I have a confession to make, and I must say I’m not very proud of it: I used to be a people-pleaser. Yes, I was a total pushover.
And when I say a people-pleaser, I don’t mean always being there for others and selflessly giving them your help and support. Instead, I’m referring to the point in life when you start caring about what would make others feel pleasant, fulfilled, and happy more than about what would make YOU feel this way.
Thus, all the decisions I made and everything I did was based on what other people expected and wanted from me. Oftentimes, I felt like I was not living my own life but someone else’s.
And the reasons why I behaved this way are different. Sometimes, it was because I wanted to avoid upsetting others, and other times, it was because I was too afraid of being disliked or rejected. That’s why I always agreed with other people’s opinions, plans, and proposals.
And I truly believed that this way I appeared more likable, friendly, and cool. However, what I failed to realize was that by trying to always please others and meet their expectations, while keeping my own feelings, needs, and wishes beneath the surface, I did neither myself nor anyone else any good.
In this way, I just surrounded myself with selfish, inconsiderate, draining, and negative people, who instead of respecting me and being appreciative that I have put their wishes and needs before mine, all they thought about was how to take more advantage of me and my kindness.
Luckily, I did realize that if I did not do anything to change this and get rid of the pressure others put on me with all their constant demands and expectations, I was going to lose myself.
I realized that it was not only useless but also absurd waiting for other people to change their behavior. I realized that I was the only person that had to change and that’s exactly what I did.
If you happen to be a people-pleaser as I once was, know that you’re in the right place.
Here’s how you can stop being a pushover and start living free life:
1. Focus on your internal world.
Become aware of your feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative. Learn to embrace your strong, negative emotions instead of suppressing or dwelling on them.
Become aware of everything that’s going on inside of you and around you. Stop showing interest only in other people’s feelings, opinions, needs, and desires, and start showing interest in your own.
This will help you control your need to please others and also realize when you are not actually being helpful to others.
2. Be authentic.
You need to understand that we are all different and therefore special in our own ways. That’s why we should all live our lives in accordance with our own beliefs, values, and principles.
You should live your life the way you want and think it’s the best for you, not the way other people want you to.
3. Always keep in mind that doing too much for others damages rather than strengthens relationships.
Your relationships, whether romantic or otherwise, will never be healthy, meaningful, and long-lasting unless you take care of your own mental, emotional, and physical well-being and you’re always honest with yourself.
On the other hand, if you put all your energy and time into taking care of and making happy others while neglecting your own feelings, needs, and priorities, you’ll inevitably ruin the balance and health of your relationships.
4. Remember that avoiding problems and pain doesn’t do you any good.
The harder you try to avoid any discomfort, problems, or pain, the more you feel the need to please others. But you need to understand that by always agreeing with other people and meeting their expectations, you just make things worse for you in the long run.
Because people pleasing does not only stop you from living a truly fulfilling, happy, and enjoyable life, but it’s also one of the major triggers of stress and anxiety.
5. Practice self-acceptance.
If you want to live a meaningful, happy, and productive life and always be true to yourself, you have to accept yourself just the way you are.
You have to embrace all your faults, weaknesses, and fears and become more aware of your worth.
6. Start managing your anxiety.
You’ll never be a person of integrity or become your best self if you always act quickly and instinctively and make decisions based on your anxious thoughts and feelings.
The more you allow your anxiety to affect your feelings, decisions, and actions, the more anxiety and stress you experience. To prevent this, you need to learn to control your urge for pleasing others, and always keep in mind that pleasing other people at the expense of your own well- being is just not worth it.
7. Let it go.
We all carry burdens from our past, but if you’re unable to let go of the bad things that happened to you in your past, it is very likely that you are accepting all the bad and hurtful things the toxic and abusive people in your life tell you.
You need to understand that if you continue allowing them to affect you with the things they say about you, you’ll never be able to realize your full potential and live a meaningful, happy life.
So, let go of everything bad and hurtful they say about you and that makes you fear that others will disapprove of or reject you.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.