Do you find that you consistently put others before yourself? This week we are going to talk about the pleasers of this world – people who live to meet other people’s expectations.
A pleaser is somebody who is hypersensitive to their environment and the people in it. They’re constantly conscious of the way they are perceived and will avoid anything that could cause them to feel ashamed, embarrassed, upset or judged. From the start of the day, a pleaser is looking for ways to support people and be validated by the fact that they are very good at what they do. This person is driven to always do the right thing according to the world around them.
Let’s go through an example of a day in the life of a pleaser. A female pleaser (Jane) gets up in the morning and makes sure her two children get up on time. She makes their breakfast, lays out their clean clothes and checks their homework. In all likelihood, she’s interacting with her husband the same way to make sure he has everything he needs for a successful day.
Jane makes her way to work where pleasing is a top priority. Since she is conscious of the fact that her boss likes his coffee first thing in the morning, she makes his life easier by bringing him a coffee. She often worries about whether or not her boss is pleased with her performance. If she gets any type of negative feedback she is devastated because her job is to make sure that she supports and pleases other people. Jane comes home from work, makes dinner and then helps the neighbours with their gardening. At the end of the day she falls into bed exhausted and stressed because she has to satisfy so many people.
So how do you identify whether you’re a pleaser or just a nice person? If you’re a pleaser you will say yes when you know that you should be saying no. You may also notice that you continuously help other people achieve their dreams while you remain unsatisfied and unnoticed – you have dreams but for some reason you never get to do anything with them.
If this all sounds very familiar to you, I encourage you to ask yourself the question – ‘Who do I live my life for?’ If you’re answer is: your husband, wife, children, mother or father, then you have to ask yourself another question – ‘What’s in it for me?’
Being kind and helpful is something we should all strive for. It becomes dangerous when your own goals and self-worth are compromised. When you have an opportunity to help, I invite you to start questioning whether you have the time, energy or the ability to do it. If not, it’s ok to say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that because if I do I will have nothing left for me.’ Helping others is a worthwhile endeavor – just be sure to make yourself a priority, too.
Do you have any tips when it comes to saying no? How do you decide if something merits your time and energy?