People pleasing is a way of life that many conform to in childhood. As a result, trying to break free from your eager-to-please ways once you are well into adulthood can be deeply challenging. There are often underlying issues such as low self-esteem and fear of abandonment that drive people pleasers, and pivoting from this lifestyle requires serious self-work, self-awareness and sometimes even therapy. Turning over a new leaf is hard, but it’s worth it because of the reward that awaits at the finish line: a better quality of life. Here are all of the ways your life changes when you adopt a more assertive attitude and stop offering yourself up as a doormat.
Your stress levels are reduced
Psychology Today defines stress as having more demands than you can handle and trying to be all things to all people at all times will definitely get you there. However, something magical happens when you’re able to assert yourself and you learn the power of no. Most of those demands begin to disappear.
You earn more respect
People can spot a doormat from a mile away and being a people pleaser makes you an easy target to be taken advantage of. Your desire to make others happy and to be liked by them always overrides your personal wellbeing and self-preservation. Putting a stop to your people-pleasing ways may not have you on anyone’s favorite person list, but you will be respected.
You make better decisions
People pleasers are always indecisive because they’re constantly torn between catering to others and meeting their personal needs. As a result, they often appear wishy-washy and their decision-making skills are lackluster. Embracing a more assertive attitude and leaving people-pleasing behind allows you to be more confident in your decision because you’re putting yourself first.
Those who are eager to please are often resentful because they frequently tell themselves no for the sake of not having to say it to someone else. However, letting go of that others-first attitude makes for a more joyous life with less resentment.
You’re less tired
Constantly catering to the people around you keeps your to-do list long and your energy tank on empty. But once you learn to make yourself a priority, you’ll hierarchize self-care and rest.
You have more money
Even if the people in your life are not treating you like an ATM, accommodating people all of the time is bound to get expensive. From opening up your home to doing personal favors to babysitting to “loaning” money, people-pleasing comes with a heavy price tag.
You have more time
Everyone needs downtime, but people pleasers rarely ever have that luxury because they’re always making themselves available at the disposal of others. However, when you stop giving up every waking moment of your life to be of help to another person, your schedule will likely open up.
You speak more freely
When you classify other people’s feelings as more important than your own, you often fail to speak up for yourself on matters that are important. But when your perspective begins to shift, sometimes getting things off of your chest is much more important than making others feel comfortable.
The criticism of others begins to matter less
When you learn to say no, there are definitely people who are going to have their faces twisted up and a mouthful of nasty things to say about it, but when you break free from the shackles of people-pleasing, their words tend to matter much less.