Sisterhood Agenda

People-Pleasing and How to Avoid It

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People-pleasing is a troubling habit that can cause negative effects. The pressure of wanting people to like you is detrimental to your overall health. Have you found yourself wanting to be liked by someone or a group of people you just met?

Wanting to please others and caring about what other people think all the time is a burden.

It can cause you to feel anxious. People would think of you as a pushover and, in some cases, people will take advantage of you.

If you’re a people-pleaser…

Know that “YOU ARE ENOUGH” and being yourself is the best thing that you can do. Love yourself!

Self-love and acceptance are ten times better than approval and validation from other people.

If you are struggling with this, here are some things that can help you avoid the habit of people-pleasing.

1. Be reminded of the general rule that you can’t please everybody

Don’t take it personally.  It’s not always about you or what you say or do. It’s about that person.

Some people just aren’t friendly and they need to warm up to you to be able to open up. Maybe it’s just their personality or the result of trauma.

By keeping in mind the fact that not everyone might like you, you can start letting go of the concept that the people you meet MUST like you.

2.  Keep in mind that other people have so much on their plate

If you are very concerned that they may have not liked what you did or who you are as a person, don’t be.

These people have so much on their plate, worrying about their own lives, their kids, work, financial stability, and so on.  Remove the notion that they care so much about what you say or do.

This will set you free and you’ll be on the road to not caring if people like you or not.

3. Be yourself and embrace who you are

Photo Credit: Just Name, Pexels

When you meet new people, let’s say a new set of friends, they should meet the real you. You don’t force friendships by pretending to like what they like and by hiding your true self.

For example, let’s say your new-found friends love hockey and you can’t stand it. Just because they love hockey doesn’t mean you have to lie to them just for them to like you. Don’t be afraid and worried that friendship won’t blossom.

The things that are meant to be will happen, no matter what you do, and vice versa.

Be honest about your likes and dislikes.  Relationships are built on trust and honesty.

Always be proud of your authenticity.  You should never explain why you like the things that you like. Pretending to be a different person will surely backfire sooner or later.

4. If you always care about what people think, you can never truly be happy

Photo Credit: Prateek Katyal, Pexels

People-pleasing is when you live to seek validation from other people.  This makes you a prisoner of their judgment.

Your actions will depend on their liking, not yours.  When this happens you’re not living your own life. You’re not free.

Here’s what you can control:  your own thoughts and actions. Don’t let people’s judgments define you.

Be who you are:  the master of your own being.

You can’t control what they think but you are in control of your own life.

Some people might think of you as someone who’s bad at math or data, or directions.  Meanwhile, others think you excel in communication, that you are a great conversationalist or negotiator.

Opinions are subjective and that has nothing to do with you. Their opinions are what they think of you, something out of your control.  Dwelling on it will just cause you unnecessary stress.

5. Be assertive

Learn to say NO. Be firm, polite, and confident when you do it.

When people know that you always say yes no matter the circumstance, they would know that you have a habit of people-pleasing.

Chances are, as a people-pleaser, you’re going to be pushed around. At work, you may sometimes be given tasks that no one wants to have.

Say NO when deep inside you want to say NO.  Don’t say YES just because you want to belong and you want people to like you.

You can practice saying phrases like:

  • Thanks for the invitation but I already have something else planned for the weekend.
  • Thank you for the invite but sorry I can’t make it this time.
  • I would love to take on the task but I have too much on my plate now that are crucial for the business/company.

6. Be your own cheerleader

Don’t wait for people to validate you, your feelings, your physical appearance. Be in charge of your own happiness, fulfill your own needs.

Don’t give in to negative self-talk. As social beings, it is normal for us to encounter negative thoughts. But the key is to be mindful of your own thoughts.

Are you kind and compassionate to people? Then you should also be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Treat yourself like you would treat other people.

Would you cheer for your best friend in his/her endeavors and success? Then you should also do it for yourself.

Your happiness is your responsibility. There is pure contentment in self-love and by being kind to yourself, plus total freedom by not being someone who is always people-pleasing.

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

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