A Moment of Honesty: People Pleaser, pt. 2

I'm so thankful for the response that I got to part one of my confessions as a people-pleaser. I noted a few little tricks to get you all thinking and now I'm going to share some of the practical things that I do to help me keep these tendencies under control. It's not easy to tackle all at once but if you start small, it doesn't seem like such a daunting task. Keep that in mind for this, and any other vice you may struggle with.

Start saying "no." I can't even tell you how many times in my life I've had to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself that "no" is not a dirty word. Whether consciously or not, it's so easy for others to take advantage of you if you make yourself too available. Of course we're called as decent human beings to put others first but where do we draw the line? It's not an easy task. The first "no" is always the hardest. You'll worry about what this person will think about you, if they'll be mad-- it goes on and on. Try thinking about it in this way though: do you want someone in your life who won't understand when you're being stretched too thin? Take a look at the people in your life, at the things you're doing for them, and how they're being there for you. Make a chart if you have to. I love seeing things on paper and more often than not, it's a necessity for me. I'm not saying that one favor should be immediately reciprocated but if you're seeing a pattern such as one friend only being around when she needs a ride to the airport, you may need to consider saying "no." Someone who truly cares about you will respect a graceful "no." 

Know your priorities. Know who and what is important. Once again, if you need to write it down, go ahead and do so. Sometimes when we try to pander to everyone, we lose sight of what matters most to us. We can effortlessly begin to neglect our families and close friends. Don't let this happen, because they're always the ones who will be there for you in times of need. 

Stop apologizing. I feel as if the phrase "people-pleaser" doesn't fall far from the idea of being a serial apologist. This is a big one for me. I apologize for everything, even for things that are out of my control. It's a pathetic, last-ditch effort to seem more empathetic and therefore likable. At what cost though? Choose your "sorries" wisely. Know when it's your fault and when it is not. If you project yourself as being strong and in control, others will perceive you as being strong and in control and you'll eventually start believing it as well. Which brings me to my next point...

Know it, repeat it. Recognize when you're going against your own character to make others happy and stop that sentiment dead in its tracks with a mantra. Could be something as simple as "no!" The more you affirm yourself through repetition, the more likely you are to react in that way. I find myself saying "you can't be everyone's everything" over and over again in my head. 

Know where it's coming from. Like all tendencies, people-pleasing more than likely comes from a deeply-rooted fear. For me, I'm afraid of being alone. I want to be liked and I want to be surrounded by others who will validate me. I used to be a lot less self-aware as I am now and as I'm growing in that, I'm finding a lot of the fruits of my fear are nearly vanishing. I've been learning that confidence is one of the most important things that I can possess because it shows me just how irrational a fear like that can be. I am not defined by the amount of "likes" on my Instagram selfie. I am simply defined by my character and my ambitions. Cognitive therapy is something that you can practice on yourself. You must change your pattern of thought by taking the negative ones captive and channeling them into positive thoughts and productive actions. If you don't do this, these thoughts can snowball and turn into anxiety and depression. There's a little more about this on this old post, specifically under bullet point #2. 

Remember that you're not alone., because everybody is fighting a hard battle. You're not strange because of your struggles. I feel that we should all be more open with each other about our "quirks," because otherwise, we'd never know just how normal they may be. I wish you all the best, and just like always, I'm available to talk to if you need it!

xo,
e.m.

4 comments

  1. I am so proud of myself actually for JUST conquering this last week. I volunteer for our church children's ministry and I was asked to help out even though I wasn't scheduled. It was Easter Sunday and I had been looking forward to sleeping in with my husband and attending church with family. It was so hard not to say no as to disappoint but after I kindly and assertively said no....I was so proud! From one people pleased to another....once you do figure out these tricks your life is so much less burdened!

    Danica

    http://lovedanica.blogspot.com/?m=1

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    1. I love stories like this! Good for you. Very encouraging.

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  2. I love your outfit! This a great post! Very encouraging! :)

    www.ensembledeux.blogspot.com

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