Are you a People-Pleaser? Watch out!
If you’ve got strong people-pleaser tendencies, you are likely to accommodate other people’s needs readily. Maybe you suspect someone you know is a people-pleaser, so I will break this down a little further:
You accommodate other people’s needs readily partly because:
You want to be kind to others (of course, you’re lovely!),
You want to be liked by others (there’s evolutionary advantages for this)
(i) You are the doer – taking responsibility to get things done, you are the first to say, “I’ll do that for you!”
(ii) You are the pacifist – complying with other people’s rules and boundaries, and rarely expressing your own
Being a people-pleaser is certainly not a laid-back lifestyle choice. If any of the above describes you, then what do you think is maintaining your desire to please others or rate their needs as more important than your own?
If you’re not typically the accommodating type, is there someone in your team or family who is?
Women are Socialised to Focus on Others
Obviously, it’s not just a female characteristic, but with thousands of years of patriarchy, I’m not that surprised when my female coaching clients say they’ve lost sight of who they are because they are so focused on others.
So, I’m just going to jump in and ask the most serious, deepest, profoundest and loveliest question anyone could ever ask you…
Q: What do you need right now in this moment?
Now, your answer could be anything from a nice cuppa tea and a jaffa cake, or to get out of my god-awful job because my boss is a d*ick, or to spend time with my favourite people, or to get out of a toxic relationship, or to do absolutely nothing on my own with no one else demanding anything from me, and everything in between. It’s an open question, but your answer must be an honest one. Dig deep.
Whilst it’s none of my business, if you did want to let me know in the comments, or email me, I’m curious about what your unmet needs are. And if there is a theme in the replies I get, I’ll respond by writing any useful tips in a follow-up blog.
Panic! I have no idea!
Me? I was actually never asked what I needed as a kid, so it’s taken a loooong time for me to get used to:
(1) believing it’s not selfish to have needs
(2) identifying what they are
(3) allowing them to change
(4) allowing myself to have a whole list
(5) understanding that it’s my role to meet those needs.
This Sunday morning I woke up needing a few hours by myself up a hill in the sunshine with a flask of strong coffee and a slice of moist cake (either carrot or chocolate will do it just has to be moist). And, being totally honest, I also need more time to finish this final draft of my book (ah, but I’m only going to focus on the things I can control . . .see, I do try and follow my own advice!).
Reasons why we’re rubbish at not meeting our needs?
Apart from blaming the patriarchy and having a desperate desire to be liked by others, I think we could be better at meeting our needs if we valued ourselves more.
You cannot take care of something you don’t value. Simple.
If you don’t value your time, you give it away.
If you don’t value your space, you let others invade it.
How to meet your own needs
If you were to buy a new puppy, your whole life would become about taking care of that puppy – no one else will, and it can’t look after itself. You love and cherish it. You meet all its needs any time of day or night.
And I know how weird this sounds but you have to be the puppy in your own life! Love and cherish yourself. Why not? YOU matter. Your needs matter.
3 Steps to Take ASAP
ONE: Answer the Q above – list everything that comes to mind. Everything. You can always scrub it out or write another list tomorrow.
TWO: Choose one need that you can either easily meet or begin to meet this week.
THREE: Write out the list of actions – what do you need to do to meet this need, who needs to be involved, can you enrol someone for support, can you seek advice from an expert, can you block out time in your diary, can you find an accountability buddy? There are loads of ideas here that will hopefully make it easier for you to meet your own needs.
Sending you courage to take action to act in your best interest
Give yourself some of that playful puppy adoration – you deserve it!
ps. If you get stuck, this juicy guide and meditation will help x