You hate saying no but you’re tired of saying yes…

AnnYou’ve tried setting firm limits many times.

But when it comes time to make your case,

you freeze.

Speaking up feels embarrassing, even wrong.

The idea of conflict sends you running for the hills.

People ask you for favors a lot.  You’re good at what you do, and you like to help out, so you agree.

You are overscheduled most of the time with things you are doing for others.

You end up in lots of one-sided relationships.  Even in close relationships, your needs often go unmet.

You tune into your partner’s feelings, dreams, and needs.  It happens so much that you sometimes forget what you want and need.

You feel stuck.  You know you’re agreeing to help out with things you really don’t want to.  Maybe you’re even staying in a relationship that feels like a dead-end.

But you’re afraid to speak up for yourself.  Saying no feels terrible.

Hardest of all is how much people love being around you.  They compliment you on how hard you work, what a good listener you are, how giving and friendly you seem.

It’s so nice to be liked and valued!  But it takes so much work to maintain all that good will.  And you secretly wonder if people would like you if you stopped doing all those nice things for them.

You feel resentful and envious of people who can say no without guilt.  You don’t know how they do it!!  You wish you didn’t care so much about what others think, but you do.

You wish you could say no without guilt

People who struggle with saying no for fear of disapproval or rejection are known as “people-pleasers.”  A people-pleaser (aka a “nice girl” or “nice guy” aka “codependent”) is a person who nearly always puts the needs and feelings of others before her own, often at her own expense.  She has a very hard time saying no.  She feels that must go along with requests, or risk losing support, jobs, relationships, and more.

Still not sure if you’re a people-pleaser?  Here are some common characteristics:

+You feel guilty when you say no

+You fear the disappointment or disapproval of others

+You put the needs of others before your own

+You care more about what others think than what you think

+You work hard to please others

+You hate conflict

+You crave validation from others

If this sounds familiar, please keep reading.

Why peace at any price is too costly

The cost of being a people-pleaser can be very high.  You may be underemployed, stuck in a dead-end job or passed over for promotions because you can’t speak up for yourself.  You may waste years in unfulfilling, dissatisfying relationships where you feel disrespected or taken for granted.

The physical and emotional strain of trying to meet everyone else’s needs can take a toll on the body and mind, resulting in anxiety, stress, feelings of overwhelm, burnout, and even physical health problems.

Research has even shown that people-pleasing personality traits are linked to over-eating.  Study participants ate things they didn’t want and consumed more than they wanted to protect the feelings of the people who made the food.

Think about it:  do you want to spend your whole life “eating” stuff you don’t want?

You can set firm and loving limits.

Gentle boundaries are possible

Imagine what it would be like if you could say no without guilt or fear.

You could ask for that raise with confidence.

You could set limits without fear.

You could quit apologizing for things that aren’t your fault.

You could get the respect and love you want in a relationship.

You could have more time to do stuff you want to do, not stuff you think you have to do.

You could stop caring so much about what others think.

You don’t have to be held hostage by the needs, feelings and opinions of others.  You can preserve your integrity and keep your relationships.

You don’t have to sort this out by yourself

Few of us were taught how to set limits effectively.  And, even if we know how to set limits, we can still struggle to practice this skill without the proper support.

People-pleasing doesn’t have to be a life sentence.  Counseling can help you build your confidence, so you can say no when you need to.

Through counseling, you can understand how and why you learned to please others at your expense.  You can learn to prioritize your own needs, and bring focus to a life that is clouded by the feelings and needs of others.

You can learn to say no without feeling guilty.

Maybe it’s time to try something new

What’s the next step?

1.)     Review the articles listed below to get more information on where people-pleasing comes from and what you can do about it.  These pieces a great way to get started setting limits in your own life.

2.)     If you’re ready to make some lasting changes, email me to book your counseling appointment.

3.)     If you aren’t ready to set up an appointment, that’s ok.  You can call or email me to set up your free, 30 minute consultation.  Please note that I can only work with people in the Austin, Texas area, due to licensing requirements and restrictions.

Hungry for more information on people-pleasing?

False yeses:  the quiet thief

10 painful and hidden costs of people-pleasing

What makes a people pleaser

What people-pleasers are dying to have

10 how-tos for healthy boundaries

5 powerful cures for people-pleasing

You can be firm without being mean

No is not a four letter word