Are You a People Pleaser?
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically-to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. – Stephen Covey
Setting priorities means setting boundaries. Yes, that same old subject again—boundaries. I want you to be rejuvenated and empowered. So if you don’t think you have a problem with weak boundaries allow me to ask you a few questions.
- Do you ever find yourself resenting your circumstances?
- Do you get angry when you can’t find enough time to meet all of your obligations?
- Do you wish you were doing something else?
- Are you staying late at work frequently? Be honest!
- Do you not have enough hours in the day to complete projects someone else asked you to do?
- Do you have conflicts with authority figures?
- Do you have confrontations with your adult children who still live at home?
I hope these questions get you to consider areas where you may need to address your personal boundaries.
I have experience in this area—big time! I wasn’t abused, nor did I have anyone in my early years that took advantage of me. I am just not strong when it comes to establishing boundaries. I wanted everyone to like me. I’ve had to learn the hard way. When I attempted to be more forward thinking or make changes in my career I struggled greatly. I’m not sure why. Which doesn’t matter now. Recognizing that I had a problem was my first step onto a better path. I faced numerous extremely hurtful events before I stopped and evaluated what was happening in my life. I believe that we are given opportunities to learn lessons in life and when we don’t get it the first time around, we are given another chance, and another, and another until we learn. You may not share that belief, that’s okay. Boundaries are important whatever your beliefs.
Some boundary problems are subtle. We go along doing our activities without thinking we have a difficulty until we have a meltdown. Thanksgiving dinner for example: we’ve worked and worked to make everything perfect. We cleaned. We’ve refused help. After all the people around us should know what needs doing we think. We got up at 3 AM to cook the turkey. People start arriving and we are still in the kitchen, not dressed, made-up or even combed. When the meal is finally over and we receive the compliments it is still not worth it. We are exhausted and angry. We go to the bedroom and cry. What is the matter with me? You wonder. The answer-no boundaries. You think you can do it all. You don’t delegate. You refuse the help that is offered. It’s called people pleasing.
This is just an example of how people pleasing can play out. I’m cured of this one. Luby’s does delicious carry-out for Thanksgiving.
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.’s post “21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser” offers some good ways to avoid this problem. She quotes Susan Newman, Ph.D., a New Jersey-based social psychologist who says, “People don’t want to be seen as lazy, uncaring, selfish or totally egocentric.” Our strong desire to belong may make us sick. It isn’t worth it. I speak from personal experience.
Be a empowered women – respect yourself!
I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.