Feature Article from Ashley!
This people-pleaser article is brought to you by Ashley. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and understanding, it’s greatly appreciated. You can find more great insight on her website, linked at the end of the post.
A former people-pleaser, turned mindset coach, I feel passionate about teaching the concept of people-pleasing. It’s certainly a topic many people, women especially, find a struggle. Since realizing I was a people-pleaser, I have made it my mission to break the unhealthy cycle within myself and my clients. By using different methods to understand and manage people-pleasing, I have become a more empowered woman. I hope these methods do the same for you!
In this article, I’m going to take you through a process to help you:
- Identify what people-pleasing is.
- Bring awareness to the ways it affects your life,
- Use practical action to manage people-pleasing in a healthy way.
What is a People-Pleaser?
At its core, a people-pleaser refers to those who are more outward-focused than inward-focused. You might be a people-pleaser if you:
- Tend to worry about making sure others are happy.
- Go out-of-your-way to do tasks that help others.
- Say yes to doing favors, even when you want to say no.
- Feel concerned with other people liking, judging, or rejecting you.
- Are drained, stressed, or burned out as a result of people-pleasing.
Is a People-Pleaser All Bad?
It’s important to mention, people-pleasing isn’t all bad! There are a lot of positive qualities of those who tend to be people-pleasers. For example, you care about others, are empathetic, and helpful. Those qualities, in themselves, are wonderful.
People-pleasing can become problematic when you are so focused on other people, that you are no longer focus on yourself.
People-pleasers are prown to stress, burnout, and even resentment. As a people-pleaser, you might not be honoring yourself and your own needs.
It might be time to work on your people-pleasing habits if you:
- Have a hard time saying no and therefore, creating boundaries.
- Feel stressed because you’ve been doing so much for others.
- Neglect yourself or feel guilty about self-care.
- Have a fear of offending or letting others down.
- Struggle to trust or speak up for yourself.
How Did I Become a People-Pleaser?
You are not born with people-pleasing tendencies. They are a-way-of-being you likely picked up in childhood. Here are a few scenarios that might shed some light on why you struggle with people-pleasing. Do you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios?
Scenario #1: You had a parent who always did things for others. Subconsciously, as humans, we tend to pick up habits and beliefs from our parents. So, if you had a people-pleasing parent, it makes sense you have become that way too.
Scenario #2: As a child, you learned the way to get approval and validation was by doing things for others. Maybe when you were helpful, you received a lot of attention and love. As a result, you learned the way to receive love was through pleasing others.
Scenario #3: You have an intense fear of loss. You might have developed people-pleasing coping mechanisms as a result of loss, rejection, or abandonment. For that reason, you might try to prove yourself valuable by putting other’s needs first.
You Are Worthy
I think it is important to understand, in all of these cases, you are worthy. It is not your fault you developed people-pleasing habits! Similarly, ask yourself the question:
Now that I understand people-pleasing and where it comes from, would I like to choose to do things differently?
If the answer is yes, here are 5 tips for you:
Become mindful of your needs and desires.
- Sometimes, as a people-pleaser, you might overlook your own needs and desires while focusing on others instead. It’s important to come back to what YOU like, what YOU want, and what YOU are feeling.
- Turning the focus from outward to inward is a great place to start. For that reason, I recommend:
- Starting a mindfulness meditation practice
- Starting self-care activities that allow you to focus more on you.
- Boundaries are essential because they allow you to communicate what’s acceptable to you and what’s not. A way to practice setting boundaries is by becoming intentional.
- As a people-pleaser, learn to say “no” when you want to say no, and “yes” when you want to say yes.
- A great way to improve boundaries is by journaling on the questions:
- Do I have time to give to others?
- What behavior and actions do I allow in my life?
- How do I allow others to treat me?
Explore and reframe negative thoughts.
- If you’re a people-pleaser, you’ve likely experienced some negative thoughts such as:
- What if this person gets mad at me?
- What if this isn’t good enough for others?
- If you don’t have a coach or therapist to work through these negative thoughts, simply ask yourself:
- Is this thought true?
- Many times, our negative thoughts are rooted in fear and are not logical. By considering whether your negative thought is true, you’re also able to move on from it. Consequently, you’re able to create more positive and empowering thoughts and beliefs.
Learn to feel worthy from within
- Many people-pleasers gain a sense of self-worth from helping others. But the problem is, when you base your sense of worth on others, you’re giving your power away.
- The best thing to do is learn to feel worthy and whole from within! Rather than seeking external validation, it can feel so empowering to seek internal validation instead. Besides working on underlying belief systems, I encourage my clients to use positive affirmations such as:
- I am good enough.
- And I don’t need to prove myself to others.
- I am worthy and deserving of all that I desire.
Release self-care guilt
- Many times, women have thoughts such as:
- I feel so guilty practicing self-care and putting myself first.
- I feel like I should be focusing more on others.
- Here’s the truth: By putting yourself first, you are helping others. Why? Because you can’t pour from an empty cup!
- The world becomes a better place when you prioritize your own needs. It also sets a great example for others to realize, I am allowed to take time for myself. It’s so empowering!
I hope you found this article helpful in understanding people-pleasing and learning healthy ways to cope with it. If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more, I’d love for you to visit me at www.lovelyholisticliving.com
With endless love and support, Ashley
Ashley Rachel is obsessed with self-help books, tea, and writing. But mostly, she’s passionate about supporting & empowering women as they awaken their inner-wisdom and discover their soul’s purpose. Ashley is a grad student studying mental health therapy and has a background in mindfulness, holistic wellness, and also spirituality.
Check out www.lovelyholisticliving.com for all kinds of fantastic articles and advice. Sign up to receive FREE goodies such as:
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One More Exclamation
I met Ashley through Facebook. Though I’ve never journaled in my life, I joined her Journaling Your Way to Clarity Membership. It’s been an amazing journey. Thanks for helping me connect the dots! – Kim
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