Avoid the Trappings of People Pleasers Staying True to Yourself and Living a Happier, More Productive Life...

We’ve all been there. Saying yes to someone we wished we had said no to. Attending an event against our will to avoid conflict. Therein lies the problem. Avoidance of stress, conflict and tense situations. According to Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, people pleasers inadvertently try to be people they are not for the sake of “pleasing” others. Rather than standing up for themselves and their values, people pleasers bend and comply to avoid making the other person feel bad or disappointed. The result? People pleasers feel stressed, irritated, and anxious.

Are You a People Pleaser?

Amy Morin highlights the following symptoms people pleasers tend to have. See if some of these symptoms ring true for you.

1. You ruminate indefinitely over critiques or feedback, no matter the source.

2. Your self-worth is dependent on how others perceive you.

3. You abandon your passions and goals to conform to what others feel is best for you.

4. The outcome of your day is dependent on how others treat you.

5. You cave in and do favors for others, even though you don`t want to.

6. Your emotions are dictated by the reactions and comments of others.

7. You refuse to complain about people and events you do not like.

8. You feel that you must do things and as a result, spend a lot of energy complaining about them.

9. You avoid situations of conflict and open communication at all cost.

10. You have difficulty forgiving and letting go of the past.

The Benefits of Staying True to Yourself

The next time you feel bad about saying no to someone, remember what Morin tells us about the benefits of staying true to yourself and not worrying about the approval of others. She posits that:

1. Your stress level will decrease.

2. Your relationships will improve due to your honest and open communication.

3. Your willpower will improve and you won’t give in the next time you see someone upset because of your boundaries.

4. Your self-confidence will increase.

5. You will have more time to devote to the things you love.

Lastly, rather than adopting the habit of pleasing others to be accepted, Morin recommends these four helpful strategies to help you take action today in order to regain your control.

1. Make a list of your top five values. When you have clearly identified your values, make a habit of checking in with yourself before you say yes to anything to ensure your potential decision aligns with one of your values. Below is an example of what people commonly see as some of their deepest values. What resonates with you?

J. Loehr and T. Schwartz: The Power of Full Engagement


2. Take stock of your emotions whenever someone asks something of you. Are you stressed, vulnerable, or distracted? If so, it’s best to wait before giving an answer to make sure you are not feeling pressured. Buy yourself the time you need to make an informed decision.

3. Don’t be afraid to say “NO.” People will get over it and move on. What’s more, the more you get used to saying it – when you feel it is right – the easier it will become.

4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Face it. Sometimes, you need to have those difficult talks. It’s much easier to have them than to ruminate over the fact that you have placed yourself in an unwanted situation. Bite the bullet and be honest!

Your thoughts…

Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Or, are you comfortable setting proper boundaries with others? What values guide your actions and decisions? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment in the reply box below or join our private Facebook forum!

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