Life Coach Carole Ann Rice looks at how you can please yourself and keep your friends happy, too.
Do you worry inordinately about what people think of you?
Would you rather bite your tongue, swallow back your true feelings and “go with the flow” than say what you really think?
If you frequently feel misunderstood, overlooked or powerless in situations which, deep down you know are of your own making, then you could be one of life’s people pleasers.
You pride yourself on being “nice” of putting other’s needs before your own and yet sometimes it can feel as though nobody puts you first or understands what you really want. It may feel good at the time to fit in and be accommodating to others; perhaps it makes you feel loveable and needed. But being easy-going may mean you are treated as a dog’s body or a pushover.
People pleasers may on the surface desire harmony but underneath may be people riddled with self doubt, can often feel isolated and alone and someone who certainly is not their own best friend.
If this is you then you’ll recognise the signs. From going along to another party you’d rather avoid, to lying sleepless in bed wishing you’d had the courage to say the things you really believed in.
One of my clients, a self-confessed people pleaser, said “when I am being nice I’m telling a lie” as he knew it was a cover-up for his real feelings which he didn’t respect enough to express.
If you can relate to this here are some coaching questions to ask yourself and some practical tips to try to go from people pleasing to pleased person:
- What am I really scared about people knowing about me?
- Why am I trying to please people all the time? What do I get out of it?
- What is the cost of needing to be liked?
- What would it take to value myself more?
- What do I want from others?
- What do I need to trust in order for me to speak up for myself?
Practical tips to try today:
- Volunteer less
- Say “no” more often to small things and build your confidence gradually
- Have healthy boundaries with others
- See how people respect others who know and express their own mind
- “Get” that it’s entirely OK to have opinions and desires different from others.
- Dare to be true and authentic. Being you is entirely enough.
Worried about what people think about you? The bad news is that other people talk and think about you a lot less than you would imagine. They are far too occupied thinking about themselves. What is important is what you think of yourself, liking what you know and truly accepting the good in you.
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