“Sure, I will do that for you”; “Oh, don’t worry about it, I will take care of it”; “I got it.” Then, I would hear, “Marla you are the best servant”. These were words I would repeat all the time when I was a member of an organization in the past. After I was done with all my duties of being a “great servant” I was EXHAUSTED. By the time I got home, I felt drained and didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I told myself “something has to give”. I was pleasing other people’s needs and placing my needs dead LAST.

Does this sound familiar? 

I think we all have been people pleasers some time in our lives. 

Ask yourself… 

Do you try to help everyone at the expense of your own needs? 

Do you try to make others load lighter by adding to your load?

Do you try to make others happy as a means of avoiding confrontation? 

Do you feel guilt when you put yourself first? If so, you’re a people-pleaser.

Trying to make others happy at your own expense is a poor way to spend your time and energy. If you’re looking out for everyone else, who has your best interests at heart? 

People-pleasers feel a need to make others happy, but the motive isn’t entirely pure. People-pleasers are attempting to avoid confrontation. They are normally hiding from something. They are also feel important by helping others as if it fuels them or gives them a sense of being needed. When they do something nice for another person, they feel good about themselves. Meanwhile, most of the times their own lives are unravelling.

When you don’t respect your time or your needs, no one else will either. You’re training people how to treat you. 

Avoid pleasing others and please yourself for a change. 

Do these:

1. Realize that’s it’s not important that everyone like you. It’s not even possible, so don’t try. There are people that you’ll never like. Everyone has their own set of preferences. Understand that some people won’t like you no matter what you do for them. It just doesn’t matter. Understanding this simple fact can be incredibly liberating.

2. Get your validation from yourself. Tell yourself how awesome you are. Those that try to please everyone are receiving their validation externally. They crave it. You don’t need others to make you feel good. Build up what makes you feel good. Focus your attention on pleasing yourself.

3. Just say “no.” With practice, it becomes easier to say “no” to others and yourself. When you’re asked to do something that you don’t have time to do, say “no.” When you put pressure on yourself to make others happy, you say “no” to yourself. 

4. Be prepared to lose a few people. There are a few people that may have been pretending to be your friend. Ask me how I know…Once you stop being so accommodating, they’ll move on. You’re better off without them.

5. Drop the apologies. You don’t have to apologize because your priorities don’t match up with someone else’s. You have the right to prioritize your time as you see fit.  It is YOUR time, don’t waste it. Avoid apologizing if you don’t have anything to apologize for. Women are especially bad about this. Stop apologizing ladies. 

6. People-pleasing creates anxiety.  You are constantly on guard for the next thing. You end up doing too much and you’re too concerned about the opinions of others. When you try to do too much and be too much, you’re going to be stressed.

The gains from attempting to please everyone will never outweigh the costs. Learn to get validation from yourself. You don’t have to please others to feel good about yourself. Give your own needs your attention. You deserve the same attention you give to others.