Have you ever felt like you’re your own worst enemy? Both of us have fought our natural tendency to be a people pleaser for years. After a lot of personal development, we’ve learned how setting boundaries and saying no can not only help you, but it can help others.
We used to:
- feel responsible for others happiness
- apologize often
- not be able to say no
- feel excessive pain when someone was angry with us
- go out of our way to avoid conflict.
All of which caused us to feel insecure and stressed out.
But we fell back into people pleasing habits because we felt like that equaled being a “good” person.
We felt like accommodating people was just the nice or “good” thing to do.
We soon learned than just saying yes didn’t necessarily help the other person. A lot of the time, it just enabled them and caused us stress.
Keep in mind people pleasing is a habit, it’ll take conscious effort to break it.
As a former people-pleaser, I would put what I wanted and what my husband wanted at the bottom of the list. I had to help everyone else first. This was a major stressor, and just by changing my attitude everything has improved.
3 Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser
1. You set the expectation of how you want to be treated.
If you’re a former people pleaser, your family, friends, and co-workers have learned that consciously or subconsciously.
If you feel like people are always coming to you for help or dumping something on you – it’s probably because you’ve accepted that treatment in the past.
Now, you’ll need to teach them how you expect to be treated. This doesn’t have to be harsh or formal. Just the next time something happens, address it honestly and think of your self-care first.
This can be as simple as saying, “I know we normally talk during my lunch hour, but I really need to focus on this task so I can get home to my family tonight. Maybe you can talk to Cindy about this, or I’ll call you if I get done early.”
2. Tell People How You Feel
Chances are people don’t even know how you truly feel – you have to tell them. We all tend to stay in our own little worlds, and if you’re a people pleaser – you may even create fake scenarios in your mind.
It’s time to stop thinking and start being honest with what you need.
3. Think Before Saying Yes
Saying yes used to be my natural reflex. I wanted to feel special and needed. Now, I realize my value doesn’t come from others opinions.
So before you say yes, think — is this a good fit for me, my family and our schedule?
You can always say, “Thanks for thinking of me, let me check my calendar and get back to you” versus always defaulting to yes or sure.
4. You have to love yourself first.
As women, we are often taught we come last. However, if you’re going to be there for everyone else – you have to take care of yourself first!
How can you expect to pour into others when you’re leaving yourself high and dry?
Setting up a self-care routine can be simple and quick. You’ll soon see just a few minutes a day can help you refocus and be a better wife, mom, and friend to others.
5. Acknowledge your limiting thoughts (stupid, not enough, ugly, etc)
We come into this world as pure love and pure honesty. If we’re hungry, scared, tired, we cry. We giggle over simple things. We are completely honest and amazed with our surroundings.
Then we learn these limiting thoughts either from our parents, friends, or environment.
Some of these could include “I’m ugly,” “I’ll never,…”, “I couldn’t…”
While these cut deep, they are just words. It’s just as true to say, “I’m beautiful” – it’s subjective. We have to acknowledge these limiting beliefs, shed light on them, and rewrite them!
If you want to skip this step – think about how you’d feel if your child or best friend had these ugly thoughts about themselves! Would you allow it? No way!
Be just protective and loving to YOURSELF.
6. Hang out with good people (and limit time with the less than stellar)
Ever feel like you fall into old habits when you’re around friends from high school or college? It’s because we’re the combination of the 5 people we’re around the most.
If you don’t like your life right now, it’s time to change where you’re living it.
This doesn’t mean move, it just means find a way to change your environment….clean the house, limit the bad relationships and join a new group to make new friends.
7. Have a set personal development plan
We love Audible’s to be able to listen to personal development when we cook, put on makeup, and drive. We are affiliates of Audible and Amazon….But really – they are so easy to listen to, and you can get a free book if you’re a new customer.
Our favorite books on expectations are:
Are you a former people pleaser? How did you break the cycle?