If you are like many people, you probably think a lot about how others perceive you. I know I do this a lot. This is a normal reaction, as most people want to be liked by others. The problem is when you start people pleasing so much that it affects your own mental health, leading to stress and anxiousness. These tips can help you stop being a people pleaser and improve your mental focus.
How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
I think it’s in our heads that we should please others from an early age when we are congratulated for doing a good job and it becomes the norm to get recognition for everything we do. It feels good to please others, doesn’t it? But it is also very stressful when we strive for that in every human interaction of our lives.
Accept That Not Everyone Will Like You
This is probably the best way to stop people pleasing and benefit from it by reducing your overall stress and anxiety levels. If you are a people pleaser, this probably comes from wanting to make other people happy. This is often also related to wanting everyone to like you. It is time to accept the fact that this may never happen, and even if they do, is doing everything for everyone else really the way? Start acknowledging that everyone is different, and it’s okay if someone doesn’t like you. You should not be giving up all your time and sanity just to force something that isn’t there.
Know You Have Choices
You should also start accepting the fact that you do have a choice in what you do or don’t do. If someone asks you to host a party that you really don’t have time for, don’t offer to do it just because it will please other people. You always have a choice, and if something is too much money, too time-consuming, or just requires more energy than you have right now, politely decline the offer. There are nice, polite ways to say no, and this is a skill you may need to learn.
If you find that you just don’t know how to balance everything, then your problem might not be that you just want everyone to like you, but that your people pleasing has turned into a tricky balancing act. It’s okay to want to help others, but you can’t do everything all of the time. If this sounds familiar, then what you want to do is set priorities. Think about what others are asking of you or what you want to volunteer to do, and only choose the things that are top priority. Joining your son or daughter’s school PTA might be a higher priority than attending a weekend function.
Don’t Ignore the Bad Feelings
This is a good way to tell if your people pleasing is causing you stress. Do you find that when you spend time with certain people, you just get a bad feeling? Or that when they call you, you know they’re going to ask for something, and you have that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach? These are negative feelings regarding someone who might ask too much of you. This can be causing you stress, and is a major red flag that you need to cut back on your communications with this individual.