“I Just Want to Be Nice”
Many people pleasers think that they do what they do because they want to be nice. They think they are helping. People please is a trauma response. It’s called fawning.
We do it to stay safe, avoid criticism, fit in, and feel good about ourselves. It’s a way to get validation that we’re okay.
Unfortunately, it leads to low self-esteem, resentment, being walked on, and being left out – the very things we’re trying to avoid!
How to Stop People Pleasing
Knowing why you are people pleasing is important to breaking the cycle. If you know your underlying emotional needs, you can meet them in a healthier way. Here are some tips!
Cultivate awareness. Catch yourself before you engage in a people pleasing gesture so you have the ability to do something else. As long as it remains unconscious, it will remain a program that runs automatically. Practice saying no in low risk situations. Saying no won’t kill you. Practice saying no to little things like refusing a coffee refill or staying out later than you planned. Say no aloud for no reason at all! Practice makes it easier.Don’t take a negative response personally. If someone is disappointed because you say no, it’s okay. They can handle disappointment, and you can handle that they are disappointed. Practice great posture. If we feel weak and small, it shows in our posture. When we feel strong and self-assured, that shows also. Practicing good posture will make you feel stronger.Put your needs first. Before you give your time, money, or resources away, ask yourself what you need. If your needs are met, and you have extra to spare, and want to give, say yes with an open heart. If not, say no.
Helping others and being kind is what makes the world go around. We all need each other and contribute to what our society looks like.
But don’t forget that your first responsibility is to yourself. Always serve from a full heart. You’re best to others when you show up honestly and authentically. If you’re not there, take care of yourself first.