are you a people pleaser?

one of the things i have the hardest time with is saying NO…i think there’s a people pleaser in me that just can’t stand the idea of anyone being disappointed or let down because of something i did (or didn’t do). it’s something i’ve been hard at work curbing over the past couple of years, and most especially after i got sick.  it’s so important to set boundaries and not drive yourself into the ground. and it’s so easy to feel pulled in a million directions- with family, friends, and work all needing something at all times. but what i learned when i got sick is that i’m no good to anyone if i i’m not taking care of myself. and that’s just a reality i’ve been forced to come to terms with.

i’ve had to learn to let things go, to be ok with disappointing people when their expectations aren’t realistic, to not set expectations for myself that i wouldn’t expect of others. man, it’s tough sometimes. but with practice i’ve found it incredibly liberating. it challenges my beliefs that i have to do things a certain way and gives me the power to make my life the way i choose it. when i’m doing it right, i feel happy and balanced (when the pangs of guilt pass, at least). do you struggle with this too? any advice for that loud-mouthed people pleaser in me? i’m struggling lately and feel all sorts of out of balance.  and saying no has been making me feel like that sweet pup looks. ouch. *photo of my friend matt’s most adorable dog from our trip to austin

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Reader Comments

  1. Jeanne|

    I have the same struggle too. I have a hard time of saying no… and when I do, i feel like I'm being a bitch or something. But you're right, the more you learn how to say no (politely & professionally), the more liberating you feel. xx

  2. Cal|

    I struggle with this as well, and you really hit the nail on the head with the importance of taking care of yourself. I'm learning this more and more – a little time invested in making myself happy (well rested, fed, exercised, whatever it may be) goes a long way in making sure I can more fully help others. That really is the best advice! (But if you come across anything else, do let us know!!)

  3. annie|

    I love the idea that I'm no good to others if I'm not taking care of myself. What a great way to look at it– rather than think that you may be disappointing someone.

  4. tobe | Because It's Awesome|

    goodness, this hits home. i hate to say it, but it's always a bit comforting to see that others struggle with this, too. we all seem so together on the outside…even though we have these inner battles going on inside.

    i've very recently hit rock bottom with this actually. for me, it's soooo much more about the pressure i put on myself. it's so important to honor and protect your limits…otherwise, you're not having fun. and that's ultimately what it's all about, right? ox

  5. Linn|

    Thanks for sharing. Here's another people pleaser… I've been on sick leave for four months now for fatigue depression, one of the reasons behind being this silly struggle to meet with each and everyone's expectations (but honestly, I think we ourselves are the ones making these expectations up – it's really OUR expectations. That's the case for me at least). So, pleasing everyone else but never myself got me sick as well.

    Recently I've been thinking a lot about me always wanting to be nice to people, especially at work, and started to wonder: who is nice to me? I'm lucky to have a great family and amazing friends, and maybe they're the ones I should focus on, not my colleagues…

    Oh. This turned out to be a really long comment, but your post got me thinking :-)