For those of you who have missed me, here is why…
I don’t know about you, but I am a people pleaser – I do battle with it all the time, because I know it is impossible to please everyone. Yet I still try!
I always want to help everyone, to have people like me, and I do sometimes find it really hard to say no. This has caught up with me more than once, and my body tells me I have to slow down. Which is where I have been lately…
My worst time is usually in February/March/April when things pile up – this year I ended up in the hospital – I have been forced to slow down…
Pleasing other people—who could find fault with that? Isn’t it a good thing to consider the needs of others, to be gracious, to be nice?
By all means! But for many, the desire to please becomes an addictive need to please others, even at the expense of their own health and happiness. It takes a toll on health, relationships and quality of life, and it drowns out the inner voice that may be trying to protect us from overdoing it.
“As a people-pleaser, you feel controlled by your need to please others and addicted to their approval,” writes Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D., in The Disease to Please. “At the same time, you feel out of control over the pressures and demands on your life that these needs have created.”
Take this quiz to see whether you can benefit from learning to say no to others more often—and yes to yourself.
1. I put others’ needs before my own, even when the cost to me and my own happiness is great.
2. If someone needs my help, I can’t say no. In fact, I often find it difficult to say no. And when I do, I feel guilty.
3. To avoid reactions I’m afraid of, I often try to be who others want me to be, to agree with them, to fit in.
4. I keep my own needs and problems to myself; I don’t want to burden others with them.
5. It’s my job to make sure everyone else is happy.
6. I always have a smile on my face and an upbeat attitude, even if I feel sad or angry or hurt.
7. I go out of my way to avoid conflict and confrontation; it’s better just to keep the peace.
8. I am often on the go, rushing to get things done. When I take a moment for myself, I feel selfish, indulgent and guilty.
9. I should always be nice and never hurt others’ feelings.
10. I’ll do whatever it takes to get someone to stop being mad at me.
11. I hold back from saying what I really think or from asking for what I want if I think someone will be upset with me for it.
12. I want everyone to like me…all the time.
13. I feel like a failure if I’ve displeased anyone.
14. If I don’t make others happy, I worry that I’ll be alone and unloved forever.
15. I will change my behavior, at my own expense, to make others happy.
16. I spend a lot of time doing things for others, but almost never ask anyone to do things for me.
17. If I ask people for help and they agree, I’m sure they must be giving out of obligation; if they really wanted to help, they would have offered without my asking.
18. It’s difficult for me to express my feelings when they are different from someone I’m close to.
The motivations for being a people pleaser are varied and usually quite unconscious. Transforming these patterns requires that we understand our pleasing behaviors and motivations, and heal the childhood wounds that usually underlie people pleasing. If you answered True more often than False, you may need support in saying Yes to yourself!
Taking the Passion Test can be your first step in deciding when to say yes to. When I start slipping (that is, when I take the time to listen to my body before I crash), I re-take my own Passion Test – it helps me to determine what is most important to me, and what may have changed, so I can make my choices based on my passions. Remember, your passions do change at different stages of your life – if you have taken The Passion Test, you should retake it at least every 6 months.
Listen to your body, ask yourself what is most important to you, and remember it is OK to say no to some things so that you have the time to say yes to those things that are most important!
Are you ready to take the Passion Test? Contact me and learn more about how this can help!
To Living Life With Purpose, On Purpose
Karen Girard, CCDP, CEIP, CPRW, CCC
Certified Passion Test Facilitator
USING PASSION TO INSPIRE ACTION
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Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications