8 Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser (and an Invitation)

For many of us, people-pleasing is such an ingrained pattern that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. People-pleasing can seem harmless. We’re trying to keep other people happy after all…where’s the harm in that? Maybe we don’t get what we want sometimes, but is that so bad? We don’t always notice the ways people-pleasing undermines us, our relationships, and even the people we’re trying to please. My intention here isn’t to tell you that you’re bad and you need to be better.…

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Stay with Yourself

How do you like to approach the New Year? Does this time of year get you excited for planning and goal setting? Do you relish the opportunity to reflect on the past year? Do you wish all the talk of resolutions would just go away? Personally, while I do take some time to reflect and to look ahead, I also try to pay attention to what I need right now.…

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Take a Minute to Breathe

When was the last time you took a deep breath? Check in with your shoulders—are they relaxed or tensing up toward your ears? Are you holding tension in your jaw or anywhere else in your body? Do you feel calm and present or is your mind swirling with worries and things to do? Even on an average day, many of us get so caught up in tasks, worries, and interactions that we forget to do something as simple as pausing to take a deep breath.…

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Is it Truly Generosity?

Our motivations for why we do what we do aren’t always as straightforward as we’d like to think. When we do something to make someone else happy , we might be genuinely motivated by generosity. There may, however, be other factors at play. We might be hoping to win approval , secure a sense of belonging , or increase our chances that the favor will be returned later. We may want to feel good about being a generous person or have a desire to appear generous to others.…

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Are You Ensuring What You Don't Want?

We don’t want to get hurt. We don’t want to be disappointed. We don’t want to risk experiencing our worst fears coming true. We do so many things to protect ourselves. But, so often, the harder we try to protect ourselves, the more we keep ourselves from what we really wanted in the first place. If I fear rejection, I might avoid giving people opportunities to reject me. I might never extend invitations.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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