Do you constantly say "yes" even when you want to say "no", just to make others happy? You end up exhausted from people-pleasing, trying to ease that inner voice saying you're being rude or selfish if you don't help. 😩
The guilt and worry about letting someone down makes it hard to set boundaries. You feel trapped in this cycle of putting others first to feel like a good person. 😞
But you don't have to keep up this people-pleasing chase! You CAN learn to say no while still being kind.
I've created a three-step process to understanding why we fall into this habit + easy tips to start honoring YOUR needs.
Understand why: The reason you people-please is probably to avoid feeling guilt. When you are saying "yes" when the truth is "no", it just indicates that you believe that you are in charge of how someone else feels and that you need them to feel something different so you can feel something different. [Let's be honest. If you could make them feel happy, loved, grateful, you would have done it by now.] It doesn't work because it's impossible to make someone else feel. It's got to be something they choose to feel.
Watch for this: When you stop people-pleasing, you will be left alone with the true guilt-instigator...your brain. It will be relentlessly whispering that "you should say yes", that "if you were a good mom or a good person you would do that" , that "you are unkind or uncaring if you don't..." It will be a hostile place to be if you don't stick up for yourself here. Protect your tender heart from self-assault. You don't deserve that kind of talk from anyone.
Put your effort here: Change from doing things to get someone else to feel good, or keep them from feeling bad.....to doing things because this is who you can feel proud of. People don't have to love you and people don't have to respect you BUT YOU DO NEED TO HAVE THE LOVE AND RESPECT FROM THE PERSON YOU LOOK AT IN THE MIRROR. Do what would make her feel proud, loved, whole (instead of waiting for someone else to do that for you. That is your, sacred work and agency, Friend.)
I am helping a client right now, who is afraid she has been enabling her grown daughter. This mom has been terrified to allow natural consequences, but when she tries to rescue her she is yelled at, ignored, rejected despite all of her efforts. She recognizes that it is time to stop tolerating some behavior and start stepping back instead of rescuing...but it is HARD and SCARY.
We are addressing each of the steps above, one by one, so she can tell the difference between things she can control and things she can't so she is only carrying a load that is hers. It doubles her bandwidth!
We're helping her not abandon herself to self-criticism and blame when her child makes decisions she can't control.
We are focusing on using her agency to become a person SHE loves deeply, someone SHE is proud of. One who considers her and her daughter while she takes loving action for BOTH of them.
If this is work you need in a struggling relationship too, you are normal. You are not broken or weak. You have been doing your very best.
But If you know it is time to do something else
I can help you too.
You just need a safe place to do that work
I've got both.
Click the link below to talk about
1. What you have tried
2. Get a specific list of things you CAN do
3. Get freedom from people-pleasing