THE BLOG
01/21/2016 08:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser

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I have read, darlings, that women are conditioned (more so than men) to please others from a very early age. It is ingrained in us: if you want to be liked ... you should be a pleaser.

People pleasers want everyone around them to be happy and will go out of their way, discarding their personal feelings, to keep it that way. They put everything before themselves. Why? Outside validation, meaning that they worry how others will view them if they say "No." People pleasers do not want to be seen as egocentric or selfish and they fear being disliked.

What people pleasers should realize is that they face serious risks. They overcommit their time which creates emotional anxiety. People pleasers feel they have not been true to their feelings and then they become angry with themselves which creates internal stress.

It is not worth it, darlings! I know because I used to go out of my way to please until I realized it didn't work.

I did this with my children. That is for another story, darlings! I realized at our age we should revel in what I will call, for lack of a better term, self- pleasing. It is mentally uplifting to be able to say "No."

So, let's talk about how to stop yourself from saying "Yes" when you really, really want to say "No!"

My number one rule: Be considerate and take into account the other person's feelings ... never forgetting to honor your own. SET YOUR PRIORITIES.

How did I do this?

I created a GPS ... MY INNER GUIDANCE SYSTEM! My rule: "I will not allow myself to budge from honoring 'my' feelings."

Why? Because I know that this will benefit not only me but also my family and my friends. I am not being selfish. I am being honest with myself. Being honest with myself commands respect from my peers and my family. It is a delightful and uplifting feeling.

Here are a few tips that can get you started:

Pay Attention to Your Inner Feelings And Break The 'Pleaser' Habit: Take a deep breath before you speak up! This gives you time to stop the old habit of pleasing. Now you can emotionally step up to the plate with your upfront and honest answer.

Here is a sample "to please" situation: A friend says, "Let's go to Morton's Steakhouse for dinner." Your instinctual pleasing reply is, "OK."

You wanted to say, "I would rather go to an Italian restaurant." Unfortunately, your habit of pleasing took precedence. Next time, I want you to step up to the plate and discuss an alternative restaurant that would please both of you. Breathe, darlings, so that you can think twice before speaking once.

Use Manners But Be Direct: People look up to those who have the ability to respectfully disagree. You will be pleasantly surprised at their reactions.

Don't Let the Outcome Stand In Your Way:
You may have to disappoint your family, friends or others. You may lose points for the time being. But you will walk away with your GPS in tact, darlings.

Remember: We cannot please everyone. There is no path to being liked by all. It simply does not exist. But when you respect your feelings and act on them you will feel emotionally uplifted. Because you will like you!

Do something GOOD today: Use your GPS -- your Inner Guidance System -- and teach your children and grandchildren how to develop and strengthen their own GPS. A woman with self-respect is a force to be reckoned with, darlings!

Photography by Hallie Duesenberg

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