Do you say yes to everyone’s requests, even when you want to say no?
Do you avoid conflicts, even when you know you’re right?
Do you crave for compliments, even when you know you’ve done well?
Do you have a habit of saying sorry, even though you don’t need to?
If you answered YES to some of these questions, guess what? You’re normal — you like to please others, often at your own expense. That’s sometimes a good behavior to have to diffuse tense or difficult situations. Still, when you take this behavior to the extreme, it becomes unhealthy and harmful, and you could end up losing your identity, and people trample all over you.
1. You’re a conflict avoider. Some people go to any length to avoid conflict, and sometimes, the mere thought of a potential conflict drives their emotions upside-down. You please people to prevent any emotional turmoil within yourself.
If you’re wondering how on earth you developed all these less-than-useful emotions, we can usually trace it back to significant events from your childhood to your early adult life. Well-intentioned but influential figures in your life could have imprinted this on your brain only for it to reappear many years later.
Self-awareness + an intention to change is the start point.
Instead of denying you’re a people pleaser with little self-esteem, listen to your inner voice and of people who may have pointed this out to you. With self-awareness, you can then set a simple yet powerful intention to change for the better. This tip often sounds like some new-age mumbo-jumbo, but nothing in life starts without an intention — nothing!
Learn to let go.
As you begin your change process, you will still feel the pain of rejection, the torture of facing criticism, the fear of disappointing others. That’s normal and natural, and that’s why it’s vital to learn to let go. There are lots of useful and effective resources on Youtube, so find a video from a person that resonates with you and follow the lessons laid out for you. This is often in the form of guided meditation or hypnotherapy. Both work very well.
Find a support group, online or offline.
A support group understands your people-pleaser challenges; they empathise with you and help you let go. Enough said, join a support group.
Look for a therapist.
People-pleasing is something that is made familiar during childhood. Some children discovered the best way to belong and relate to their family members was through pleasing their immediate family and relatives. Or one of their parents wasn’t emotionally available, or abusive, so they learned to comply to survive their childhood. Whatever the root cause, it’s worthwhile delving deep with the help of a hypnotherapist. They will help you look at the beliefs and patterns of why, how, when, and where this people-pleasing pattern started, and to shift your people-pleasing beliefs towards healthy boundaries and relationships.
It’s never too late to live a free life — one on your terms. It’s never too late to regain your self-esteem and live a full and joyful life.