Four Signs you’re a People Pleaser (And How to Stop)

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People pleasers derive so much satisfaction from making other people happy, but they go too far and make other people’s comfort level come before their own. This often becomes unsustainable and unhealthy. Below are four signs that you are a people pleaser.

You cant say “no”!

When people casually say that they hate to disappoint, people pleasers mean it. In fact, disappointing others is their kryptonite. Turning down the numerous requests from friends, family or even casual acquaintances is a next to impossible task, so you find them working on their colleagues work project on a Friday night, when all they wanted was to go out and dance the stress away.

A people pleaser is the to go to person for any task that needs to be done. Your acquaintances will see you sometimes as some hero. As expected, this behavior often depletes your energy, time and resources so fast, and you are terrified of the ‘selfish’ title you think will adorn you when you say no.

Sometimes being a people pleaser may lead you to do tasks that clashes with your belief systems and values, against your better judgment. As much as being pleasant and helpful to people earns you major good karma, it is unsustainable to your body and soul to accept whatever requests are thrown your way. So how do you stop saying “yes” to everything?

Solution

Accept that you have a deep well of care and concern for others, and those two attributes should be applied to yourself too. The happiness of the people around you is not your responsibility either. With or without your assistance, what needs to be done, shall get done. So start by saying no to small requests then gradually move on to more substantial ones.

You are always busy with other people’s agendas

If you find yourself working helping other people meet their priorities while yours uncomfortably lags behind, then you need a jolt to wake you up from your reverie. While the people you have been lending a helping hand to get their stuff done and are eligible for promotions or other types of recognition, you, on the other side, are perpetually stuck in the haze of career stagnation.

Solution

Start by actively making time for what is most important to you. This entails proper planning for anything you are considering on embarking on, be it your career, relationship, family or fun. With a plan, you will see just how little time you have to pursue your goals and yet have a happy, balanced life. In essence, you will realize that you hardly have enough time on your hands to save the world.

You avoid conflict.

A people pleaser is always determined at all costs to avoid conflict meaning you will struggle to stand up for things you believe in. This, in turn, will make you despise yourself because it leaves you feeling weak and out of control. Avoidance of conflict will also render you unable to stay true to your friends, making your relationships weak. If you cannot stand in solidarity with those, who love you when they need you, it will severely weaken your relationships.

Solution

Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst advises that conflict is an opportunity offered to you to work towards resolving an issue. The interaction was for the resolution, so take advantage of the battle brought your way to propel you to better problem solving, through respect, curiosity and a willingness to consider an alternative point of view besides yours.

You rarely ask for help

People pleasers always bite more than can chew when taking on everything that has been proposed for them. When these items pile up, and they start choking under the weight of the many issues they have to complete, they get entirely exhausted and nearly dysfunctional. If you have a never-ending to-do list that is suffocating you, but you are unable to reach out for help, you have a superhero syndrome resulting from your people pleaser trait.

Solution

If you have taken on more than you should and you are strained try not to make the situation worse by keeping your workload to yourself. The same people you are assisting could be willing to lend a hand. It is crucial that you put a stop to your superhero tendencies, as they do not add value to your quality of life in that manner.

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