You've probably suspected for a while that you're a People Pleaser. Every time you go out with that friend you no longer really want to keep in touch with. Or every time you agree to babysit your cousin's dog (even though you're not much of a fur-lover yourself). Or whatever this scenario involves for you.
You say "yes" to make other people happy.
So let's now talk about this for a moment. Being a people pleaser.
It can be seen as a good thing. This whole business of being nice. And it is. We were raised to be nice, to make other people happy. We should be nice, right?
But the question is: at what expense?
Is it okay to say "yes" to something that is making you unhappy just so that you're seen as "likeable" or "easy to get along with"
The short answer is: no.
5 Signs You're a People Pleaser
One: You have a hard time saying no to others.
If you hear yourself say "yes" even though your inner voice is screaming "hell no, I don't want to do that" then it's a sure sign that you're putting other people's happiness before your own.
Two: You don't want to let anyone down. (oh my goodness, the guilt!)
Do you have this thought cross your mind as justification for saying "yes" to things you don't want to be doing? While wanting to be reliable is a great quality to have, if you're worried about letting people down all the time, you're putting yourself in a bit of a pickle.
What if someone wanted you to kill another person?
You say no, you let them down.
This is an extreme example for a reason. Because here it's (hopefully) obvious that it's okay to let someone down if what they want you to do will hurt other people.
But the thing is that the "hurting" can be done in many other, less obvious ways. If you're taking time away from your family to attend a dinner you know you won't enjoy, you're actually hurting yourself AND your family by taking your time and energy away from there. See where I'm going with this? Letting people down is okay sometimes. They'll live. And you'll be more balanced and relaxed.
Three: You're afraid of making people feel bad
Are you ever afraid that people will feel bad if you say "no" to something you don't want to do?
That you'll cause some awkwardness for both of you?
It's not helping you in any way to be agreeable to what others want and not true to what you want. Other people will feel it and may start taking advantage - or worse, begin not to even consider what you want. Which in turn will make you feel bad (because how dare they assume that you'll just go along with everything, right?) Time to speak up for yourself, baby, even if the word you use is "no".
Four: You prioritise other people's needs over your own
Someone asks you to be somewhere to meet them at a time that's going to be right in the middle of your regular yoga class. What do you do?
a) You immediately hear yourself saying "It doesn't really matter. I can skip this class." to accommodate the other person? or:
b) You ask to meet a bit later, because you have a standing appointment at that time?
If you've ever done a) - and it wouldn't have to be yoga, it'd be anything else you skipped for somebody else's benefit- then it's another sure sign you've may some work to do on your People Pleasing habit.
Five: You lose time working on other people's agendas
If you agree to to working on projects that other people believe in instead of using the time to move your own projects ahead, you're inevitably prioritising other people's agendas.
And guess what? Those people will get their stuff done. Will get a promotion at work. And will keep making their goals come true, all the while you're working around their projects, instead of taking your own career in your own hands and taking your unique ideas and making them happen.
If you've identified yourself as a People Pleaser, don't worry. You're half way there. Because as they say, realising there's a problem is the hardest part. And luckily this is my area of expertise and I want to help you figure out a way out of this.
That's why I'm inviting you to join my "7 Steps to Kicking the People-Pleasing Habit" Webinar.
Say "yes" to making you happy. It's your turn. And the good news? You're the one in charge!
With all my best wishes -- see you on the webinar.
PS: Have you joined my free Life Design Mastermind Group on Facebook?