Stop “People Pleasing” – Build Better Relationships

June 9, 2019

People pleasers don’t always please others—and seldom please themselves.

The “Reluctant Pleaser”

People lean on you—even if you’d rather they not.

If you feel you’re always being expected to “be there” for others and people seem to be taking advantage of your kindness, the most important word in your vocabulary needs to become, “No.” While it’s nice to be of service, no one should feel that they are at the “beck and call” of others when they need someone to do them a favor.

Remind yourself that healthy relationships involve mutuality—if you’re always the one who “goes along to get along,” but never gets to make decisions in a relationship, that’s a one-sided relationship. Moreover, once a relationship’s pattern has been etched into place, it can be difficult to revise it down the road.

If you feel you’re getting the short end of the relationship, speak up for yourself. Be ready to share a few examples of the times when you feel you’ve been shortchanged. Also, be ready to offer ideas of how you’d like things to be going forward. Don’t complain if you can’t suggest a solution to the problem.

Recognize that your time is every bit as valuable as another’s and be as considerate to yourself and your own commitments as you are to those of others. Take stock of how you spend your time. If you see that you are not getting the things you need accomplished or it feels like you are always putting your preferences second, due to pleasing others, create clear boundaries for yourself and honor them.

Prioritize your time and make sure that you take care of your own needs before meeting the needs of others. If you don’t keep your own well of well-being filled, you’ll have nothing to offer to others.

If you’re trying to please others to gain their approval, tell yourself that the only person whose approval really matters is your own. Jumping through hoops to win the friendship of someone doesn’t result in a healthy relationship. We may be grateful if someone does us a favor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to like that person as a friend. We also may not even particularly respect that person, either.

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Friendships are built on mutual “give and take” experiences over time. If you’re the one who’s always giving, but never receiving, it may be time to “re-balance the relationship.”

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