If you have ever been, or are currently a people pleaser, then you know how hard it is to permanently break the habit of putting others before yourself.
As much stress and anxiety pleasing others cause you, it can get worse when you choose to stop – at least initially. This is because of the guilt and shame that come into play when you start saying “no.”
Deciding to stop people-pleasing is an essential step towards your freedom. You should know that three important things happen when you stop people-pleasing.
1. Discover Who Your Friends Are
Unfortunately, there will always be people who only want to hang out with you for what you can do for them. You cannot change these people as much as you wish. When you stop trying to please them and begin saying “no” sometimes, you may find that they suddenly do not have time for you.
2. Make Time For Yourself
When you stop giving your time and attention to everyone else, you tend to have more time for yourself. This means that your needs are met, and you may also have time to spend on essential things. Remember that you may feel guilty about having time for yourself, at least in the beginning. Eventually, you will get used to it, though.
3. You Gain Confidence
The common trait most people-pleasers possess is low self-esteem. This is why you may prioritise the needs of others over yourself. When you stop people-pleasing, you begin to feel more confident in your actions. The more you say “no,” the more sure of yourself you become.
You must understand that you are not responsible for other people’s thoughts or happiness. When you realise all of the stress and anxiety you feel because you are constantly doing for others is not worth it, you will be able to move past your people-pleasing behaviour.
At the end of the day, while some of the outcomes of stopping your people-pleasing habits may be unpleasant, keep in mind that, eventually, you will feel better. The unpleasant feelings will pass at some point, leaving you feeling a sense of pride and peace that you may not have otherwise felt.
This usually occurs when you realise your needs are just as important as others.