Hi. My name is Paulette Parker and I’m a people pleaser.
If someone asks me to do something – friends, family, colleagues, bosses – I am almost incapable of saying “no.”
Low on cash? If I have it, it’s yours.
Wanna hang out? Let’s go! – Even though I’m exhausted and broke.
Need me to pick up that shift? Why of course, I’ll cancel the plans I had that day.
If there is a reasonable way for me to accommodate someone’s request I’m going to do it. Even to my own detriment.
I don’t know exactly when this habit started. I have a sinking suspicion it originates from my childhood desire to live up to my mom’s expectations.
My anxiety also probably has a lot to do with it. While in theory telling someone “no” should be simple, my mind creates scenarios where the receiver of my refusal will hold it against me forever.
Yes…I am a people pleaser.
I always vow to stop. Tell myself I’m going to start saying no when something isn’t in my best interest. I complain about being worn out from trying to be everything to everyone. So, I decide I’m going to change it. It’s easy…right?
Let’s practice: “No.” “No.” “No.” “No.”
Then I get another request that doesn’t fully serve me, and my mind says no but “yes” comes out my mouth. (Facepalm)
But I’ve realized it’s not something I can continue doing.
I’m approaching the ripe old age of 31 and I don’t have nearly as much time or energy as I used to. As I’m getting older, it’s becoming more and more important to me to protect my energy. And to surround myself with people who reciprocate my effort and pour back into me.
I’m learning you can’t spend your life being a people pleaser. Because many of those same people you work so hard to please are nowhere to be found when you need them. Those are not your people. That is not what you need.
If you’ve heard “yes” from me in the past…you may start hearing it a lot less. Hopefully.
How do you manage to tell people “no?”