Ok, so what even is people pleasing? The Merriam-Webster definition of People Pleasing is: a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires.
Hands up if that sounds like you. I mean, I know that I can fully say that I used to be a people pleaser 100% of the time and now, well, every so often I fall back into it.
Why? Because just like you, I’m only human. Like, really, truly only human.
Here’s the good news. People pleasing is so OUT and putting yourself first is so IN. Avidisen. Please tell me I didn’t lose you with that reference. Heidi Klum? Anyone? Wait, before your brain goes to all the reasons why you are the one and only single human in the world who can’t put yourself first let me remind you that being out of fashion is not a cute look and let me challenge you to think of these outside of the terms of Project Runway.
So, you think you’re the only human who has a valid reason to continue the people pleasing, huh? Maybe you have kids or worse a boss who acts like a child when you don’t do what they want. Maybe you have piled on all this responsibility and you feel like you’re suffocating underneath it. Maybe, just maybe, you’re like most of us and you learned from a very young age that if you don’t grow up and make your parents proud you are a failure… even if that messaging really is only subconscious.
I’m not trying to generalize here people, I’m trying to make a point. People pleasing is frickin’ comfortable. It is wayyyyy easier to sacrifice yourself for others and avoid conflict than to say no and maybe, just maybe upset someone.
Well, this 2020 newsflash is coming in hot off the presses. By saying Yes to others you are saying No to you and the more you say no to you the more unhappy you will be. Don’t @ me. These are facts- you can ask the hundreds of people who have gone through my programming. Saying no to you is the ultimate disservice… to everyone single person in your life.
I don’t think there are exceptions to this. Truly I don’t. Your brain might be spinning thinking about that time your best friend Becky asked you to watch her kids last minute so she could get her nails done for the second time that week and you said yes because you knew it would make Becky happy… but you’re over here ready to watch the latest episode of the Great British Baking show and put on a face mask. Why does Becky’s happiness come first? Why?
You might not know why and really the why doesn’t matter. Here’s what does matter. How would it feel to say Yes to yourself? How would it feel to know that your happiness comes first? If you aren’t going to put your happiness first then there is no way someone else will. And don’t even come for me with the excuse that all the people in your life are people pleasers so all the people pleasing just counteracts itself.
Someone has to break the cycle. Someone has to start saying No here. Saying Yes to everything is sooooo last decade.
It’s hard, I get it. Saying No is really, really terrifying. But you know what, it’s also really magical. I’ll share something with you – I recently had a friend slide into my DM’s asking if I wanted to join some network marketing opportunity – now besides the fact that I have been a part of most of these back in my day – essential oils, supplements, water machines, make-up you name it I’ve done it – I just had to say no and guess what they said to me! THANK YOU FOR BEING SO DIRECT.
I got a thank you for saying no!
Ok, so if the idea of saying no makes your stomach turn here is your first assignment. Find a recent time where you said yes and regretted it. Write it down on a piece of paper. Then write down what would have happened if you said no instead. In this alternate less people pleasy reality did something bad happen? Did the world end? Did you die? No? You didn’t? Great. I am so relieved that you didn’t die by saying no! I’m also really excited for you to try it out.
I know, it’s easier said than done but it is time to step away from the issues that are caused when you say yes to something that you want to say no to.
Remember, people pleasing is like low rise bell bottom jeans. We really want them to stay out but for some reason they keep on coming back. Just a casual reminder that you don’t have to buy the jeans and you definitely don’t have to say yes to everything.
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