advice for people pleasers
A few weeks ago, I read a blog by one of my favorite psychologists on people pleasing (something I see a lot in my private practice) and **boom** she struck a major chord. I find that when you’re a sensitive empathetic person, you’re able to pick up on the needs of other people and if you want that other person to like you, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to be what everyone needs.
As a recovering people pleaser, I understand this and it’s more than just being overly nice. It’s when you:
- Make yourself very available
- Do what everyone else wants to do
- Feel bad saying no
- Take responsibility for how other people feel
- Are an over-giver
A big breakthrough I had about people pleasing is that it’s a control mechanism. People pleasers are secret control freaks. You try to control how people feel about you, but really all it does is make you resentful, burdened, and unhappy.
People pleasing can happen when you hang how you feel about yourself on how other people feel about you. I don’t know about you, but I for sure, don’t want my perception of myself to hang in the hands of someone else. It takes away all of my personal power. How I feel about myself is my responsibility. Seeing people pleasing as a control issue really helped me shift it. You assess where you have control and where you don’t.
Two things that help with this:
Ask yourself why? When you make plans or are going to do anything for anyone else, ask yourself why? If it’s to get them to like you or not be upset with you, maybe that’s not a good reason.
Second thing I think about:
What parts of myself am I giving up to fit in or to be friends with this other person? Now there was always compromise when it comes to any kind of relationship, but there can be over compromise where you become less of yourself. I want to hang out with people who want me to be full of myself and not like in an arrogant way, but want to be full of my authenticity. This is how you get people to like you. People like you when you’re being your full self. They like you when you’re authentic.
I don’t like when my sweet, lovely, people pleasing, friends try to appease a situation. I like it when they’re being themselves. My mentor Gabby Bernstein says when you shine, you give other people permission to shine. If you have an opinion or boundary, it inspires me to be able to do the same thing and then you can be friends with other people on a more authentic, grounded level.
I totally get the community is a necessary human instinct part of our lives and that when we feel like we’re not in community it can feel really really uncomfortable. Being authentic is going to attract the right people into your life and that is how you’re going to build a really strong community of support.
When it comes to how to get people to like you the answer is stop people pleasing, figure out your own boundaries, cultivate a full sense of self, and make friends that are attracted to that version of you. This is a big life lesson too. You’re not going to do it all in one day. Start with the why. Why do you do the things you do? See if it’s to control someone’s perception of you and then maybe ask yourself what do you really want to do. What do you want for dinner? What time do you want to hang out? How do you want to spend your time? How do you want to make yourself available? Take some the power back to being full of your truest self.