"There is nothing wrong with bringing others happiness. But, if you’re losing yourself in the process, then it isn’t fair to you. You have to find a way to be you without feeling guilty about it." -Christina McCalla
Hi, my name is Z & I'm a People Pleaser, & a very good one at that.
One of my strengths is putting out fires & turning down the noise for others. That works great in my job, but not so well in the rest of my life. Long ago I learned how to put others' needs first & mine on the backburner; as a woman I think we naturally excel at this because of our maternal instincts.
I've reached a point emotionally where I want to scream "NO MORE! I'M SICK OF IT! I WANNA FOCUS ON ME!"
I don't plan on turning into an a rude a--hole & steamrolling over people. The last thing I want to do is harm others or disregard their feelings while learning to practice putting myself first.
So what do I plan on doing? Here are 5 tips I thought I'd share:
1. Lose the excuses.
Stop explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing (aka justifying my reasons). The exception being if my behavior/action directly affects someone else.
2. Own my opinion.
Often I suppress my own opinion & defer to the other person for fear of saying the "wrong" thing. My voice is just as valuable as theirs.
3. Let go of guilt.
Holy moly this one's going to be tough. Saying no doesn't mean I'm a bad person. Or a failure. Or not good enough. Or whatever other BS I've bought into. Saying no to enforce boundaries, or to give myself some breathing room, means saying YES to self-care & my own needs, which is the goal.
4. Listen for & act on my intuition.
Like #2, I'm skilled at suppressing my intuition / inner guide. Regular meditation, mindfulness & journaling always helps me get in touch with & find my true voice. With practice I know I'll eventually be able to recognize & act on my intuition.
5. Take small steps.
People pleasing is hard to break, especially when it's so automatic I don't always notice it. Just like weight loss, I'll take it in small manageable chunks.
Are you a people pleaser? How has it served you? How has it hindered you? How do you feel about it?