If you’re anything like me, you tend to like to make other people happy, sometimes even at the expense of your own happiness.
Most people who are people pleasers are extremely sensitive beings who can deeply feel the emotions of others. Due to this, it’s harder to want to say no to something because you don’t want to disappoint. You can feel other people’s disappointment in your own body.
Being extremely sensitive also means that sometimes you are more tuned in to the environment around you versus your own internal environment.
You can literally feel everything.
When you feel so much, it can be challenging to decipher what’s your energy and what’s someone else’s energy. When someone asks you to do something, in the moment, you might feel as though you really want to. However, later on, perhaps that feeling changes and you realize that you actually don’t want to. You could have been picking up on the other person’s energy of them really wanting you to do something, which confused you, thinking it was your own energy of really wanting to do it.
Being sensitive is a double-edged sword. It’s an incredible gift that allows you to feel things more deeply than the average person, while simulataneously it can feel like a burden, which can sometimes get you into hot water. Have you ever made plans with someone only to later realize that you don’t want to do it? Have you ever made a commitment to something that deep down you didn’t actually want to do?
If you’ve ever said yes to anything when you really didn’t want to, then chances are, you’re a people pleaser.
Here are five steps to help you start breaking the people-pleaser habit:
1. When asked to do something, don’t answer right away.
There’s no rule that says you ever have to answer anyone, right away, in the moment that you are asked. Give yourself persmission to take your time. Tell the person who is asking you that you will need to take some time to think about it and you will get back to them as soon as you know. Giving yourself time to answer provides you with the proper space to feel into what your true, authentic answer really is.
2. Weigh out all options in your mind.
While taking the time and space for yourself, begin weighing out various scenerios in your mind. If you were to say yes to someone, what would that entail? What would you be giving? What would you be getting? How would saying yes make you feel? Then run through the scenerio of saying no.
What would that look like for you? What would you be missing out on? What you would you be gaining? How would saying no make you feel?
3. Feel into your body.
The body don’t lie, baby. It tells us the truth when the mind is muddled or confused. What does your “yes” feel like in your body? What does your “no” feel like in your body? The clues and feelings that you receive from your body will give you the best answer that will serve your highest good.
Perhaps you feel called to say yes, but only under certain conditions. For example, “Yes, I can go out dancing with you tonight, but I will need to be home by 11pm, so I can be in bed by 12.” Or, another example, “Yes, I am willing to work those extra shifts, but only if there will be an increase in my pay.” You might also be guided to say, “That doesn’t feel right for me at this time, but let’s check back in about it in a few weeks.”
Find a negotation that works best for you.
5. Go back and give your answer.
Now, you’re ready to go back and give your answer with confidence and certainty.
In the beginning of breaking your people pleaser habit, follow these steps for all decisions. With time, you’ll be able to run through these steps on the spot. You’ll be able to identify your truth in the moment, and give an answer from that place.
Most importantly, always remember to live life on your own terms, not on someone else’s.
Author: Caitlin Winkley
Editor: Renee Picard