Woman looking into a mirror as she questions herself about being a people pleaser or not.Are you a people pleaser and want to stop doing it but can’t? Then you’ll love this article about my journey as a people pleaser and how I stopped. When I sit down to write blogs, I want to please all of you. I think of ways to reach and relate to each of you. And, I want you to like me 😉 Sometimes I wonder if doing that forces me to be a better writer and therapist. Or maybe it just creates undue pressure.

Are You a F**cking People Pleaser too?

Trying to make everyone happy is impossible.

If I could satisfy everyone in one fell swoop, it would mean we are all robot clones. That’s a creepy and unsettling thought…

Yet, I catch myself wanting to people please.

Its a habit I’ve been working to break for a long time.

Respecting Somebody’s Choice NOT to Please

I see it in my parenting. There are times when guilt drives me to appease my tiny human.

And, there are times that my expectations force her to appease me.

Last week I wanted to go paddleboarding. My tiny human did not want to go.

She said to me “It’s ok mommy. You can go by yourself. God is always with you!”

I paused hard.

Instead of forcing the situation, I went paddling solo.

Instead of expecting her to please me, I elected to respect her choice.

Are You a People Pleaser Dealing With High Anxiety? Me too!

When I catch myself wanting to please family, friends, and clients, I notice a spike in anxiety.

The anxiety is because I am choosing an impossible outcome. 

People pleasing creates constant anxiety from chasing an impossible outcome. Click To Tweet

People Pleasing Equals Automatic Personal Failure

My fear of disappointing people leads to all the wriggling and squirming that comes with angst.

  • Is there a better balance between being considerate and people pleasing?
  • How do we know when to stop?
  • When is it ok to let others adapt and adjust to their feelings?
  • And where do I fit in all of this?
  • Where and when do I get to say or do what I want?

 

5 Action Steps You Can Take to Stop Being a People Pleaser

I believe it requires some self-awareness.

  1. Becoming aware of my expectations, feelings, and motives.
  2. Prioritizing my needs over others. Crazy, I know. Let the guilt GO!
  3. Noticing how empty or full my tank is. Like, do I even have the energy to attend to someone else’s needs?
  4. It’s also important to consider the weight of the situation. Keeping in mind whether it will matter in 5 years, five months or 5 days.
  5. I can also check the crowd I’m in. Some folks have high or inflexible expectations. It doesn’t mean I am obligated to meet their expectations. I have the freedom to choose!

These are especially essential reminders because our focus becomes narrow when feeling anxious to please others.

It’s easy to lose perspective and get caught up in fear.

The Secret: Tolerating Your Feeling and Managing Your Fears

The trick to all of this people pleasing is tolerating my feelings and managing fear.

The source of people pleasing is not wanting to feel uncomfortable!

Not wanting the emotional discomfort when someone else expresses anger, fear, sadness or shame. Especially if its directed straight at you.

Living in the Codependency Triangle

Living in fear is what generates this type of codependency. (Yes, people pleasing is a trait of codependency).

No matter how, when or where you learned about fear, it is the culprit. What do you do when you feel fear? Common responses are to avoid or escape the feeling. Most people don’t want to face their feelings head-on. Even though it’s the healthy choice.

It’s clutch to notice how we respond to the feelings of others.

There is the temptation to give in and appease other people. There is also the temptation to become hardened with a closed heart and give zero f’s. Ultimately, the goal is to stay open. And, not internalize others perceptions.

So, how do we do that?

The Goal of a Reformed People Pleaser: Stay Open and Stop Internalizing Others Perceptions

Let go, allow others to be themselves and settle yourself down.

We all want the right to self expression.

Trying to manage others feelings by pleasing, is actually suppressing their self-expression. 

Yuck!

I detest the feeling of being overpowered or marginalized.

So, the more I can celebrate and allow the expression of others, the more I am supporting and creating joy, ease, and love. I can cultivate my own happiness rather than trying to capture peace from others.

The bonus?

With all the extra energy I have from resigning as a people pleaser, I have more time to spread joy and love!

Sending it to you NOW!!

So yes, I quit people pleasing but I didn’t quit you 🙂

“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself.” ~Paul Coehlo

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Dawn Wiggins
Dawn Wiggins is the founder and owner of Dawn Wiggins Therapy and Help Towards Hope. She knew she wanted to be a psychotherapist at the age of 12. Dawn is inspired to write about the things she experiences in her everyday life. She believes that her personal and professional experiences can help others overcome the same challenges. Her husband is her biggest fan and her go to editor-he is much better with grammar, punctuation and tenses!