People pleasing is a common issue many people have. While it may seem harmless initially, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed, resentful and burnt out. If you struggle with being a people pleaser, here are some tips you can use to help save you from yourself.
Stalling is a great technique to for people pleasers. Doing this will give you adequate time to think over the request and confidently determine whether or not you can help. Margarita Tartakovsky, a writer for psychcentral.com states, “Whenever someone asks you for a favor, it’s perfectly OK to say that you’ll need to think about it. This gives you the opportunity to consider if you can commit to helping them. (Also important is to ask the person for details about the commitment.) Newman suggested asking yourself: “How stressful is this going to be? Do I have the time to do this? What am I going to give up? How pressured am I going to feel? Am I going to be upset with this person who’s asking?” Asking yourself these questions is key because, as Newman said, very often after you’ve said yes or helped out, you’re left wondering, “What was I thinking?” I neither have the time nor the expertise to help out.” Committing to things you don’t have time for or are unqualified to help with will only lead to you looking bad.
Make No Excuses
Constantly remind yourself that you don’t owe anyone an explanation of how you spend your time. Tartakovsky also states, “It’s tempting to want to defend your decision to say no to someone so they understand your reasoning. But this actually backfires. According to Newman, “As soon as you start explaining, you give the other person lots of wiggle room to come back and say, ‘Oh, you can do that later,’ ‘You can adjust your schedule’ or ‘That’s not as important as what I’m asking.” Stay in control of your life. Set a precedent where simply saying ‘no’ is enough for the people in your life.
Establish Time Limits
Set boundaries with your time. For example, if someone asks you to help them, you can say something along the lines of “I can help you! But I’m only available between 2:00-4:00 today.” Protect yourself at all costs. If there are people in your life who tend to take advantage of you, establish boundaries and time limits for them to adhere to. This will help ensure you avoid feeling overbooked and overwhelmed.
Mean what you Say
One of the most important things you can do when you say ‘no’ is to mean it. Stick to your guns! The people in your life will learn to respect your time as you start to put yourself first.
Unlearning this particular bad habit is very necessary. When you say no to people pleasing, you’re saying yes to better mental health, less resentment, and more time for things you personally want to accomplish.