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A People Pleaser is one of the nicest people you know. They never say “no.” Are you one of them?. At least once in your life, you have probably felt defenseless while people, close to you or not, walked over you for some reason you can’t explain. At one point, you may have asked yourself, “Why do people keep walking over me?” If at one point you’ve felt like people just don’t give importance about how a situation affects and hurts you, it’s time to assess what’s wrong. Because as much as it is because of them that you’re hurting at the moment, it was you who created the whole idea.
But how would you know if a person is taking advantage of you?. How can you tell if you’ve had too much? When and how do you stop the pushing without being too passive or too mad about it? And why do you have to cease to be a people pleaser ?.
People pleaser: How did it all start?
Here are some situations some people might have experienced or currently experiencing
Case 1: You have a new office mate who looks lost, and you want her to feel welcomed, so you befriended her. Because you wanted to be nice, you agreed to do her small favors and teach her things to get the job done. A year later, even after she’s learned all she needs to know, she still ask favors from you: making her coffee during coffee breaks, taking notes for her during meetings, completing projects for her whenever she have to go to a “special date,” and taking your stuff when she lost hers but never give it back to you after she gets a new one. When you ask her for the same favors, she’s too busy even to give you an ear.
Situation 2: You and your best friend have known each other since forever. She’s always the control-freak and bossy one, while you stay behind her for support and back-up. She tells you what to wear during special occasions which are usually something she’ll wear (and yes, nothing looked good on you). She also never failed to remind you how bad you look and that you might as well be an old maid because you always look bad, but never offer tips and efforts to help you improve. She also makes you do everything her way and always point out how her way is better than yours, and her role in the world is more important than yours.
Situation 3: You’re in the mid-30s, nd you’re in a relationship where you have to do all the giving. Your partner never bothered asking you how your day was or how are you feeling, but flips out every time you fail to cook for him or iron his work clothes. He’ll also go on for hours about how his boss is taking credits for his ideas but he never listened whenever you say you need someone to talk to. And to top it all off, whenever you tell him about your plans career-wise, he only have one answer “that’s not going to work.”
One day, you realize everything’s hurting you mentally and emotionally. As you think it over, you begin questioning yourself how it all started. You trace it backwards but couldn’t find its roots. And then you finally realize it all started when you said YES, and you never said NO, because you are a people pleaser.
Being an agreeable person who’s always easy to talk to and ask special favors from is not a bad thing. Being helpful is not bad either. Being submissive to your partner is also not bad. But all of these things have to be done in moderation. Doing it every once in a while makes you a nice person but doing it in a regular basis makes you a pushover, a people pleaser.
How do you start saying “NO”?
Remember that the key to answering the question “Why do people keep walking over me” is lack of self-worth, is being a people pleaser. When you have spent so many years believing that your office mate, your best friend, or your partner are the best things that happened to your life and a life without them is not as sweet, that’s when you start forgetting how special you are.
It’s probably the right time to get your self-confidence back and start believing in yourself, of what you can do, and of how important your mere existence is. When you start letting people push you around, you’re giving them the power to take over your life. And when you do that, you surrender your every right be the special person that you are, instead, you become a people pleaser.
How will you say “NO” to people you care about?
To stop being a people pleaser, simply say “no.” It doesn’t have to be a cold-hearted and unsympathetic decline; you just have to assess the situation. You do not have to start a verbal fight or declare cold war just to let them know you’re not going to do anything anymore for anyone. Proper communication is always the key. Talk to them in the most calm and positive manner. Sometimes, all you have to do is say something instead of just keeping it mum to please everyone.
You are a person, not a robot. You have limitations and feelings, and you’re capable of having your own thoughts; never let anyone say otherwise. You can still do people favors and not being a people pleaser as long as you see it necessary and important, otherwise, it is not your responsibility. Lastly, never try to please everyone because chances are they’re not trying to please you as well.