“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10”
I used to be a professional people pleaser. And believe me, it sucked.
And for so many years, I tried to quit the people-pleasing industry and find myself again. But I always ended up failing miserably.
Since there aren’t that many helpful how-to guides out there that teaches one to stop people-pleasing–except tons of self-help gurus that constantly shove the “don’t care about what others think of you” talk down our throats–there wasn’t really any way I could break off my people-pleasing trait.
And for so many years of listening to the same self-help talks over and over again and falling short. I decided that enough was enough.
I quit listening to the gurus and decided to embark on my own self-awareness journey.
It was definitely one of the most painful seasons of my life because it required me to let go of my pride.
But after I finally came out of that season, I became a whole new person.
Now, I can finally now say that I’m close to becoming a retired people-pleaser. Because humbling myself and choosing to work on those internal issues did eventually benefit me. Hence why I’m here to share some tips that I picked up along the way in hopes that it will help you shed off your people-pleasing skin.
Are you a people pleaser? Here are 5 Major Signs To Help You Tell
- You tend to always apologize even when you’re not at fault: Are you always saying sorry for issues you’re probably not responsible for? Chances are, you might just be a people pleaser.
- You aren’t your authentic self: Do you usually put on a mask as a result of not feeling good enough? If so, you might just be a people pleaser.
- You always try to fix people: When you see someone in need of help, do you always feel the need to step in? Even when you’re not called to take action? That’s definitely one way to be a people pleaser.
- You try to avoid conflict and arguments with people: People pleasures don’t like conflict because they usually worry about others judging them. So if you find yourself always avoiding conflict, you might just be a people pleaser.
- You seek praise and approval from people: Because people-pleasers are always seeking validation, they tend to never be their authentic selves. So if that sounds relatable, then you’re definitely a people pleaser.
How To Stop People-Pleasing
1.) Address the root cause:
Do you know why this is the first tip on the list? Because it is the reason why you have this character. Apparently, if you don’t tackle the issues within, you’re more likely to struggle with this behaviour in the long run. Hence why I need you to sit down and do a life-time check. And by that, I mean taking a trip back to memory lane and figuring out when this character started to develop.
Perhaps you grew up in a family where your parents expected you to be good in order to get love and attention? or maybe you just happen to be part of a religion that constantly enforces being an extremely good person? Or maybe it’s fear. Maybe you’re so afraid of conflict and offending people that you choose to always please everyone?
Regardless of what the root cause is, the most important thing is that you address it and see it from a new perspective. Often times, the root cause is a wound that has been left unhealed and infected. Addressing that wound would bring about restoration and freedom from this trait.Addressing your root cause requires forgiveness and a change in perspective. Click To Tweet
I know for me personally, my people-pleasing came as a result of my parent’s poor parenting skills while growing up. As a kid, I was always required to come home with good grades in order to receive love and attention. And each time I failed, I would be considered as not being good enough or worthy enough. Hence, where this people-pleasing trait came from.
And for years, I had no idea this was the root of my people-pleasing problems. I always assumed it came from previous rejections in dating, that I completely ruled out the possibility of it stemming from childhood. Thankfully, after going through a deep self-awareness journey, I started to gain an understanding of my childhood wounds which revealed this issue.
So you see why finding the root cause is important?
Because when I did, I had to forgive my parents by understanding they meant well for me, even though their actions seemed otherwise. And that, in turn, helped me shed off that people-pleasing skin.
So if you’re in a similar situation, I recommend you do the same.People-pleasing is actually more of a self-centred trait than it is you being selfless. Click To Tweet
2.) Stop making rash decisions
If you’re a yes person and you find it difficult to say NO, then I advise you to stop making rash decisions. Instead of giving a direct yes or no answer, try giving a more indirect answer like “I’ll think about it and get back to you”. That will help you make better decisions since the pressure of being a people pleaser would be taken off of you.
3.) Get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions that come with conflict
I’m going to be very honest with you, I used to hate getting into conflict with people. Each time I could smell an argument coming, I would immediately proceed to apologize or take responsibility even when the situation had nothing to do with me. Out of that fear of offending people, I would try to shy away from conflict. Because I was always worried about feeling vulnerable.
Thankfully, as I mentioned earlier, I had to shed off that people pleaser skin. Which meant, dealing with the uncomfortable emotions that come with conflict.
So if you just happen to relate in that aspect, I advise you to start getting comfortable with uncomfortable emotions. Understand that conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, conflict helps us see people’s true colours and allows us to be more aware of the relationships in our life that are genuine.
With that being said, if you shy away from conflict, you might just continue to entertain individuals who are toxic to you. Which, in turn, will destroy you emotionally. And that’s not what you want.. right?
4.) Set boundaries
Okay, this tip is actually very important. You need to start setting boundaries and having your values in place. In addition, let those closest to you be very aware of these boundaries, so they know not to cross it. That way you won’t always be in a position to please everyone.
I really hope these tips help you guys to break off that people pleaser habit so that you can become more confident without worrying about people’s opinions.
5.) Know Your Identity
Your Identity matters a lot because when you know who God has created you to be, you won’t have to constantly rely on people’s opinions of you. Know that being a Child of God alone is an identity you need to constantly walk in. And that should take off the need to constantly people please away from you.
If you’re still struggling with your identity, it is important that you seek God for a revelation of who He has called you to be. Develop strong intimacy with Him, that way, you won’t constantly need to rely on people to tell you who to be.
The Lord loves you and wants you to come into intimacy with Him so that He can show you your Identity in Him. If you constantly go to others for your identity, you would always keep going back to them for validation which would make it so difficult for you to break off that people pleasing trait.
I hope this post blesses you and you break off this trait..