I recently read a very interesting article on people-pleasing that ties in with mental well-being. The article talked about how the culture of People Pleaser is leading to unhappier people and why we should learn to say no. An example would be when my parents ask me to attend a dinner party that they are hosting for people. But I don’t want to spend an evening with, and I say yes anyway.
In reality, I don’t even want to go or waste my time with people I dislike, but I still said yes. Why?! In the back of my mind, I don’t want to disappoint them or want them to be angry with me. Now I’m facing an internal battle that stirs up anger and resentment toward them and the entire situation. I should have thought through why exactly it was that I said yes. If it was not a good use of my time or I just do not want to go, then I should have said no. It sounds so simple and so obvious but there are people in our lives we don’t want to disappoint.
There are people whose opinions of us matter and we always want positive reinforcement and praise. Truth be told, we are hurting ourselves more than we are helping ourselves. Ultimately, saying yes came from a place where I would be angry during the dinner and unhappy for being there. Why put yourself in situations that make you feel a way you don’t have to? This example can be applied to tons of situations in our lives, but what’s important to remember is that our opinion of ourselves should matter more than anything else.
We cannot control what or how people think of us, but we can control how we think about ourselves. Saying no may seem difficult but take time to think about it and say no kindly. The other person may not be very receptive but they will live. It’s very easy to get caught up in people-pleasing as a way to make ourselves feel good but every so often it turns into a problem where we feel we cannot say no and we no longer feel good, but the exact opposite. Learning to say no is just as important as wanting to say yes.
Another excellent article on this People Pleaser topic can be found here.