Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kick Your People-Pleasing To The Curb

 "How you judge yourself, which manifests as your self-esteem, will determine how far you’re willing to go to please others at the expense of your own happiness."

Welcome back my bloggy friends! It's been a while. Things have been super busy, which seems to be the norm for us anymore, except for the construction on the house, which is moving ever so slowly. Tomorrow will be three months since the fire, and things are still not finished. I know these things take time, especially when the weather is a factor, but I cannot begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to having some type of normalcy back in my life again, as far as my house goes. Boxes are still stacked up, waiting to be unpacked, pictures and what-nots are packed up, waiting to be put back on the walls and shelves, and the final cleaning is waiting to be done once all the repairs are finally finished. It's been nice having the rental camper to use when we need to get out of the house for construction to take place, but it's definitely not made for comfort, or for the cold weather.

I wanted to touch on something today that I've shared with you before, but I really felt like I needed to encourage those of you who may feel like you are alone in this struggle. If you have ever struggled with being a People-Pleaser, I am here to tell you that I completely understand. I know how hard it is. It has taken me a very long time to get to the place where I don't have a melt down if someone doesn't like me. It has taken me a very long time to get to the point where I don't always worry if someone is going to be mad at me for saying no. I know that may sound silly and maybe even stupid to some of you, but it was a very real struggle for me, and I still have times where it rears it's ugly head. I'm still trying to retrain my way of thinking in this area.

There are many people who struggle with this. We base our worth and our value on what others think of us. We think we have to do everything for everybody. When you live in fear of rejection, you do things so others will like you, so they won't be mad at you. Rarely do you do things because you actually want to. When you don't love, accept, and value yourself, you are going to look for it somewhere else, and that's where we get sidetracked by being a People-Pleaser.

We all want to feel accepted and loved, there's nothing wrong with that, but trying to please everyone by doing what they want is not the way to do it. You cannot keep everyone happy all the time. Love and acceptance shouldn't be based on what someone can do for you.

I wasted many years of my life being a People-Pleaser. I spent the majority of my life sucking up to people, bending over backwards to do what others wanted me to do, all because I was so afraid someone wouldn't like me if I stood up for myself. I was so afraid of rejection. I had been rejected so much throughout the course of my life, so looking for acceptance and love from others was a big priority to me. It gave me a fix. It made me feel better about myself. I didn't realize at the time that it was only a temporary fix. I had to learn the hard one else could make me feel accepted and loved. It had to start with me accepting and loving myself first.

I have had several friendships/relationships over the years where I would do things because I was afraid of being rejected if I didn't. I didn't want to look like the "bad guy." I felt like I had to always be there to help whenever they called for a favor. I think it's important to help others when you can, but not because of fear, and not at the cost of your own health. It's okay to have boundaries. I made the mistake of putting others needs above my own and above my family. I found out the hard way that love doesn't mean you allow others to take advantage of you. All relationships should be based on mutual respect and love for one another. If a friendship/relationship is solid, it will not be affected by you saying no. 

Being a People-Pleaser is like riding an emotional roller-coaster. It's exhausting. When everyone is happy with you because you're doing what they want, then you're up, but as soon as you aren't meeting someone needs or doing what they want, then your down. Whew! Stop this thing so I can get off!

Being a People-Pleaser can cause a great deal of stress, both emotionally and physically. You don't realize how much stress you're under trying to always do what others want and trying to keep everyone happy. Stress can/does cause you many serious physical and emotional problems. I am still trying to recover from many of those problems myself. (depression, significant weight loss, digestive problems, sleep problems, adrenal fatigue) Who wants to live their life that way? Not me. There is such a thing as being too nice, especially if it comes at the cost of your own well-being and your own needs.

People-Pleasers are afraid to ask for help and afraid to say no. Say this with me......"It's okay to say NO. It's okay to ask for HELP."  We shouldn't be afraid to tell someone no because we fear they will reject us. You have a choice. It's your time and your energy, and perhaps even your money, that you will be giving. We shouldn't be afraid to be open and honest with someone because we're afraid they won't like us anymore. You are the only one who knows if something you're being asked to do is going to put more stress on you. If it's not something you can do or you want to do, then just say no. Will it be easy to put this into practice? No, it will not be easy, but the more you do it and the more you remember why you're doing it, the easier it will get. 

Don't do things for others to try to get them to like you. If people don't like you for who you are, then no amount of bending over backwards, or kissing up, is going to make any difference. If someone only wants to be your friend for what you can do for them, then you might want to examine that relationship a little closer to see if it's a healthy relationship. More than likely, it's probably not.

Don't be afraid to be yourself. How many of us waste so much time trying to be just like everyone else? If someone doesn't like you for who you are, and there will be people who don't, that's's their loss. Love who you are. It's so much easier to love others when we love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are. We don't have to put on pretenses or wear a stupid mask that we're struggling to keep in place. We don't have to worry if we don't act a certain way or say just the right thing. There's freedom in just being YOU!

Do something for someone today simply because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Don't allow fear of rejection to dictate your thoughts anymore. YOU are unique and special, YOU are loved and accepted, YOU are worth so much more than you realize. It's okay to let others see the real you. It's not your job to make other people happy, just like it's not up to other people to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness. The only thoughts and feelings you can change are your own.

Please feel free to share any struggles you have had, or are still having, with being a People-Pleaser in the comments section.  Until next time my sweet friends, be blessed!

*Wondering if your a People-Pleaser? Here's a check-list of warning signs from a great article I found that pretty much says it all.

  • Do you yearn for external validation?
  • Do you worry about what people will think about you if you say no?
  • Do people always ask you for favors because they know they can count on you to say yes?
  • Do you worry that people won’t like you if you say no?
  • Do you think you might be rejected or alienated if you say no?
  • Do you consistently put the well-being of others in front of your own well-being, regardless of the damage done to yourself?
  • Do you often feel resentful towards others?
  • Are you passive aggressive about your resentfulness?
  • Do you wonder if others are actively taking advantage of you – weather they mean to or not?
  • Do you often offer yourself to others’ because you feel invisible?
  • Do you feel inadequate in and of yourself?
  • Do you believe conflict with others is always a bad thing?
  • Are you positive that you do more than what’s required from you for everyone?
  • Do you have a hard time recognizing the difference between being needed and being loved?
  • Do you lack confidence in what you do? Do you have a hard time taking credit for success?
  • Do you often overcommit and overpromise?
  • Would you rather be dishonest than be the source of disapproval?
  • Is ‘being selfish’ one of the worst possible traits anyone could attribute to you?
  • Do you wonder why everyone treats you like shit when you’re so nice?
  • Are you often plagued by guilt when you physically can’t do something for someone?
The more frequently you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, the more dominant the people pleaser inside of you is; the more depressed you feel.

*The above list and the quote below the picture at the top of the page is taken from-

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