Are you someone who always puts others’ needs before your own? Do you often find yourself saying yes, even when you really want to say no?
If so, you may be a people-pleaser. People-pleasers are those who have a strong desire to make others happy and avoid conflict at all costs. While this trait can be seen as positive, it can also be damaging to one’s mental and emotional well-being.
Being a people-pleaser means that you are often putting others’ needs and desires above your own.
You may find yourself constantly seeking validation and approval from others, and may even feel guilty when you prioritise your own needs. Unfortunately, this behaviour can lead to a cycle of self-neglect and can prevent you from living a fulfilling and authentic life.
While it’s important to be mindful of how we communicate with others, there are certain things that can be particularly damaging to a people-pleaser. Here are some phrases that can have a negative impact on someone who struggles with people-pleasing tendencies:
1. “You never say no.”
For a people-pleaser, hearing this can be incredibly overwhelming. It reinforces the belief that saying no is not an option, and can make them feel trapped in a never-ending cycle of saying yes to everyone else’s demands.
It’s important to remember that everyone has the right to set boundaries and prioritize their own needs.
2. “You’re too sensitive.”
People-pleasers often have a heightened sense of empathy and are more attuned to the emotions of others. While this can be a positive trait, it can also make them more susceptible to criticism.
Hearing that they are “too sensitive” can be hurtful and invalidate their feelings. It’s important to acknowledge and respect their emotions, even if they may seem overly sensitive to others.
3. “You always put others first.”
While putting others’ needs first may seem like a noble trait, constantly prioritizing others over oneself can lead to burnout and resentment.
People-pleasers often struggle with guilt when they prioritize their own needs, and hearing this phrase can reinforce their belief that their own needs are not important. Encourage them to practice self-care and remind them that their needs matter too.
4. “You need to learn to say no.”
Telling a people-pleaser that they need to learn to say no can be overwhelming and intimidating. It’s important to remember that saying no is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Instead of putting pressure on them, offer support and understanding as they navigate the process of setting boundaries.
5. “You’re a pushover.”
This phrase can be incredibly damaging to a people-pleaser’s self-esteem. It reinforces the belief that they are weak and easily taken advantage of. Instead of labelling them as a pushover, offer encouragement and help them build their confidence in asserting themselves.
It’s important to remember that being a people-pleaser is not a flaw, but rather a personality trait. However, it’s crucial for people-pleasers to learn how to prioritize their own needs and set boundaries in order to maintain their mental and emotional well-being.
If you know someone who struggles with people-pleasing tendencies, be mindful of the language you use and offer support and understanding as they navigate their journey towards self-care and self-empowerment.