I people-pleased for years, to keep the peace more than anything. I hated turmoil and upset and found it much easier to do what I ‘thought’ others wanted, rather than go with what I wanted. I was so concerned with keeping everyone else calm and happy, what I wanted became a distant memory and I lost my connection to what that even was.
I found myself feeling so exhausted by doing things I thought others wanted and always putting myself last to make sure I wasn’t disapproved of.
It wasn’t easy to stop this, but over time I started saying ‘no’ more. I re-learned how to check in with myself and know what I wanted, paying attention to how my body felt when faced with a choice, then I began to honour that feeling.
I also began to look at areas in my life where I was over-giving and always available. Being the eldest I’d learned to be the helpful one, and always be there to look after the younger ones, which served me for a time. I realised I had to put my needs first or I wouldn’t ever be the person I wanted to be inside.
As I started to do this, I found I had more energy and eventually many of the things I didn’t even want to do stopped appearing in my life.
Do you find you people-please?
Perhaps you do it because you want to keep the peace? Maybe you’re worried about how someone else might react? You could fear you’ll be rejected if you don’t please others? Or maybe you feel what others’ feel and want to make sure their needs are met even if it comes at the expense of your own?
It could be any or all of these things. Either way, people-pleasing will leave you feeling depleted in the long run and unsure of who you authentically are. It’s a wonderful thing wanting to help and be there for others, but not if it goes against your needs.
I encourage you to think about any areas in your life where you might be people-pleasing. How can you start to change this?
This blog post was taken from my book, Embodied. You can get your own copy of Embodied here or anywhere you buy your books online.
Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash.