Hi, I’m Supreet and i’m an ex-people pleaser.
I still indulge from time to time, but I always end up resenting myself when I do something that goes against myself. I will say, i’m WAY better than where I was a few years ago and it’s thanks to the truths I share below.
The following truths ground me in my understanding that I don’t need to be a people pleaser and it’s okay to say YES to myself.
1. You don’t owe anyone anything
Seriously. You don’t. A lot of people think they do. They sacrifice and sacrifice until there’s nothing left and then start feeling resentment when they don’t get the same thing back. If you want to do something for someone, that’s one thing, but you don’t owe anyone anything.
2. Other people’s actions are not your problem
People will have their opinions, but it’s not you problem if their opinions are not healthy. Your job isn’t to fix or heal others, your job is to heal yourself. Whenever someone does something I don’t like or is mean (especially strangers) I simply say to myself: It’s not my f’in problem. It feels so good to rid myself of the responsibility!
3. Self-love should always come first
If you don’t feel like doing something or going somewhere, honor yourself, otherwise, you’re going to end up resenting yourself. Doing things you don’t want to do simply for the sake of pleasing others is an insidious trap that ends up with you not liking yourself. It’s okay to not attend everything or volunteering to do everything, instead, just have a “me” day. If someone doesn’t understand, that’s their problem, not yours.
4. It’s okay to say ‘no’
Ah, the big NO. It’s a tough one. Have you practiced just randomly saying no? Repeat after me: “No. No. NOOOO. NOPE. Nah. NOOO. No thanks” It’s a tricky word, but get used to using it. It’s okay to say no. Nothing is wrong with a good ol’ fashion “no”.
5. Take up space and use your voice
Stop hiding. Start taking up space and being present. Use your words. Practice. My little exercise to take up space was saying “on your left” when I was running in a park and these women were taking over the side walk. Guess what happened? They made room for me and I said thank you. It’s not scary and it works. Your words matter. Use them. Ask for what you need. More importantly, stop making yourself small – I wonder why if this is why the patriarchy wants women to be so thin and tiny, so we take up less space. ugh. Use your roar!
6. If someone makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to make them feel uncomfortable right back
Yep. If someone is mean to you or says something off putting, you have the right to question their words. A simple “can you explain what you mean by that?” is beautiful because it makes someone explain their uncalled for words. I love it. I once used this on a guy who wrote “wtf?” to a photo I posted of me and my husband on our wedding day (husband was wearing a traditional Indian outfit with a turban – this clearly made this guy uncomfortable). I private messaged him and said “hey, i’m not sure how to interpret your comment, can you explain please?” He claimed someone hacked into his FB account… right 🙂 well, he deleted it. Bullies find it very uncomfortable to explain their meanness. It could also turn into a heartfelt conversation with someone telling you what’s really wrong.
7. It’s okay to shed toxic people
You owe this to yourself. Stop being friends or begging to be accepted by people who add no value to your life. Yeah, it sucks losing a friend, but it sucks more to lose self-respect. If someone doesn’t know know how to treat you well, they don’t deserve you in their life. The beautiful part of this is you make room for someone new and more soul-aligned in your life. I had a friend who shed a toxic friend and met her husband the week after. Evidence! Sometimes these people come back around after they’ve worked on themselves and are worthy of being your friend.
8. If a situation is making you feel uncomfortable, walk away
I was once told, “girl, you have legs, use them, walk away”. This advice changed my life. I was in a weird situation where I was being verbally abused and I don’t know why I thought someone would step up for me and say something, but nope, I just sat there taking it/ignoring it. It was a weird awkward family situation. Guess what? I was so frustrated after and was down on myself. Why are people so mean? Why didn’t anyone say anything? Resentment towards everyone in the room also spread leading to annoying calls weeks after. Well, guess what, I could have avoided this whole mess by just getting up and saying “okay, i’m out of here” and the message would have been clear and a boundary would have been set. You live and you learn.
9. You don’t need a witty come-back to someone’s attitude, simply saying “well, that’s not very kind” is enough
I always thought I had to have the perfect clap-back to someone being a jerk. I would freeze. Then of course later I would say… aw man, I should have said this, I should have said that… A friend told me, just say “that’s not very nice” or “that’s not very kind”. It’s easy, get the message across and lets the person know they’re being a douche bag. Oh wow, it can be that simple? Yes, yes it can.
10. Other people’s mess is not yours to clean up
Alright people pleasers that want to fix everything and want everyone to get along, I’m here to tell you it’s not your responsibility. Everyone is responsible for their own mess. You can advise, but it’s not yours duty to get stuck in the cross-fire. This has happened to me many times before I woke up. Both parties got upset with me and here I was just trying to fix things. You have my permission to stay out of it and say “they’ll figure it out”. This applies to all things, even parenting. You can be an advisor, but don’t be the fixer.
11. If you struggle helping yourself. pretend you are someone else
It’s so easy to want to help everyone else except yourself. In fact, it’s the perfect distraction for people pleasers. “If I try to fix everyone else, I don’t have to do a check in with myself!” I’m calling you out, friend. If you’re so focused on other people, you’re avoiding big things within yourself. Sometimes what you want to “fix” in someone else is something you want to heal in yourself. Pay attention to what you want to fix in others and do a self check-in.
12. A NO to someone else is a YES to yourself
My favorite saying of all time. This is especially useful for those who have trouble saying “no” to people. Well, how would you feel if you were saying “yes” to yourself? I remember always volunteering and offering help to the point where my weekend wasn’t even being used to relax, it was being used to fill a bunch of obligations. I was exhausted. I remember I had a huge nudge to say yes to myself once that I couldn’t ignore. I had to call a friend up and tell her I was too exhausted to help and she said “no problem, thanks for letting me know.” What?? No all out war? The person didn’t cut me off? Huh? Here’s the truth: People understand. If they don’t, that’s not your problem.
Look, it’s your responsibility to heal the people pleaser part of you, otherwise, you might attract a bunch of takers and wonder why. The day you start saying YES to yourself, the takers, especially the ones who take WAY too much will disappear because they realize they can’t take from you anymore.
Working on your people-pleasing is setting boundaries not only with others, but with yourself.
Start saying YES to yourself and see how not only the people around you change, but how your world changes.
What happened when I healed the people-pleaser inside of me: I had more energy, my health got better, my friends got better, I started seeing more success in my business and I started taking up space and using my voice way more. I also stopped caring what people thought because I realized it wasn’t my problem.
Remember, this people-pleasing habit came from somewhere. You either watched a parent being a people pleaser and adopted it as your own when you were told to be a “good little girl/boy” and “make everyone like you”. I remember being told this very often. I grew up thinking my validation came from other people because I heard all of this growing up. A simple thing like telling your kids to go hug everyone in a room, even if they don’t feel like it, sends them this message.
Hope this was helpful and eye-opening for those who needed to hear it.
Until next time,