How to stop being a people pleaser is a guest post by Lucy Allen, a certified Confidence and Career Coach who is pursuing her passion and purpose by empowering women to step up, say yes, embrace change and live their best damn life possible.
Please people, this has to end.
There is no good to come from people pleasing (not for you anyway) and putting an end to being/doing/saying the ‘right thing’ for other people is one of the most liberating experiences you can create for yourself.
As a recovering people pleaser, I know what it’s like being driven by a desire to be
liked loved by all. I also know what it’s like to break free of this by saying no, ditching guilt and going with my gut and trust me, it’s a total game changer.
Below are the steps I’ve taken to stop being a people pleaser and whilst it requires practice every single day, it’s getting me closer to my goal of being a ‘People, Please’-er.
1. Accept that not everyone is going to like you
You can be the ripest peach in the orchard and yet there will always be those who don’t like peaches. The same goes for people. It is simply impossible to make everyone like you but that’s OK, it means the ones that do will really like you and are much more likely to be on your wavelength and be one of ‘your kind.’
What can I do? When you find yourself trying to woo or get others on side, remember this is taking away time and energy that could be invested in the effortless relationships that actually make you happy. I recommend a quick “it’s their loss” pep talk and a moment thinking about one or two things you love about yourself.
2. Master your own “tick of approval”
All too often our actions are driven by the approval of others – approval from parents, friends, partners, colleagues and bosses. It’s time to start approving our own decisions by focusing on what we want and how we’re going to feel if we don’t get it.
What can I do? When you’re about to make a decision and don’t want to make it from a place of ‘people-pleasing,’ think about how you will feel after the decision is made. Once you’ve committed to ‘the weekend BBQ’, ‘listening to her bullsh*t again’ or ‘picking up that extra project at work’ will you feel excited and fired up or drained and exhausted? If the feeling is negative, it’s time to say no.
3. Learn to say no in your own way
Breaking away from people pleasing is often met with fear as we immediately assume we need to take on the role of a biatch which goes against who we are. So instead, we apologise and make up excuses as to why we can’t do something, which only opens us up to negotiation where, more often than not, we bloody cave in.
It’s important to say no in a way that feels like you and is polite, empathetic but most importantly, honest.
What can I do? Practice saying no in a way that feels good to you but is still strong. “I would love to help but unfortunately I’m not available,” “Thank you so much for the invite but to be honest that’s not really up my street” or my fave “ohh, I wish I could but I don’t want to” (I’ve actually used this many a time and people laugh and then move on – it’s a cracker).
4. Embrace awkwardness over resentment
When we start saying no to others and yes to ourselves, it’s going to get awkward and, if you’ve always been known as a ‘people pleaser’, that awkwardness is likely to be magnified as the recipient to your ‘no’ may have a WTF? moment. Breathe.
What can I do? Remember that the awkwardness will pass and that that feeling is so much lighter than the burden of resentment. Stick to your guns, remind yourself of what you want and count to 100 – seriously, it works.
If you want some extra support in the ‘people pleasing’ department hit me up.
I’d love to help you start saying no to others and yes to you so that you can start living life on your terms.