When Someone Disagrees with You

There are people who love finding someone who disagrees with them so they can have a debate and try to prove the other person wrong. I am not one of those people. On the contrary, when someone disagrees with me, I worry that they’ll think I’m stupid or that that they won’t like me. I worry that a disagreement will turn into a conflict that will destroy our relationship. I grew up thinking disagreements and conflicts were a sign that something was wrong and that they should be smoothed over as quickly as possible.…

»

When Someone is Unhappy, It's Not Your Fault

What do you do when someone around you is unhappy? How do you feel? It can feel pretty uncomfortable even if I know their unhappiness has nothing to do with me. It’s extremely uncomfortable if I think someone is upset with me. When someone isn’t happy, it’s natural to want to find a way to cheer them up or fix whatever is wrong. This is especially true for those of us who have a tendency toward people-pleasing.…

»

What to Do When You're Disappointed

We don’t look forward to being disappointed, but we all experience disappointment from time to time. It may be that someone wasn’t as agreeable to your request as you’d hoped or they weren’t able to give the support you needed. It may be that you didn’t get the job or the house or the award. In one way or another something didn’t meet your hopes or expectations. Given that disappointment is unavoidable, it’s helpful to know how to navigate it when it comes.…

»

More Than Just the Facts

Things happen. Our lives are filled with interactions and occurrences, both big and small. How we interpret all those happenings has a huge impact on how we experience our lives. Our understanding of what happened is an interpretation. We are meaning seeking creatures. When something happens, our minds want to know what it means about us, about the other person, and about the world around us. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, especially for those of us who tend to try to assess whether other people are pleased with us, it’s important to remember that the meaning we assign to a given interaction or situation is not the objective reality.…

»

They Didn’t Like Your Answer… Now What?

It’s natural for people to feel disappointed if we decline their request. People may even be surprised at our no, especially if they’re used to us agreeing to what they ask. Most of the time when we say no firmly and kindly they’ll respect our decision, even if they wish we’d chosen otherwise. Sometimes, however, the other person might push back. If they use anger or criticism or blame to pressure us to change our minds, it might mean their request was actually a demand.…

»

How to Say No in a Way That is Firm But Kind

Sometimes no is the right answer for us to give, but how do we actually say no? The word itself is so simple—only two letters—but it can be a difficult one to say. We’ve looked at three reasons to say no when that is our honest answer. Now, let’s the words we actually want to say. I know that when I’m nervous about giving someone a no I tend to go to an extreme.…

»

3 Reasons for Giving an Honest No

I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to do something, even if I really don’t want to agree. Saying no can feel hard for any number of reasons… We’re afraid the other person will get mad at us… We don’t want to appear lazy or selfish… We don’t want to seem mean or rude… We take responsibility for making sure others are happy… We want to feel needed… We want to avoid conflict… We’ve developed a habit of always agreeing… We want people to like us… We don’t want to disappoint anyone… We’re afraid of missing out… Any of these sound familiar?…

»

4 Useful Questions to Answer Before Daring to Ask

It can be hard for us to let people see what matters to us. We may try to pretend to ourselves and to others that we don’t have needs. What if they think what I want is silly or selfish? Requesting something from someone else can feel very vulnerable. What if they say no? What if they misunderstand what I’m asking? What if it doesn’t matter to them what I need?…

»

What Do You Like About Yourself?

When you think about yourself, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do your thoughts go to things you love about yourself? Are you quick to note all the things you wish were different? Are you more likely to focus on your opinion of yourself or of other people’s opinions of you? If I asked you to tell me your favorite things about yourself, would your answer come easily? Would you struggle to come up with an answer or feel hesitant to share?…

»

How Does Pleasing Others Really Feel?

There are many reasons we choose to do things that will please others. Those choices can be rooted in love or in fear. They can spring from generosity or obligation. We can do things for others with joy or resentment. Recognizing the difference is a key piece in shifting from depending on external validation to trusting ourselves more. Those of us who can get caught up in people-pleasing tend to focus a lot of energy on our thoughts.…

»