Are you a “people pleaser?” I'm a people pleaser. By nature I like to help people... it's what I do and who I am. I'm a natural born care-taker. I know there are some of you out there who are just like me. Maybe you can relate, and maybe, just maybe you can be brave enough to do what I've done. And YES... it took courage to do it.
Here's one of the biggest problems with being a people pleaser (there is more than one)... people learn your nature and take advantage of you. Not everyone does, but there is a certain type who, the more you give the more they expect.
It's hard for me to say “no.” It's always hard, and when I do I always give an explanation. “Well, I'd love to pick Suzie up from school when I get my daughter, but we have to rush off to a dentist appointment.” or “I'd be happy to watch Judy, unfortunately we have soccer practice that day.”
One day I did it! I just didn't feel like doing this task on this day. I didn't have an appointment, but I was tempted to make something up. (Have you ever done that? I'm guilty of doing it.) Instead I just said. “Sorry I can't.” No explanation. There was awkward silence for a moment while they awaited the reason, but I didn't give any. It was so hard for me to not fill that silence. I held firm. I just smiled pleasantly and said, “Sorry I can't.” That was it. The moment passed.
Then came the internal dialog. “I wonder what she thinks.” “Does she think I have a problem with her daughter?” Does she think I'm mad at her for some reason?” “Is she mad at me for not helping her?” This was all my unfounded inner guilt talking. Silly really. I'll bet she didn't think ANYTHING about it. She just went on to solve her childcare problem without me.
So, you “People Pleasers” out there (You know who you are.) I challenge you to just say NO! Take back a little “me time.” I'm not suggesting you become a different person. Your nature is that you are that person everyone can count on. You still will be.... mostly. Instead of feeling the need to do for everyone unless there is a good reason you can't, give when you can and when you want to, but take some time off from pleasing people every so often and please yourself.
Let me know how your experience goes.
Visit Cathy Maury's web page at: successboundcoaching.com