Find out why you people please
At first, people pleasing doesn’t seem like that bad of a problem. I mean really, all you’re doing is thinking about what others’ need, and doing whatever you can to make it happen. What could be wrong with that?
Well, nothing, until it ends up tearing you down in the process. Which is what I find happens when we people please. We become so focused on what others will think of us and how to make them happy, that we compromise our own well being in the process.
So why do you people please, anyways?
First let’s make sure we are on the same page about what it is. People pleasing is an action that we do to because of some reason or objective we think it will achieve. Some examples:
- It’s when you say yes to something (action) because you think others want you to, and it will make them pleased with you (reason).
- It’s when you stay late (action) so that your boss will see you as someone with a strong work ethic (reason).
- It’s when you outwardly agree with the decision the team has come to (action), even though you really think it’s the wrong one, but you want to show you’re a team player (or don’t want to ruffle any feathers) (reason).
To understand why you people please, you first need to know why you did that action.
So ask yourself, what is that reason?
Not the one you like tell yourself. But the real reason underneath it.
Because You can’t stop people pleasing if you don’t know why you’re doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself so that you can pinpoint the actual reason:
- How was I feeling right before I people pleased – and what thought led me to feel that way?
- What am I afraid will happen if I stop people-pleasing? Why is that such a problem?
- What feeling am I trying to avoid by people pleasing?
- What am I trying to get by people pleasing?
- What benefit do I think people pleasing gets me?
Those questions will help you get to the root of your people pleasing tendencies.
Knowing the reason behind it can sometimes be enough to stop the people pleasing. Because bringing to light the thoughts underneath your people pleasing can help you course correct in the moment by realizing that you don’t really believe those thoughts anymore.