Saying No: Anatomy of a People Pleaser

I am a people pleaser to a fault. You could be standing on my toes, absolutely crushing them, ask if it was ok, and I’d be all, “Sure. This is fine. Great actually!”  I used to almost wear it as a badge of honor. Look at me! I’m such a martyr!! I put everyone else first and myself absolutely last every single time!!! I do things I don’t even want to do just to make sure other people are happy!!!!

Let me tell you, there is no faster sure fire way to burn yourself out on life that to be this way. You find yourself getting bitter about commitments you’ve made. You find yourself dreading running into certain people because you know they will ask you to do something and you know you will say yes even though your brain is screaming no. You will get so angry and annoyed about doing things that you committed to but have no interest in doing. Bitter, dread, and anger: sounds like a lovely way to live life! I believe it was the esteemed philosopher DJ Khaled who said it best, “Congratulations. You played yourself.”

What changed for me is that I stopped looking at it as letting other people down and started looking at it as being able to fully give myself to the things I truly care about. When you are pulled in 100 different directions doing 100 different things you don’t really care about or enjoy, that leaves little time to dedicate to the things you do love and do well. You do yourself and your true gifts a disservice by trying to please everyone else.

It’s hard and I struggle with it. But I’m gradually shaping my life around the things I love, enjoy, and do well.

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