How to Break Free from People Pleasing and Speak Your Mind
All people-pleasers lose themselves.
The #1 regret of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
You always fall short of your best self when others define you.
How to Break Free from People-Pleasing:
#1. Own your addiction.
Begin by confessing you’re addicted to people-pleasing. Confess to yourself and to trusted allies. Just say the words, “I’m a people-pleaser.”
You never overcome a personal challenge that you blame on someone else.
#2. Practice saying no before you need to say it.
Saying NO sets you free.
Roleplay saying no with a trusted ally. (Yes, practice saying NO out loud.)
You go further by including trusted allies, supportive colleagues, and encouraging friends on the journey.
#3. Speak up with kindness.
- Determine YOUR OWN perspective before you speak. What do you really think? How do your words express your values?
- Listen. Deep listening precedes effective talking.
- Consider impact. Speaking your mind includes respect for the impact of your voice on others.
- Follow one rule. Only open your mouth to make something better.
- Chill out before you speak if you feel frustrated. Calm yourself, then speak.
- Speak with openness. “I could be wrong, but ….” “I wonder if ….” “At this time, I think….” Don’t invite unnecessary resistance.
- Don’t resist resistance. Thank people for offering alternatives, even if they seem contradictory. “Thanks, I’ll think about that.”
- Avoid defensiveness.
- Don’t apologize for your perspective.
- Receive appreciation gracefully.
#4. Improve incrementally.
Narrow the scope of focus to one thing at a time. Say NO once this week, for example.
#5. Contradict your inner critic.
Your inner critic needs approval from others while disapproving of yourself.
What are the dangers of people-pleasing?
How have you overcome inclinations toward people-pleasing?
7 Ruthless Truths about Your Inner Critic (LF)
Why It Doesn’t Pay to Be a People-Pleaser (Berkeley)
21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser (PsychCentral)