Written by Audrey
Are you one of those people who fear the displeasure of others? If yes, don’t worry! You are certainly not alone.
People who continuously put others’ needs first before their own tend to mold themselves into others’ expectations without acknowledging how they truly feel. Although it might seem like an angelic thing to do or a selfless behavior, people-pleasing will leave scars on both the perpetrator and the audience.
Here are some tips I found helpful to deal with the habit of people-pleasing
- Be honest.
When you ignore your own needs to please others, you are not being honest to yourself and the other party. Isn’t it just the same as being a liar? Your actions and behavior are most probably not genuine. In order not to hurt the other person, we might tell lies — ‘white lies’ as people like to call them. However, in the long run, the guilty feeling of hiding your true self will haunt you and some of us might even hold resentments.
By being franker and voicing out your honest opinions, we can stop the cycle of people-pleasing. Of course, don’t go wreak havoc and point out all the flaws you see, but you can start by giving constructive feedback or comments to your peers. For instance, instead of saying, “You are the worst member in this group,” say, “I think you need to put in more effort in this group work,” instead! If you feel the necessity to confront somebody, confront them. When you are more truthful and show your more emotional side, people will in turn emphasize with you and it might even form deeper relationships.
2. Stop apologizing.
There are some things in life that you can control, and which you cannot. When we keep apologizing for the smallest or uncontrollable things, we might invalidate our choice to stand up for ourselves. Before saying sorry, take some time to reflect if you have actually made a mistake. Sometimes, without realizing it, we apologize too quickly and we see our emotions as a burden.
You can try changing your reaction. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting,” say, “Thank you for your patience.” This, in turn, will still respect yourself as an individual, and will also make the other party feel appreciated. However, please do apologize if you have done something wrong!
3. Validate yourself.
If you define your self-worth based on others’ opinions, then you can never break the habit of people-pleasing. When we constantly seek validation from others, we try our best to please them. Because we think if we don’t make everybody happy, we are not worthy of anything. However, you need to separate others’ opinions from who you are as an individual.
Let us draw validation from ourselves. Find validation from the inside, not the outside. One of my favorite tips is affirming positive phrases to myself. When I tell myself, “I am patient, I am kind, I am confident, I am smart,” slowly but surely, I start to believe it and act upon it!
The truth is, we cannot make every single person on this planet love us. And that’s perfectly okay! The three tips mentioned are not the only ways to stop being a people-pleaser. Just because it worked for me, does not guarantee it will work for you too. But you’ll never know until you try right? If you haven’t practiced those three tips, go ahead and do so. Who knows, you might be able to break the bad habit and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Which tip is your favorite? Or what are some tips YOU learned that helped with people-pleasing? Let me know in the comments, I’d also love to hear your sharing!