problems
But remember that they don’t all have perfect solutions. Sometimes it’s best to just let things go.
One of my biggest struggles, if I’m not sharing my 8 million excuses, is avoiding problems all together. I will put off responding to something that makes me feel uncomfortable and I absolutely hate confrontation. I will let someone else be right 100% of the time (minus Jay, sorry babe) if I can just avoid conflict.
If I can give you one piece of advice, that has helped me majorly that Jay taught me, is to deal with things immediately. Don’t put it off or wait until later, thinking that it will magically become easier. Instead, avoid anxiety by just dealing with things as soon as possible.
It’s also important to keep in mind that all problems don’t have perfect solutions. Sometimes it’s best to just let things breeze over or not even bother with trying to convince the opposing party. Some people just aren’t worth your time. Trust me.
Next time something comes up, deal with it right then. I promise you will feel so much better. Putting things off causes more unnecessary stress and it’s just not worth it.
Just Be You
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to just be yourself. If you don’t feel like you can be your true self around someone, chances are it might not be worth hanging around them. Don’t back yourself into a corner and allow other people to run your life. Give it a shot. But, if they don’t truly care about you, and your values, revert back to tip one, set your priorities, and kindly decline their next invite!
You are worthy of praise and love. As a people pleaser, it’s hard to not hear those things from those you want so badly to like you. At the end of the day, your mental health and sanity are the most important things. Find people who encourage you and don’t make you feel helpless. I wish more than anything that everyone had a Jay. He is truly amazing.
Give people a chance, but if they are not valuing you or bringing you joy, do your best to spend as little time around them as possible. Some people can put up with this, but I truly believe that people pleasers struggle the most when it comes to receiving negativity from other people. If you aren’t being valued, begin with step one and work your way from there!
I truly hope that you found this post helpful. Being a people pleaser is something I have found myself struggling with so much lately. If you are looking for more posts, like this one, check out this category on my blog.
4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth