One of the hardest things I struggle with, is saying “No” when I’m asked to do something. I hate the thought of disappointing ANY one. There are people who I, honest to God, can’t stand to be around, but if they ask me to do a task for them, I’ll say yes without even missing a beat! The best way to describe it is the Ella Enchanted Syndrome (patent pending). If you haven’t seen the somewhat Cinderella themed movie, Ella Enchanted, Ella (played by Anne Hathaway ♥) is a girl who gets “blessed” with the “gift” of obedience. If someone asks her to do something, regardless of if it’s good or bad, she is compelled to do it. When her evil stepsister discover this trait, they use it to their advantage, along with the evil uncle of her future Prince Charming.
In the past, I’ve always took my inability to say no, lightly, but it wasn’t until I read, “How to Stop Being a People Pleaser” by Chelsea @ Inspirational Indulgence, that I realized not only was it a serious problem, but it was negatively impacting my happiness as well. One question that was asked in the post was “Is it really worth your time and energy?” As I read & reread that simple question, I began reflecting on all the times I warily said yes to things I really didn’t want to do, and how mentally and physically draining it actually was.
“Christal, will you create me a resume out of thin hair, although I have no job experience, credentials, or anything. Also, type it up, print it out, and send off to this company”
“Christal, although you’ve been gone at school and running errands all day in this 98 degree weather, will you take me somewhere that is about 30 minutes away? I’ll only be a couple of minutes (which is code for hours)”
– Of course! I’m only barely keeping my eyelids open with duct tape, but sure!
“Christal, I need you to come up with & type me a resume, a letter to my boss, a letter to the district attorney office to help get someone you don’t even know on probation ”
– Not a problem.
“Christal, will you register my 5 kids online for school, it’s due tomorrow although I’ve known about it for the past 2 months and each child registration will take at least 40 minutes”
– You betcha!
The list goes on and on (and yes, these are real requests). I’m actually feeling drained and irritated right now as I type this, but the irritation self-directed for allowing myself to be put in those situations. The more I think on it, the more I realize that by continuously saying yes to things I don’t enjoy doing, I’m basically placing the needs & happiness of others above my own!
I believe one of the hardest things to do, in overcoming a people pleaser mentality, is understanding & accepting that everyone isn’t going to like me, sometimes I will disappoint people, and like Chels said, it’s all part of being human. I know this won’t sink in me immediately because I feel like people pleasing is part of my nature. Recently, I took a test called the Meyers – Briggs Personality test, which asks you questions, and depending on how you answer, will place you in 1 of 16 personalities. My personality was ISFJ (Introvert Sensing Feeling Judging) and one of the key traits for this personality is not knowing when to say no …
However, now that my eye’s are open, I’m committed to working hard on being more assertive, because I understand now that I can’t keep sacrificing my happiness & mental health, just to please others. That’s not to say that I won’t ever do anything for anyone ever again … However, in the future, I’ll take a step back & actually evaluate:
- What it is I’m being asked to do?
- Do I have the time to do it without feeling like I’m in some sort of time crunch?
- Will doing this, inconvenience me in any way?
- Do I actually want to do it?
Do you struggle with people pleasing too? Tell me about it in the comments below. And if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Chelsea’s eye opening article! Until next time … Peace, Love, & Zaspiness ♥