How To Stop People Pleasing – Is Your Heart Bigger Than Your Ego?
Do you know what the harsh truth about people pleasing is? When we repeatedly make choices on what we think will make people like us more we are prioritising our own ego – our feeling of worthiness, what makes us feel good, over being genuine and being true to ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with helping people, it is important to be kind but when we know deep down that we’re doing something for someone because it will make us feel good or because we hope that it will make them like us more.
Others will either take advantage of us because we make it easy to do or they avoid us because they feel uncomfortable by what they perceive as not being genuine.
The reality is that being a constant people-pleaser can actually cause you more problems.
If you have an overwhelming need to be liked, appreciated, needed or seen as perfect that is so dominant that you are happy to put your own wants and needs second, then it’s time for a change.
How To Know If Your Are A People Pleaser
If you’re not sure if people-pleasing is something you do then here are some signs to look out for:
- You frequently put other people’s needs before your own even if it means going without or being inconvenienced
- You find yourself getting angry with people but don’t say anything because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or cause a scene
- You stay in relationships or situations that are toxic for you because you don’t want to upset the other person by leaving
- You go along with things even when you really don’t want to or agree with what’s happening
- You have a hard time saying no, even when you really want to
- You find yourself getting into debt or spending money you don’t have because you don’t want to disappoint people by saying no
If any of that sounds familiar then it’s time for a change and you really need to learn how to stop people pleasing and instead look to adopt a more positive approach to decision-making (like having a growth mindset)!
Don’t feel disheartened you aren’t alone when it comes to people pleasing there is actually a thing called helpers high which was first “discovered” in the 80’s and various studies have shown that we get a temporary high in our own emotions when we carry out a selfless act for others.
The National Library of Medicine says that the helpers high feeling we get when we carry out a selfless act like saying yes to something, being generous, and putting ourselves second is actually addictive.
How Do You Stop People Pleasing?
So, how do you stop people pleasing? Firstly by realising that prioritising your own needs does not make you selfish, it makes you human. We all have needs and wants and it is essential that we honour them.
It’s important you put your heart first and park your ego at the door. Does it really matter if not everyone likes you? The important people, the ones that matter most are the ones who love you for you, who won’t mind if you say no once in a while, and who won’t run away if you have a different opinion than they do.
Saying no to people and things will be hard at first but it will get easier the more you do it. In fact, you will be amazed at how quickly you get used to it once you get some practice in!
Start small if you need to. Start by saying no to things you really don’t like to do, the ones that make you uncomfortable and that you just don’t enjoy.
So, If someone asks you to do something that you don’t want want to do but that you feel you have to so you don’t risk disappointing or alienating them then just simply say “no I can’t help today but thank you for asking” and then leave it at that.
The more practice you get the easier it will become.
People Pleasing In Business
Now if you are a people pleaser in everyday life then there is a high chance you are a people pleaser in your business as well!
The reasons for being a people pleaser in business might be different than they are for your personal life but the underlying reasons (Ego, self-doubt, fear) are the same and the consequence can be just as negative.
When you people please in business you might find yourself saying yes to clients that aren’t a good fit for you and your business.
Or you can find yourself over responding to your clients. Not setting clear boundaries in a bid to make your clients happy can mean finding yourself answering emails after office hours, during holidays and when you are sick.
Or perhaps in a bid to keep your clients happy you allow scope creep to happen and end up doing a lot more work but without any extra money.
The truth is people pleasing can end up being a disaster for your business, it can leave you feeling both time and cash-poor and lead to you being totally overwhelmed and disheartened with your whole business.
So just like you need to learn how to stop people pleasing in your personal life you also need to learn how to stop people pleasing in business as well.
It’s important to set clear boundaries with your clients, set your open times, and email response timescales clearly when you onboard new clients. Add email autoresponders to reply to each email that states what your opening times are and what your timescales are for replying to emails.
Don’t be afraid to say no to client requests that don’t feel like a good fit and never feel the need to reduce your prices to suit someone else’s budget just because you have an overwhelming need to make them happy.
Setting clear boundaries, learning to say no, respecting your business goals and valuing your time and talents are more important than your need to please people!
So if you have found recognised some of your own character traits while reading this article then I hope it helps you understand how to stop people pleasing and start creating a life you love instead.
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