Being a people-pleaser is soul draining. Most people will walk all over you.
People-pleasing often arises from negative childhood experiences. For example, having a parent who was constantly disapproving of you. You would adjust your behavior to avoid the disapproval.
But, the good news is that you can overcome this mentality by cultivating self awareness. Here are ten ways to free yourself from the people-pleaser mentality.
1. Make the Unconscious → Conscious
Carl Jung said, ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate’.
In order to stop negative thought patterns, you must first become aware that the thought pattern actually exists. You can do this by imagining stepping outside yourself. And observe your thoughts objectively, from a third person’s perspective, not as you’d typically interpret your thoughts. This is known as “metacognition.”
Every time you feel obligated to please others, use this technique to become aware of the thoughts in your mind. Once you are aware, you can re-think and adjust how you are about to respond, rather than living in auto mode.
2. Mind Your Body
As with the thoughts, extend mindfulness to your body. Note how you are feeling right this moment: your posture, your breathing, your mannerisms.
Your body posture affects your mind. If you’re conveying meek body language, you’re likely to respond in a meek and people-pleasing way. Consciously change to a more authoritative posture. If you’re slouching, straighten up. You’re probably breathing shallow right now—take a long deep breath and fill your lungs, then exhale, and hold yourself with confidence.
Consciously changing your body language will not only strengthen your responses to other people, but also your responses to your own negative thought patterns.
3. Use Affirmations
Affirmations are a great for reprogramming your mind. If you’re at home, try to actually say them out loud. This is more powerful than just saying them in your mind.
You can write your own if you’re having trouble finding some online. Here’s some inspiration:
- This is my life; I don’t need approval from others.
- She/He will get over it. If he/she truly cares, then they will understand.
- It’s not important what others believe about me. It is only important what I believe about myself.
- My happiness is not dependent on other people and it’s not up to me to make others happy.
4. Value Your Time
If people think you’re always available, they’ll start taking you for granted. Begin to value your time. Get into the habit of telling people you are busy rather than carve time out of your own. Start to make yourself a priority over others—this is a season where you need to be selfish to establish better boundaries.
5. Stop Seeking Approval
Become aware of your need to seek approval from others. When you seek approval from someone, you are essentially giving them the power to give or take away value in your life. Nobody should hold this much power but you. You don’t need external validation.
6. Don’t be Afraid of Criticism
Aristotle said, “There’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
No matter what you do, there will always be critical people. The other option is to live a life completely sheltered, or live the lives of everyone else.
You are free to listen to criticism; some of it will be helpful. Accept the helpful and reject the rest.
7. Say NO, Unapologetically
Learn to say “No,” and be blunt about it. Stop explaining yourself, being hesitant, or apologizing while saying “No.” In fact, the word “NO” is a complete sentence. Embrace that.
Never say things like, “I will think about it” or “I will get back to you on that.” Because, c’mon, let’s be real—you don’t want to. These phrases only encourage people to keep pestering you.
8. Eliminate the Toxic
Sometimes there’s no other option but to burn bridges. Become aware of the people in your life who drain you and make a resolution to slowly cut these people out of your life.
Toxic people who constantly take advantage of you are only ingraining your people-pleasing habit. Believe that you deserve to be around better people and consciously look out for them.
9. Visualize Transformation
Neuroscientist Joe Dispenza says, “You can mold and shape your brain by visualizing an idea.”
Visualize yourself as a transformed individual—feeling positive, standing tall, and exuding confidence.
You value your time and say no to things that do not serve you.
You are surrounded by people who value and respect you.
Hold these positive images in your mind’s eye for as long as possible. Do this daily to bring massive changes to your brain and body.
Regular meditation transforms the way your mind works. Even simple practices like focusing on your breath will help with overall awareness. And self awareness is crucial for changing behavioral patterns.
Finally, let me leave you with a quote by Dr. Suess, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
This is a guest article from: Mukesh M – Consciousreset.com