1. Saying yes when you really mean no
I can hear the thoughts running through your head. You want to say no, you want to decline, you want them to take their request elsewhere but the tension builds within you as you imagine the potential confrontation, the possible loss of affection, the look of disappointment in their eye as you say ‘NO’ and so, you say ‘yes’ and in that moment, a little part of you dies again.
Once again, you put your own needs last and you like yourself a little less.
You feel like a doormat, not a leader!
2. You hide behind a mask
No one knows the real you. No one can see. You hide because you think that no one ever wants to see. All your life, you have had to be someone you are not in order to be accepted or so you have told yourself. Once upon a time, someone, somewhere made you feel terrible for doing something normal and you took that to mean that you had to hide, you had to show only our best side all the time. Except that best side changes dependent on who you are talking to. You are a bit like a chameleon as you change personality to suit the person in fornt of you.
You do not feel loved because you know that no one knows you. This person they see is not really you. It is just a facade and some days it gets tiring to keep it up but you keep going… Because you have forgotten that there can be another way.
3. You only feel loved when people compliment you
And even when they compliment you, there is a never ending pit where the love disappears to, because you keep having to jump through hoops to get more and more approval. It is a never-ending pit and it will paralyse you when faced with many people all wanting something from you at the same time. Who do you choose to please first? How do you decide?
This is no way to live. You forget your own purpose as you try to fulfill the purposes of another.
4. You no longer know what you want
What if I asked you what you wanted? Would you start to tell me about the goals of your partner, your children, your boss? Would you even know what you want?
When last did you stop to think about it? Do you have the time to do it? With running around after the agendas of many, many people, when do you have time to figure out your own?
5. You apologize for everything
It is almost as though you think that being alive was a mistake on your part. You say sorry all the time, for everything. You want to keep the peace at any cost even if it means demeaning yourself. Anything to make people be happy with you.
6. You think people SHOULD treat you nicely in return
Because you put on this show, which you may not even be aware of, you think that it gives you the right to expect special treatment when you want it. You hope that you can control things by being so nice that everyone has ot be nice back.
And then you get resentful when the favour is not returned which at times, healthier people than you, may say no to you. And you do not like that. In your brain goes thoughts of “After everything I have done for you?!” but of course, you are too nice to say that!
7. You suppress your anger
And so you suppress your anger and resentment. This can end up as illness in your body because you are suppressing so much. You do not think you have a right to express your annoyance because it will offend someone else and you will lose their approval. So, you hold back on dealing with your negative emotions and in fact, try to pretend they do not exist.
It is only a matter of time before eruption or worse, you will never know the peace of being your real self, warts and all.
8. You often feel trapped, anxious, and easily upset.
You feel worried that people will think you a fraud and so there is always an air of anxiety around you. You have created a mask for yourself and now there seems to be no escape without losing love from the people around you and so you stay stuck in place.
9. You fear letting others down
You will go out of your way to make sure that you do not let them down, even to the detriment of your own health and your own goals. You literally feel fear around letting people down and so you do whatever it takes to prevent that. Your feeling of self-worth is too tied to what people think of you.
10. Your family feels the brunt of it
You may be that volunteer in your local church who is there for every single meeting and your children are dragged along or they hardly ever see you as you try to be noticed applauded by people outside your home. Your marriage may suffer because again, you are unable to hold back on putting other people before the needs of your partner. And the unfortunate thing is that you think it is the right thing to do. You latch onto theology that tells you that to obey God and get the reward demands that you do these things.
Of course it may be in other situations as well. You work longer hours to please the boss. You volunteer with an organisation and do work with them to the detriment of your family’s needs and you just cannot seem to say ‘no’. In fact, you don’t think you SHOULD say no.
11. More ‘shoulds’ than ‘want to’s
Your language contains a lot more should, ought tos, musts, have tos, than I choose to, I want to. Kep an ear out for it as you go through your day today. How many times do you use the more rigid, inflexible ways of talking?
12. You always have someone to save
Do you find yourself attracting people that need your help all the time? And mabe it gives you a nice sense of being needed. You think it is your role to be saviour of the world but really, it is just keeping you from your own calling and it is a form of dependency and of course, people pleasing.
The problem, of course, is that it feels right. You get a nice warm glow and you think it is right that you do this. Really though, is it?
13. You & Time Are Not Good Friends
So busy running errands after everyone else. It is hard to stay on your own agenda and you feel harried and out of time all the time. OK, so I am not known for my time keeping but in your case, it is because you are always doing something for someone else and you have said ‘yes’ to too many things.
14. Relaxation feels alien to you
When last did you take a chill pill without feeling guilty about it? When last did you just stop and refuse to help that next person out? When last did you just take time for you? Again, most of these things will feel like this is exactly the right thing to do but if you are honest with yourself, there is an element of resentment running beneath the surface because you are doing it for the approval and the accolades and that is not always forthcoming.
15. Your mood is dependent on what someone said.
You feel high when you get the praise though it does not last long and you feel low when the praise is withdrawn or someone criticizes you.
Would it not be great to be even minded whatever the external circumstances? It can happen, you know.
16. You always try to keep the peace
You avoid confrontations. You want everyone to be happy and so you deny your own emotions for the sake of peace. Can be good but people walk over you because they know that you will always back down!
17. You try TOO hard to be nice
Of course, you want to be nice enough but when your whole focus is on being nice so that no one gets upset, then it may be going too far. You have no control over the reactions of other people but you try to control it with your pleasantness. And it does not always work out the way you want it, though.
18. You feel guilty a whole lot of the time
There always seems to be something to feel guilty about and it gets tiresome but at the same time, you cannot seem to shake it. It always seems to be your fault. If you are a parent, then it is guilt around how bad a parent you are. Or maybe a bad spouse because you made a mistake or two. Ultimately, the guilt is a constant shadow, there is always something you did not quite do well.
19. You find it hard to be you
Who are you? Do you even remember? When you stop to think about it, you feel lost in the life you have created. And honey, you did create it. And you can choose a different path as well.
This keeps you stuck dead. Nothing seems right. Nothing seems good enough and so you keep perfecting and perfecting it and that is no way to live a life. You know that you are called to more than remaining stuck waiting for everything to be perfect and yet, you find it hard to move forward. So worried about what people will think, what people will say and so you stay trapped in a prison of your own making.
The chances are, you are reading this because deep inside you are ready to escape this prison you have created for yourself. Because you KNOW that there is more to you than this. You KNOW that you will regret these years of being stuck in place and there will be no one to blame though yes, you will feel tempted.
The truth is that I went through this. I did a lot of the work in bringing up my brither and I expected them to reward me with love and affection and this cloured my relationship with them. It was all a part of the people pleasing tendencies within me. I had wanted to please them, to please my parents, my extended family and it always felt like nothing I did was enough.
I had to learn to break free and become my own person and so do you…
If you catch a glimpse of yourself in here then what can you do differently? Tell me in the comments and if you are serious about getting past this then, right now, you can start a 28 day challenge called the ‘People-Please No More’ Program – It will show you how to stop people pleasing and start living an exceptionally successful life doing what you love’ and I would love for you to join me. It is completely home-study so you can do it in your own time
Find out more here – RosemaryNonnyKnight.com/peoplepleasenomore
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