How to stop people pleasing
Previously we talked about how to identify the reason why you people please (click here for that post). By knowing the reason, you’re bringing to light thoughts you weren’t aware of before. And knowing those thoughts can often allow you to course correct in the moment. This means you can stop people pleasing because you realize you don’t really believe those thoughts anymore.
But sometimes just knowing the reason you people please isn’t enough to stop you from giving into the urge to people please. If this is you, then it helps to ask yourself,
Do I like this reason?
Here is why this question is so important.
Our brain’s evolved to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Which means if left to its own avail, your brain will do whatever it can to remain comfortable (which means taking actions we may not want to take for the sole purpose of not having to feel the discomfort that could come from potential letting someone else down).
So if you don’t really like the reason you’re people pleasing, then it’s time to make a conscious decision to stop people pleasing. Do so knowing that this means you will likely feel uncomfortable the next time you get the itch to people please – but refuse to scratch it.
Think of people pleasing exactly like that – an itch.
Or a mosquito bite really. When you get that mosquito bite, your first instinct is to scratch it to get some relief. And if you do – ahh instant, immediate relief! It even feels good to scratch it. Whew sweet relief.
But it doesn’t last long – because moments after that initial wave of relief, the itching comes back with a a roaring vengeance, usually worse than before. If you scratch again, the same pattern occurs, until you have a bloody mess where the bug bite was.
What I’m asking you to do to stop people pleasing is to not scratch the itch.
I don’t mean grit your teeth and bear through it.
I mean you feel the itch, you acknowledge it’s there, and you just let it itch. Eventually it will tire itself out, and go away. That’s what you can do with the urge to people please, too. You can realize the urge is there, especially now that you’ve uncovered your reason, and then you can allow the urge (aka itch) to be there without scratching it or giving into it or trying to fight it.
You just let the discomfort settle in.
Whatever that uncomfortable emotion is that will be sure to come because you are not people pleasing – you let it pass through. It’s not going to last forever. It may only take a matter of minutes. Time it even – and you will see that the thing you’ve been dreading – that emotion that has led you to people please so you could avoid feeling it – really only lasts for a little while. And you can survive anything, for a little while.
Pretty soon the bug bite will stop itching. And will disappear. And like any scratch that heals, your people pleasing will be a thing of the past.
To go deep on how to apply this to your life, schedule a free mini session with me. Together, we can talk about your current reality as it relates to people pleasing, and strategies for how to stop to create the life you’re wanting.