Say NO to People-Pleasing!
Do you find yourself continually seeking validation and approval? Do you often struggle to express your feelings when they don’t mimic the feelings of others? Do you avoid getting angry even when you have a legitimate reason to do so? Is it challenging to honor your own needs and wants? If you are saying yes, you need to learn to say NO…to people-pleasing!
People-pleasing is an unhealthy behavioral pattern that stems from fear, and can potentially birth anxiety and other emotional disturbances. The persistent longing to fit-in, to be the way someone wants you to be, the absence of self-expression, and the self-infliction of guilt about taking the lead in your own life are all dangerous behaviors that lay the foundation for other mental health concerns.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started on your journey to ending people-pleasing behaviors:
- Identify and address the source of your desire to please. Ask yourself these questions: What scares me about being in charge of my own life? Who do I exercise my people-pleasing behaviors with and why? What type of reaction do I anticipate that frightens me when it comes time to affirming myself (rejection, anger, judgment)? Lastly, what feelings do these type of reactions evoke in me? These factors may unconsciously be the triggers that stimulate your people-pleasing behaviors. Explore.
- Assert yourself. Feel and express your emotions, thoughts and views; even if that means someone doesn’t agree with them. Saying yes when you really mean no, is voluntarily opening the door for internal and external conflict. Be firm, straightforward, and truthful. Assertion does not mean that you are discrediting anyone or their views, instead you’re crediting and standing up for your own.
- Set limits and boundaries. Boundaries are established by emphasizing your standards and letting your expectations be known. Identify behaviors that are not acceptable from yourself or others. For example: “When my partner calls me bad names, I will voice my feelings and hold him/her accountable.” OR “Fear will no longer be the basis for which I ignore my partner’s hurtful actions.” Exercise the freedom to be yourself, and practice healthy/confident communication styles. Remember, we teach others our expectations of treatment by how we treat ourselves.
For more information regarding help with assertive communication sign-up to speak with an Elttila Counselor.