7 Steps to Stop Being A People Pleaser

7 Steps to stop being a people pleaser

7 Steps to stop being a people pleaser

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 7 steps to stop being a people pleaser – and feel good about it!

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Now, let’s talk about 7 steps to stop being a people pleaser – and feel good about it!

In last week’s Success Newsletter – “15 Signs you are a people pleaser” I explained that a people pleaser is someone who focuses on pleasing other people, making everyone else happy and never pleasing him/herself or taking proper care of his/her own needs.

It is common for people pleasers (aka people seeking other people’s approval) to engage in unhealthy behaviors simply to please another person.

For someone who is a people pleaser, life can feel like a prison or emotional and physical slavery. Before explaining how to break out of the prison of people pleasing behavior, it is critical to understand that life is full of choices; you have choices.

Here are 7 tips and steps of action to end people pleasing behavior and feel good about it.

1. Write out your needs and desires
People pleasers focus on everyone else’s needs and desires; start thinking about you!List on paper your needs and desires.
List your priorities and values in life. What do you need?  What are your emotional needs? What are your physical, mental and psychological needs?
When doing this exercise it is likely that you will become angry – at yourself first, and then everyone else around you – for not getting your needs met. Understand that you have much more control over your life and its outcomes than you realized; you made the choices to give into everyone else’s requests. Be gentle on yourself when reading this; you made mistakes and now you are making new choices!

2. Who are you? Reveal your True self
People pleasers hide their true self out of fear of rejection and confrontation. Know thyself.
Who are you? Write out your true self. Remember, no one can truly love you if you don’t reveal the true you.
Identifying the ‘real you’ is a challenging task for everyone. Begin by describing yourself, as if you were describing yourself to a stranger. Who is the person you hide? Who is the person you have been keeping secret? If you had no fear, which aspects of your personality would you gladly show off? Write it down now.
Also, list your talents, skills, abilities and gifts; list all the things that make you an SUV – special, unique and valuable.
It is okay if you experience various emotions while doing this second exercise; it is part of the process of transformation.

3. Practice saying no
People pleasers say yes because saying no often creates feelings of guilt. Now it’s time to say No!
To ease the guilt of saying no, consider an assertive approach which still shows empathy for the other person. In other words, if you were on the receiving end of “No”, how would you want to hear it?
If the people around you have been accustomed to you continually saying yes, then it will require you to say No multiple times for them to believe you.
View saying no as a practice – this lowers your level of pressure and expectation of yourself. Begin with small things. Consider saying “Yes” and “No” i.e. say yes to helping out, and, limit the time you will be available; state it up front.
Say no and don’t apologize: I would love to help. However, I am not available this week. Remember, whatever the request is, it is not your fault that this person got him/herself into this situation.
Beware of the manipulators and flatterers: “No one does it as well as you…you are so good at this…that’s why I want you to do this for me…” Becoming first aware of the way others manipulate and control you is the key to being able to respond – Thank you for the compliment and I am not able to assist on this occasion.
Focus on self-praise and self-flattery! Give yourself sincere compliments and you will seek less the compliments of others.

4. Set boundaries
People pleasers have no boundaries for themselves; draw your lines and boundaries.
Create the limits. List what your limits would be if you had no fear; this is the beginning point. Write out what people have been expecting and demanding of you. Review this list and write out what you will and won’t accept from now onwards.
Again, to help you to become assertive and less guilty, take small steps when stating your boundaries. As stated above, set time limits for tasks; consider compromising and negotiating i.e. I can help you for 2 hours on Saturday and I am not available Sunday.
Also, ask for more details about the request from the other person, and then, stall somewhat: Give me some time to consider and I will get back to you.

5. Ask for what you want
People pleasers ask everyone else what they want; ask yourself “What do I want?”, and then ask for it.
In steps 1 and 2 you identified who you are, what you want and what you need. Now it is time to practice asking for what you want and need.
Again, begin with small steps and consider practicing these small steps with people whom you know will be more pliable and understanding. Reward yourself for each success (verbal self-praise and small gifts or time for you.)

6. Say yes to yourself
People pleasers say yes to everyone and their demands and often feel resentful when doing so. Practice saying “Yes!” to yourself.
Review your list of needs and desires. What small things can you do today that are for you, only you? For example, 30 minutes in the gym, a walk, a nap, a break to read a book, and so forth.

7. Overcoming fear
People pleasers are afraid of rejection, confrontation, conflict, criticism or disappointing others.
In other words, people pleasers are controlled by fear.
Overcome the fear! As mentioned above, small steps are required when taking new action. Remember, fear is the anticipation of pain. And it makes sense that the fear is actually memories of childhood experiences.  Start by telling yourself, softly, gently and repeatedly “I’ll be okay.” Remind yourself that these people whom you have been pleasing are not your parents and you are not the child. What would you say to the child?
Given that people pleasing is a learned childhood response to avoiding fear, pain and rejection, consider a one-on-one session with me to help you to quickly release the old beliefs and emotions and begin with new empowering responses – a new life!

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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