Some people are able to put their foot down and create boundaries when it comes to others in their life, but not everybody is like that. Some people find it hard to say no and are willing to go to large extents to make others happy, even at the cost of their own health. Being a people pleaser is not only unhealthy but also leads to losing your own self. Here are a few tips from experts to help restrain yourself from saying ‘yes’ in those times when you truly want to say ‘no.’
According to Cynthia Eddings, LMFT, it is extremely important to cut yourself some slack and understand that you do not need to be perfect all the time. In order to let go of your habit of pleasing others, you need to be compassionate toward yourself. One of the techniques she talks about is RAIN. Here, R stands for “recognize,” A for “allow,” I equals “investigate,” and N stands for “nurture.” It is important to slow down and allow yourself to feel and understand why you are feeling a certain way.
Make a Not-to-Do List
Trina Stutzman, a life coach who once herself was a people-pleaser, advised taking baby steps to break yourself out of negative habits like putting your needs after everyone else’s. She took a piece of wrapping paper and wrote down her usual holiday to-dos, even the most basic tasks, and later crossed off all those things that she felt were unimportant to her. We all make to-do lists, but according to her, the not-to-do list is what you need.
Stop Saying Yes
Breaking the habit of saying ‘yes’ every time is not something you can easily conquer and requires a lot of practice. Therefore, Cynthia advises taking a pause every time someone asks you to do something and telling them you need time to think about it. Practicing this will allow you some time to understand how you feel about the task and if it’s really something you want to do or not.
Learn to Accept Help
You do not need to do it all by yourself. Stutzman said that she understands that we are conditioned to be independent and do everything by ourselves, especially women. It is difficult for people-pleasers to depend on others and ask for someone else’s help because they automatically assume themselves as natural fixers. Asking for help from your loved ones doesn’t make you a burden on them; in fact, it brings you closer to them.