Are you a people pleaser? Do you find it hard to say no? Do you fear that people won’t like you if you don’t do what they ask? If so, you are not alone. There are many people who would fit that mold. There certainly are pros and cons of being a people pleaser. The question that I would ask you, is how happy are you?
Often times people pleasers will make others happy at the expense of their own happiness. If you say yes, when you really want to say no, then what does it do to you? I might guess that over time, you being to feel resentful. If that is the case practice saying no. Start with the easiest person to do it with. Do you have a close friend or acquaintance that wants you to be happy? If so, this person won’t get angry with you if you say no. Realistically, many people will not be mad if you say no. Try it out with someone safe to start with and then it will get easier.
Do you fear other people won’t like you if you say no? If that is the case, how is it that people who say no still have friends? A true friend (or an emotionally healthy friend) will respect your boundaries and still like you.
You may wonder where this people pleasing came from. Who did you feel like you had to please growing up? Did you have a parent who was hard to please, or could never be pleased? Was there an alcoholic or substance abuser in your home? Was there someone who was a rage-a-holic? Did you fear that someone would abuse you emotionally or physically? A common denominator in these situations is that you lived with someone you were afraid of. You had to walk on eggshells, get the lay of the land, the emotional barometer of the household. Only in this way did you know if you could relax, or had to fly under the radar. You did what you needed to stay safe.
However, behaviors that serve us well in childhood could cause problems in our adult relationships. This certainly doesn’t excuse any abuse, it may help you understand why you are a people pleaser.
How do you know if you are people pleasing or not? Well if you always say yes, that is one sign. Another sign is that after you say yes, you wish you said no. You feel bad about yourself or begin to resent others. A third way to tell if you are a people pleaser is that you feel taken advantage of. You do things for others, but they don’t do anything in return. In healthy relationships there is a give and take. If that isn’t the case in yours, you may want to reconsider things.
If people-pleasing is something you struggle with, don’t hesitate to reach out. Give me a call at 713-304-6554.