3 Practices to Stop People Pleasing
Why do we people please? Many reasons. For me, it was what was modeled for me by my mom and by society. Women were taught that we were here to be nice and to not rock the boat. As a little girl, it was clear that being cooperative was better than being confrontational. My cooperation was valued above my honesty. I was encouraged to go along with what others wanted at the expense of what I wanted. I was taught from an early age to quiet my inner voice.
This serves a patriarchal society. It is a wonderful way to keep the system in tact and functioning. It is also a wonderful way to raise resentful and insecure women. Women who feel unheard. Women who feel like their voice doesn’t matter. Women who feel that there’s something inherently wrong with their inner voice that wants more. Who are you to speak up? Be a good girl. Oh geez.
This programming leads to a disconnected relationship with self and others. I didn’t trust myself. When my inner warrior spoke up I was hesitant to listen. Further, when in relationship, I was taught to go along to get along. Women are expected to be the helpers, the nurturers, the ones who care for others. The problem is, we are human. We need connection too. Our inner warriors crave connection and understanding.
When you’re in a relationship with others and you’re not being yourself, when you’re not saying how you truly feel, when you’re not being open and honest, you end up feeling very very alone. Emotionally misunderstood. Like no one gets you. Like no one is looking out for you.
Truth is they’re not. You feel disconnected because you’re disconnected. You feel misunderstood because you’re misunderstood. People can’t connect with a fake version of you. People can’t understand a half-honest version of yourself. Many of us reach midlife and realize we can’t do this alone or don’t want to anymore.
People Pleasing is People Deceiving
People pleasing is people deceiving. When we are saying yes when we mean no it’s a lie. Our reason for saying yes instead of no is the backbone for patriarchy: we say yes to “please”, to be good, to not rock the boat. Enough. It is a false fix that leads us to disconnected relationships and exhausting despair.
Listen in to learn:
In this week’s episode I give specifics on 3 practices to stop people pleasing. Specifically we speak of:
- Specific steps on how to begin to speak up,
- Practices to shift out of people deceiving into more connected relationships;
- The brain’s motivational triad
- How to move from surviving to thriving
- How to stop believing every dumb thought your brain thinks
Above all else, remember if your brain is freaking out or coming up with excuses as to why you shouldn’t practice these three things, that is not evidence you need to stop.
Rather its’ evidence that you’ve been programmed like the rest of us. That you’re a human raised in a patriarchal society. This is why I do what I do. So you’re not alone. Lean on the Warrior Women Facebook Group. If you’re in my monthly membership, comment in that private space so I can support you. Choosing to think and act differently will feel different. Different doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. What I’m here to remind you of is you don’t need to do it alone.
Three Practices to Stop People Pleasing
1. START WITH THE WAITOR
2. STOP THE AUTO YES
Practice pausing 24-hours before committing yourself by saying things like this:
- “Thank you, I’ll check my calendar.”
- “I will get back to you. I have implemented a 24- hour decision-making policy.”
- “I will get back to you on that. Thank you for thinking of me.”
- “I’ll let you know tomorrow”
3. SAY NO
Begin to practice saying no! If you don’t need 24-hours to determine you’re a no, there’s no need to wait. Practice saying no to stop people pleasing now. Here are some ways to say no:
- “I’m not able to make it but I hope you have fun”
- “No, My plate is currently full.”
- “Unfortunately I can’t make that happen right now
- “I appreciate you thinking about me but I have to graciously decline”
- “That doesn’t align with my vision right now but thanks for thinking of me.”
- “My schedule is full and so I’m a no.”
- “That doesn’t work for me right now but I appreciate you asking.”
- “______is really not my thing so I’m a no.” (Bachelor parties, baby showers, book clubs, weekend coffee dates, etc)
- “I am working on keeping more white space on my calendar so no.”
The trick is to say no without a huge apology or justification. They don’t need to understand why you’re saying no and they certainly don’t need to agree with your reasons for saying no. I have found the shorter the better. Here are some short responses to practice:
- That doesn’t work for me.
- I’m unavailable.
- I have other plans.
- No, I’d rather not.
- I am committed on that date.
The first several times you try this, it will feel uncomfortable. There will be people who are used to you being the “yes woman” may push back. If they’re true friends, they will understand, even if they also feel disappointment. That’s okay. Those who are operating from their insecurities and their own people pleasing may push back. That’s also okay. I let others have their opinions about me. I let others think what they want to about me. That sets me free to think what I want about myself.
When I am speaking my truth, saying no when I mean no and yes when I mean yes, I hold myself in greater regard. I trust myself. I like who I am.
Your BS leads to the land of BS
If I say yes in order to avoid conflict or because I want others to think I’m nice, I end up bitter and sour. My BS leads to the land of BS (bitter and sour). I end up feeling used and abused. What’s worse? I create relationships based on false beliefs of who I am and what I want. It fosters disconnect in a relationship.
There’s no shame here – this is the society we were raised in. The message that we need to be good girls over honest girls is one that has been repeated for generations yet is one we now have the opportunity to break.
Every single time you take a 24-hour break from the auto-yes, say no when you mean no, or speak up whether to the waiter or to your mother, you are helping to reverse patriarchal patterns. You can make a difference.
That said, this is a pattern we’ve been repeating for years and years and if you did the exercise last week of evaluating your relationships and find yourself to be boundary-less and over functioning, get. a. coach. When you start acting differently in relationships, those who have been in long standing relationships with you will notice. They will most likely push back.
Having a coach to help you problem solve and come up with the language to reinforce your new boundaries makes all the difference. Reach out to me to see if I have room for a one-on-one or in the monthly membership here.
You matter to me.