Most women like to be thought of as a nice person, easy to get along with, and accommodating.
I have many clients that are very nice, but they are sick and tired of being taken advantage of, constantly being ignored, having their voices go unheard, and being taken for granted.
By nature women are the care-givers and nurturers. But oftentimes, that “care-giving” crosses over into the “people-pleasing” zone, which is a sure-fire way to limit your level of confidence and happiness.
* Do you have a hard time saying ‘No’?
* Do you put everyone else’s needs before your own?
* Do you worry about what other people think of you?
* Do you agree with people because you’d like to “fit in”?
* Do you want everyone to think of you as a “really nice person”?
* Do you give in to people because the thought of upsetting them is too much for you to deal with?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you are not reaching your full potential, and as a result, are most likely paying the price for being too nice.
People-pleasers usually do not share their thoughts or opinions, and will agree with others without even considering what they believe or want. And most of the time, they are unaware that they are doing so. Subconsciously, you want to please others in order to avoid reactions and confrontations that you are afraid of, and to avoid rejection, judgment, attack, or abandonment. You may have been conditioned to be compliant or to be controlled based on the way you were treated by your parents, authority figures or by society.
This is where understanding and applying the 9th Component of Confidence: Assertiveness, is crucial. Assertiveness is standing up for your right to be treated fairly. It is clearly expressing your thoughts, opinions, needs, and feelings, without ignoring, hurting or disrespecting those of others.
When people are always trying to please others, and not themselves, they are:
a) Seeking approval from others
b) Saying: “My own needs are unimportant.”
c) Losing sight of their authentic self
It is so incredibly important to be authentic and true to yourself. When you are doing and/or saying whatever pleases others in order to gain popularity and/or approval, you are really hurting yourself.
In life it is far more important to be true to yourself than to be popular. I know this firsthand, believe me. I used to have a huge circle of friends…48 of them at my birthday party a few years ago. At least I thought they were my friends. Until I broke my knee, and really needed help. Guess how many of those “friends” were at my house to help me when I really needed them??? Very few.
People-pleasers, aka: “pushovers” and “doormats”, have a fear of rejection, lack assertiveness skills, do not speak up for themselves, and do not say what they really think or feel, and usually do not ask for what they need or want for fear of upsetting or bothering someone else. This behaviour is extremely detrimental to your level of confidence, happiness and emotional well-being. People that are not as nice will take advantage of you!
The four main symptoms associated with the people-pleasing mentality are:
* Fear of rejection
* Fear of being alone
* Fear of loss of the other person’s approval
* Lack of confidence
Allowing the opinions or criticisms of other people to dictate, control, manipulate and ultimately destroy your confidence is way too high a price to pay to feel accepted, liked, loved, worthy or validated.
I am not suggesting that it is best not to care at all about what others think of you. If no one cared what others thought of them, this world would be an insane place to live! I am simply saying that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s, if not MORE important.
There is a common misconception that we should not make ourselves a priority. I disagree with that idea. Most of us women take on WAY more than we can handle. Many women I know have so much to do, and not enough time to do it. They stress themselves out and are exhausted by the end of the day.
You are the doorPRIZE, not the doorMAT!
When you stop being too nice and start making yourself a priority, not only do you benefit, but the people around you do as well. If you are burned out, stressed out or overloaded, what’s left to give to others?
By Suzanne Fetting
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
If you would like to learn how to be more assertive and become the confident you, contact me today!