Do you often find yourself caught in between a rock and a hard place at not feeling able to decline an opportunity to do ‘good’?
Even despite knowing you don’t have either the time or capacity to take something on, do you find yourself saying “Yes” all the same?
According to Social Psychologist and author, Susan Newman, people pleasers are those who “put everyone else before themselves,” habitually say, “Yes” in order to feel important, and do so because it “makes them feel like they need to be needed.”
Can you relate?
You see, I think the people pleaser is most likely very appeasing, smiley, likable and extremely supportive.
She’s also organised, hardworking, and ready to take on any new challenge that comes her way, whether it be from her manager, work colleague, or partner.
But chances are she grew up in an environment where her feelings and needs were considered unimportant, and as such, she suppressed them.
Now she struggles to communicate when she needs help, and gets overly concerned about not doing a good job or failing others.
Worse still, being found out for not being as good as she appears to others.
She’ll often procrastinate when making decisions through fear they’ll be wrong, and though highly organised, internally she feels much strain and anxiety when under pressure.
And if really pressed, she’d confess to growing weary of trying to be ‘perfect’.
As a result, she’s now overly anxious about being rejected by others (though she’d only confess to this in certain circles) and finds it hard to express her true feelings in case she’s disliked for even daring to do so.
She’ll also on occasion find herself apologising for the offense she’s caused by even considering saying ‘No’, despite knowing the importance of having boundaries.
Challenge or criticism is interpreted as an attack on her person, so she chooses to avoid speaking her mind openly in order to avoid conflict.
In doing so, she keeps her ‘friends’ and remains likable.
Well, so she thinks.
And yet, though overrun, she repeatedly finds herself saying “Yes” to the demands of others, subsequently regrets her decisions, and then resents not ever feeling able to say “No.”
Thing is, she knows she’s a people pleaser and has done for some time.
Unfortunately, she just doesn’t know how to change.
If she were you, what advice would you offer?
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