One of the worst mistakes you can make is living your life to please everyone. This is ABSOLUTELY impossible and very draining. Try as you may, you can never please many people. So stop worrying about it. If you have a strong need and tendency to please others, you need to break off from this habit because you are making yourself cheap and easily manipulable. Here are 7 simple ideas that will enable you break free from this habit:
IDEA #1: LEARN TO SAY “NO” AND MEAN IT
Don’t make up excuses. Just give your reasons for not wanting something. Start small by finding something small to say “no” to, and say it firmly. Say it politely, but mean it! You’ll be surprised—the world will not collapse around your ears! People rarely take offense, and those that do aren’t worth pleasing.
IDEA #2: ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
There’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinion, and it doesn’t have to mean you’re making a demand. Simply reminding people that you’re an individual with your own preferences is a big step forward. You must remember that no one can read your mind. If you feel that you do so much for others, but they don’t do anything for you, maybe it’s because you don’t express your needs or desires. Ask for what you want.
IDEA #3: DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF
Do one thing you have been wanting to do but feel afraid someone else will not like. Whatever you do, do it for yourself, and practice not worrying what anyone else thinks. Don’t get caught up in doing things “their way” just because no one else wants you to do them “your way.” Other people’s opinions are a factor in our lives, but they should not be the determining factor.
IDEA #4: DON’T BE SELFISH
While it’s not good to be a pushover, don’t become a manipulative bully or a reckless rebel either. Don’t become totally selfish. In fact, many people pleasers have low self-esteem. So do those who are selfish. It is best to develop good self-care skills which include healthy assertiveness skills.
IDEA #5: BANISH FEAR
Examine your fears. Are they realistic? Are they truly terrible? You might be afraid that no one will like you, that someone will leave you, or that you will be left all alone if you don’t say the right thing. That is a prison you have trapped yourself in, and it’s time to unlock the doors and walk out! The people around you may be used to your compliance, but if they’re not willing to accept that you have your own needs, are they really worth having in your life?
IDEA #6: REFUSE TO BE IMPRISONED BY OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS
Many people pleasers were raised in environments wherein their needs and feelings were pushed aside, not considered, or even belittled. Being able to identify and understand the source allows us to better understand ourselves. By focusing on pleasing others, you open yourself up to manipulation and abuse. You will never reach your potential as an individual if you are constantly imprisoned by others’ expectations. Eventually, when people have had enough of your services, they will not recognize you for your true worth.
IDEA #7: STOP BASING YOUR SELF-WORTH ON HOW MUCH YOU DO FOR OTHER PEOPLE
It’s noble that you want to help others, but it’s something you should do because you want to, not because you feel you have to. The willingness to help others should come after you know how to help yourself. The greatest acts of kindness are those done by choice, not out of fear or guilt. Doing things for others because you would feel afraid or guilty if you didn’t is foolish and irresponsible. Put your own interest first.