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10 Reasons Why Being A People Pleaser Is Not Always A Bad Thing

10 Reasons Why Being A People Pleaser Is Not Always A Bad Thing

People pleasers often get a bad reputation for being manipulative, overbearing, or nosy. But are people too harsh to people pleasers? And where does this harshness come from?

Often, resentment towards people pleasers comes from an element of distrust; people worry that people are only nice to one another to curry favor with them, or because they are spineless and just don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

But people pleasers are often misjudged and are not looking to manipulate, suck up or get people to like them. They are just merely trying to please people. Here are ten often overlooked reasons that being a people pleaser can be a good thing.

1. Because they are great at resolving conflicts

Because people pleasers want everyone to be happy, they are very good at finding ways to minimize friction within a social circle. Their knowledge of what makes people happy gives them a strong talent for resolving conflicts.

They know what everyone’s individual needs are, and how these may conflict with the needs of another, they can then parley this into a peaceful resolution that satisfies all parties involved.

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2. Because they are great at making social connections

People pleasers are often very likeable, and very good at making small talk. They tend to be very sociable, outgoing people, and this level of confidence and friendliness means that people will naturally gravitate towards them.

This level of approachability gives them a broad social circle and support network.

This can be used to put people in touch with one another. If you are looking for a job or a place to live, people pleasers are often the best people to contact, as they know so many people, and can provide a great social medium between the two parties.

3. Because they tend to do well in their careers

Often people think that agreeable people succeed in their careers by ‘sucking up’ to their superiors.

The opposite is actually true; people who suck up tend to lack assertiveness and are often passed over for promotion by their superiors based on this. People pleasers tend to do well because they will go the extra mile to make friends and forge lasting social and work-based relationships with colleagues.

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This not only gives them a broad network of people they can work with, but also allows them to streamline efficiency by putting the right people in touch with one another in order to get jobs done with efficiency.

4. Because they have attractive personalities

Their ability to find common ground with almost anyone gives them a highly approachable, friendly and confident demeanor.

Whilst others may go about trying to bolster their attractiveness through showy acts of machismo or obsessing about their appearance, people pleasers simply try to connect with others around them and genuinely pay attention to what they have to say.

This circumvents the need to put on a show. It reveals confidence and intelligence, which is often considered extremely attractive.

5. Because they are great listeners

People pleasers will often take a genuine and vested interest in the lives of others. Sometimes, people can find this personality trait nosy or pushy, but people pleasers are among the few people who will show a genuine interest in what you are doing and will be the first to offer their assistance if you are in any trouble.

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People pleasers don’t just wait for their turn to talk, they will ask questions about you and your life and they won’t forget them as soon as you leave the room.

6. Because they are adaptable

The ability of a people pleaser to strike up a conversation with almost anyone gives them a significant advantage when put in a new, unfamiliar situation. They are great in foreign countries, unafraid to ask for directions or advice, and tend to learn how things are done in a new environment with remarkable ease.

7. Because they are knowledgeable

People pleasers often have a surprising amount of knowledge they have picked up through interacting with so many people. Talking and listening to people we meet is one of the most effective ways of learning new thoughts, ideas and perspectives on things.

People pleasers take a deep interest in what others have to say, and often have strong, multidimensional levels of wisdom.

8. Because they can keep their head in emergencies

When a tense, dangerous or emergency situation unfolds, people pleasers are usually very helpful and pragmatic. People pleasers have learned over time to avoid getting angry or acting abrasively and so tend to be less emotionally-driven and more level-headed when situations are tense.

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People pleasers help to foster a calm atmosphere, helping people to act swiftly and sensibly during an emergency, and helping to diffuse tensions in a confrontational scenario.

9. Because they are fun to be around

People pleasers often know a lot of people and tend to have active social lives. They always have something going on and are rarely inert. Having a people pleaser as a friend will mean that you will never be left bored.

They also tend to be funny and will want to make you laugh.

10. Because they want you to be happy!

This is perhaps the most gratifying personality trait of a people pleaser; they want you to be happy.

People pleasers have an innate desire to make people around them smile and laugh, and this is one of the most altruistic and endearing traits a person can possess.

If you are down or upset, they will try to help you and make you feel better, and if you’re feeling good, they will make you feel brilliant. Whether it’s a thoughful gesture or a much needed compliment, people pleasers will work their hardest to make sure everyone is happy and getting along nicely.

Featured photo credit: Outdoor lifestyle portrait of two best friends hipsters making photo on their vintage camera, having fun together, joy and happiness, wearing trendy bright clothes and sunglasses. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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