“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – John Lydgate
People-pleasers put others before themselves. They say “yes” to everything, including things they don’t want to do deep down. They agree with others’ bad or wrong opinions.
Many people-pleasers are so used to lives as people-pleasers that they don’t even realize life could be different. It’s like they’re on autopilot, or a “default” setting. In fact, this happens to a lot of people with a lot of issues. We get into a habit or rut for so long that we’re no longer mindful of it or how it is impacting us.
Here are just a few signs that you might be a people-pleaser:
- Making decisions is uncomfortable
- Saying “no” is hard for you
- When asked a question, you defer to others
- You don’t have strong opinions, or have them, but don’t express them
- You agree to do tasks for others even when you don’t really have time or don’t want to
- Others can always count on you… always
- You make excuses for others’ bad behavior
- Your own feelings often go ignored or “stuffed”
- You worry that if you stop doing things for others, they may not like you
- Trying to keep up with everyone’s demands is overwhelming to you
- You feel used, bitter, taken for granted, or resentful
Please (ha, ha) don’t give up hope if many of these signs apply to you. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the instinct to people-please:
- When someone asks you to do something, tell them you’ll get back to them. Then take time to think about whether or not you want to do it.
- Start saying no to half of the things people ask you to do.
- Schedule time for yourself.
- Spend time thinking about your own feelings and opinions.
- You’re likely a helper at heart, so think: what advice would you give a friend in your situation? Do that.
What advice would you give to a people-pleaser? Let me know in the comments. Have a mindful Monday.