I use to do lots of things I did not want to do just to be accepted or to please others. Was it fulfilling for me? No…it left me weary and depleted.
This is not to say that right now, in my current state, I don’t love to help others and do things for loved ones. That’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about “peer pressure” things you would not entertain doing if it weren’t for someone putting a bit of pressure on you or making you feel guilty for not joining in.
I would feel terribly guilt ridden if I said no to something. Now….no problem….I just don’t do what I don’t want to do. I still take care of my life priorities and that of my loved ones. But in the grand scheme of things…following the crowd or being a “sheeple” is no longer a habit of mine. I’ve finally liberated myself from the worry about what people will think of me if I don’t partake in something. It just doesn’t matter to me what other people think. You’ve heard the quote “it’s none of my business what other people think of me” . True statement.
Some points to ponder that helped me work through this unhealthy behaviour:
1. Not everyone is going to like you…and that is okay. Get use to it. It takes all kinds of people to make up the world. There are some that you don’t click with and so there are definitely people who don’t click with you either. Stop trying to make people like you. They either do or they don’t and that’s just the way it is. Just love yourself. Being good to yourself will make you a happier person and that alone will attract the people you want in your life.
2. Once you say no to something….stop there. There is no need to make all kinds of excuses or tell little white lies for not doing something. We all feel the need to go on and on about why we can’t make something happen. It’s okay to say no and that’s that.
3. Don’t allow the feeling of being selfish to wash over you after you say no. Just think of how bad you would feel if you said yes to something you did not want to do. That would be a worse feeling then the passing feeling of guilt when you bow out of something.
4. Set your own boundaries. Put yourself and your needs first and you will be a better person for those close to you.
5. Get rid of people in your life who use your “people pleasing” weakness to their advantage. There are people out there like that. We’ve all met them. Watch out for the manipulators.
6. Stop with the feeling of needing to be needed. Your self worth is not based on how much you do for others.
7. Know your values and respect them. That way you won’t get involved in doing things that don’t honor your morals.
8. Compromise. Rather than being an easy pushover at one end of the spectrum or a totally selfish rebel at the other end of the spectrum….Develop good self-care skills and by doing this you will know what is right for you and what is wrong.
9. Sleep on it. When someone asks you to do something and you are not sure do some stalling and give them your answer tomorrow. Just allowing yourself time to mull things over makes it easier to say no. If you say yes immediately after being asked to do something then you are pretty well committed. Taking time to think is a good thing to do.
It’s time to switch the focus from others to yourself. When you stop accommodating others all the time, your life will take on a whole new level of calm.