Careers

Renegotiating Self-Worth: How to Stop People Pleasing and Start Saying Yes Authentically


Based in Southeast London, Natalie Lue is an author who specializes in writing about self-worth, boundaries, unhealthy relationships and other topics related to emotional baggage. She joined Negotiate Anything to talk about people-pleasing and share her advice for setting better boundaries in relationships.


How to Recognize People-Pleasing

Before we can effectively manage our people-pleasing habits, we must know how to recognize them.

“Some people are aware of the term people-pleasing and they have a suspicion that they may be doing it, but they don’t really know what it means in actuality,” Lue said.

According to her, we often mistake obvious signs of people-pleasing for inherent personality traits. Put simply, Lue defines people-pleasing as the things we do to get or avoid certain outcomes. This includes suppressing our needs, desires or feelings in an effort to avoid rejection or obtain approval, affection or validation.

In distinguishing people-pleasing habits from personality traits, we increase our ability to change them. From Lue’s experience, common symptoms include constantly feeling guilty, anxious, overwhelmed, helpless or depressed.

“Our feelings are there as clues to let us know how we are feeling and what’s going on in our inner world, but they also give us indications about what might be going on around us,” she explained.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with being a giver. That said, Lue encourages people to evaluate the why behind our actions. If we’re agreeing to tasks because we are seeking validation, this could be a sign of people pleasing. Similarly, we must also consider if we’re hoping our efforts will get us something else in return.

“This makes so many people feel uncomfortable because we like to think of ourselves as benevolent people,” Lue continued.

Instead of disguising our requests and needs as generosity, Lue encouraged listeners to be direct, explaining that saying “no” isn’t actually what hurts people’s feelings.

“If saying no creates a meltdown, then the problem isn’t the boundary, the problem is the relationship,” she elaborated.

The Empowering Feeling of Letting Go

According to Lue, for most people, the habits and behaviors associated with people-pleasing originated in childhood. Through socialized activities and systems like school, church and engagement with peers, we come to believe that if we are good or kind, we will get the things we want in return.

While this is sometimes true, learning to say no and set boundaries can be incredibly empowering.

“What I’ve discovered is that there is so much joy in saying no,” Lue shared. “I learned to not only tolerate my discomfort, but others’ discomfort.”

She reminded listeners that, contrary to popular belief, we aren’t obligated to spare people from discomfort, especially if it results from an attempt to set a healthy boundary. To help accept this reality, it can be useful to consider all the ways in which saying “no” to one thing opens doors to say yes to others.

“Being a recovering people pleaser is about saying yes, but saying yes authentically,” Lue said. “If we say yes, inauthentically, then we are saying yes resentfully. This leads to far more problems than if we had just said no in the first place.”

Simple Techniques for Setting Better Boundaries

Learning to differentiate between desire and obligation is a powerful way to begin dropping your people-pleasing habits.

“Pay attention to how you feel and the way that you are thinking about stuff,” Lue advised. “Then [ask yourself] – is it a desire or an obligation?”

To help with this, she encouraged listeners to recall the last time we really wanted something.

“We know what it feels like when we want to do something or when we desire a thing,” she shared. “If we can’t turn it into a desire, then we need to say no.”

Never underestimate the importance of giving yourself some time before making a decision. Just because somebody has a need, that does not mean it’s your job to fulfill it. It’s okay to remind people that if they need a response immediately, the answer will be no.

While many of us tend to believe that saying yes will improve our self-value and relationships, it’s the boundary setting that makes the true difference.

“[Humans] like to know where we stand,” Lue shared. “When we know where we stand, we place value on those relationships.”


Visit www.baggagereclaim.co.uk to learn more about Natalie Lue and her podcast. To listen to the full episode, click here.



READ SOURCE

Read More   Is Your Story-Telling Derailing Your Career? Two Mindful Steps To Get Back On Track

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.