Do you put everyone else’s needs before your own because you think that everyone else’s needs are more important than yours? Do you say “Yes” as a habit because you need to feel needed? Are you yearning for validation and approval from others? Do you think other people will think you are lazy, uncaring, or selfish if you don’t say yes to their needs? Do you think that your friends, family and/or colleagues will dislike you if you say no to their requests?
Your reasonable needs are exactly equal to everyone else, and therefore giving your power away to others allows unscrupulous people the opportunity to exploit your good nature and to totally disregard and disrespect your needs. Some may try and manipulate, flatter or coax you into saying ‘yes’ to them. Give yourself thinking time, tell them you will think about what they have asked you and will get back to them. If you truly do not want to do something, say no, you do not have to explain or excuse yourself, or apologise. Respectful people will accept that you are unable to what they have asked you.
The benefits to you are that you will have put clear boundaries in place, and your self-worth, self-esteem and free time will increase. You will no longer be normalising the abnormal, accepting the unacceptable and excusing the inexcusable. You will no longer be imprisoning yourself in the needs of others and ignoring your own needs. You will also learn to ask for what you need and ensure that you are treated with dignity and respect.
If you have been a people pleaser all your life you may need help to stop this automatic process for you. Counselling can help you explore with the root cause of this need to please and encourage you to make choices instead of feeling that you ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought’ to put everyone else first.