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How to Break Free from People Pleasing in 2023!

It's almost 2023 and a lot of us are trying to set new goals. Some of us have a goal of improving in the area of “Self-Development”.

Did you know that most people don't realise that when they write down their goals they actually write down things other people would like? This would include goals that our social media friends would repost, goals that our partners would praise us for, or goals that we know our friends would enjoy?

How do you write your goals without falling into the trap of “people pleasing”?

What is a People Pleaser: "Someone who self sacrifices in the name of being polite. This is usually due to fear of being rejected , low self esteem or feeling inadequate".

Many people-pleasers do not know they are people pleasing. They see themselves as doing the right thing and they confuse their personality with kindness. Consequently, this gives others a chance to regularly take advantage of them. They often neglect their own needs and fall into a cycle of always wanting to be needed. Their goals end up being more people centred, which sometimes gets them “more adoration and thanks” from others.

A people-pleaser's goals for 2023 may look like this:

  • Help out more at my school (volunteer more hours)

  • Go to the gym and lose weight so my partner will find me more attractive

  • Spend more quality time with my partner and spend less time with my friends, “Happy partner, happy life”

  • Do more at work so I can get noticed

Realistically, these are not bad goals because they have good outcomes. Does this sounds like you?

If so, before determining your goal list for 2023 you need to:

Examine your intentions for wanting to do more

  • Ask yourself WHY?

  • Are there any triggers for wanting to do more?

  • Has the person I am trying to help complained previously

  • Do I just want to appear as someone who is always available?

Think about your needs first

  • WHAT DO I WANT? A better family life, a better friend group? WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY?

Realise that you do not need to impress people

  • SET healthy boundaries - DO NOT OVER EXPLAIN YOURSELF

  • Be yourself and other things will follow

A non-people pleasers goals for 2023 may look like this:

  • I will help out at my school when I have time but I will never over commit

  • I will make time for the gym because it gives me more energy and improves my mental health.

  • I will have a healthy social and home balance; my friends and my partner will be respectful of my time.

  • I will set out a fixed time for my partner and we will discuss what works for us weekly.

  • I will set boundaries at work and I will talk to my bosses about what I need in order to get what is deserved for my career growth.

Some other points to consider:

1. Trust the process and be patient with yourself.

2. Stop saying sorry for being yourself.

3. Learn how to say no and set healthy boundaries with others.

4. Stay strong in the uncomfortable. People being angry because you said no isn't your fault so don't compromise your values.

5. Sit with yourself and learn about what you want and what you like.

6. Set time aside for things you love and enjoy.

If you are really struggling with taking care of others' needs above your own, speak to one of our therapists at Couples Therapy Centre. With guidance and support, you can find the YOU that loves others but loves yourself most of all.

Have a very Happy YOU based New Year !


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