IS BEING A PEOPLE PLEASER CAUSING YOU STRESS & ANXIETY?
A big problem people who are overly stressed out have is the ability to say no to others when necessary. As a therapist and counselor I have had many clients that have come to me because they fall into the “people pleaser” category and are suffering with stress and anxiety because of it. Have you ever stopped to consider whether you are a people pleaser? Perhaps a coworker of yours dumps extra work on you that they are responsible for. Maybe your best friend asks you to babysit her kids when you’ve already made plans yourself. Or maybe at your children’s school you take on more projects and tasks than anyone else on the PTA.
Believe it or not there is no reason why you need to say yes to everyone. On the contrary there are many times that you should turn others down. As a therapist and counselor I ask my clients if they ever find themselves agreeing to do things that they don’t want to do in order to avoid letting others down. If you answer yes to that question then you might fall into the people pleaser category.
Do you think of other people’s needs before your own? Do you worry about what other people think or want? Do you spend a large amount of time doing things for others? Maybe you even feel guilty when you do things for yourself. The amount of pressure that you put on yourself to do so much for others can cause an extreme amount of stress and anxiety.
People pleasers bite their tongue often and hold back from saying what they are really feeling and thinking. They even stop themselves from asking for what they need if they think others will be disappointed or upset at them for it. Unfortunately being a people pleaser can have the negative consequence of attracting others that don’t consider your feelings at all. Being a people pleaser can attract others that are selfish and who just take and take and never give back.
So how can you break the cycle of being a people pleaser? Start saying NO. At first just try practicing saying no out loud to yourself. Practice saying phrases with no in them such as, “no I cannot do that” or “I do not want to go there”. Try saying no to others for simple things first which will help you build your strength to say no to more difficult situations.
Try to take a pause before replying to someone else’s requests. The next time someone asks you for something respond with “I need to think about it first I will get back to you,” or “I need to check my schedule so I will call you back”. Come up with any response that you feel most comfortable with that gives you time before you just automatically say yes.
Another way to break the cycle of people pleasing is to ask someone to help YOU with something. So many others are constantly asking you for favors, now it’s your turn to ask them. This will allow you to start valuing your wants and needs. Find your voice and speak up for what you want. Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Many people pleasers are afraid that people in their life will stop liking them if they stop doing things for others. If someone in your life gives you a hard time or stops liking you because you stop doing what they ask then you’re better off without them. This person if most likely using you and is not a true friend.
Once you start saying no, stop putting others’ needs in front of yours, and asking others for what you need you will see a great change in your stress level. Your time to do things for yourself will free up significantly. If you are constantly doing for others and forgetting about yourself you will burn out. By no means am I saying to never help those you love again, just reduce the amount you are doing and consider your needs too.
ABOUT ESSENCE OF HEALING COUNSELING:
Roberta Alves is a therapist and counselor at the Essence of Healing Counseling with an office located in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. She is a Certified Anxiety Specialist and uses a scientific and evidence based type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is proven to be extremely effective in treating anxiety. Roberta is truly passionate about the work she does and loves serving her clients in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding South Florida areas. If you want to learn the proven techniques to overcome your anxiety, schedule an appointment today.