Who else has regularly put their own needs and to-lists on the back burner because we seem to be incapable of saying no to other people?
It’s not just me, right?
I’ve struggled with having a people-pleasing personality for quite a long time; most of my life, really. And it’s something I’ve worked very hard to step away from, to do the work to take back control of my own life, my own needs, and to learn to say no.
Quite often, I would find myself agreeing to whatever was asked of me; anytime someone needed something, I’d agree to or offer myself up to help with the task at hand, even if I was drained, physically and emotionally, even if I didn’t have time.
It’s the hallmark of being a people-pleaser.
We’re afraid to say no to anyone, whether that person is family, a friend, a boss, a coworker, or one of our doctors. We constantly put our own priorities and needs on hold so that we can say yes to what everyone else needs in that moment. We help family with their chores, help friends with projects that we don’t have time for, or for which they don’t reciprocate, and we take on additional projects at work.
We start to feel like we have no time for ourselves, even more so than we were already feeling. Our to-do list goes completely to the wayside; our projects are put on hold because we have no time, we’re giving all of our time and energy away to others. We’re running ourselves ragged, not giving ourselves enough time or space to rest and recharge, to focus on our own needs and wants.
And we’re terrified to speak up about the issue. What if by speaking up we inconvenience the other person? We have real needs, real desires. We may even need real help with whatever is currently our top priority – whether our mental health or just a project. But we’re scared that no one else will be as agreeable as we are when asked for help. We’re terrified that they won’t reciprocate, that they’ll say no. and we don’t want to be a burden.
How do we break through this people-pleasing attitude? What can we do to start taking baby steps away from this vicious circle we get stuck in?
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. I did a training about having a people-pleasing personality, and how we can go about taking back our time and our power.