On a scale from 1-10, 1 being not at all and 10 being a definite yes, how much of a people-pleaser are you?
If you identify as a people-pleaser, you have a hard time saying no. A colleague asks for a favour at work, spouse asks you to do something, the family puts a duty on your shoulders for an event, you’re all in. Even when you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew you are still saying yes without hesitation. The idea of telling someone ‘no’ haunts you for fear that they will be disappointed with you or not like you.
I am not a people-pleaser. I bite off all that I can chew and only nibble off more if I feel like it – that might sound selfish but I respect my time and you should too.
Maybe it’s a Millennial thing; perhaps it’s “our generation.” We are considered selfish, but in actuality, we are selfish because we have no other choice. We have to prove our worth and prove that we won’t be walked all over, taken advantage of, assumed to be the weaker link.
I relish the fact that I have the power to say no. I have no issue saying it.
But people-pleasing is tricky, especially for women, even for a confident “No-Girl” like myself. We are so prone to saying yes all the time and being reliable; but who is there for us when we need to rely on someone else?
When you think about it, what is the worst thing that could happen if you said no? The pot-luck would have one less veggie platter? Your partner didn’t get to eat tacos one night? Or are you more afraid of the possibility of disappointing that person who asked you in the first place? These are all things that are easy to recover from.
People-pleasing and putting others above yourself is something only you can change. Being the “Yes Girl” can leave you exhausted, never giving you time to relax or have a moment with your thoughts. This is because you constantly keep your ‘help others’ switch turned on, this isn’t even a matter of regulating “me time”, this is about self-care. And that’s important.
People-pleasers are often the sufferers of emotional distress, constantly worried about the need to make things perfect for yourself and others, feeling guilty at the thought of saying no, self-doubt in yourself, your capabilities and low self-esteem. These aren’t easy to overcome but that’s why it is important to recognize them from the start. How can this constant battle with yourself ever end if you don’t take a stand for yourself and end it?
Think of all the times people say no to you. How does it make you feel? Are you likely to feel vindictive and resentful towards them, or are you the type that just brushes it off and handles their shit? The point? You get over it when someone says no to you – you don’t dwell in self-pity and anger over their denial, you just continue on like anyone else would and get shit done!
We should challenge ourselves, if we ARE people-pleasers tosay no to one thing a week. Even if it’s as simple as someone inviting you out to lunch and you really just want to enjoy an afternoon at home, just say no! The power of no is so valuable. With enough practice, you’ll be able to decide if and when you say yes!