Did that question just ring a bell as you make one promise after another to keep people happy? The cautionary tale of the people pleaser is you may develop the reputation of overpromising and under-delivering because of overcommitting.
Additionally, there are many perils to being a people pleaser, which include living with regret and feeling taken advantage of by those who have your number. Yes, the manipulators are on the constant lookout for the people pleasers as they know they can ask them for favors and exceptions. After all, the people-pleasers don’t know how to say “no” – it just isn’t what they’re comfortable saying.
If you have ever wanted to kick yourself after agreeing to a request when you really should have declined with an emphatic “no can do,” well, you’re far from alone. Especially if you’re a woman, it does seem that the people pleaser population is more substantial on the female side.
I certainly realize that not all men are alike, nor are all women, so I hesitate to generalize. But what I have both read and observed over the years says this is, in fact, the case more often than not – men can say “no” with greater ease. Why is that? Is it because men don’t take things quite as personally as many women do? I’m thinking of the movie the Godfather and the famous line, “it’s not personal; it’s business.”
So I ask the question…how are you teaching people to treat you? Will you go on record and speak up and stand up for yourself? Before you start down the path of “I want to be kind and helpful, so it’s hard to say no…” remember the core of my training programs is all about treating people well.
Yes, you can be assertive and kind, you can be bold and kind, you can say “no” and still be kind. Does this mean you can/should never do favors…ever? No, not at all, but choose who deserves that little extra and do it because you want to rather than because you’re trying to win a popularity contest.
Besides, the popularity contests ended on the kindergarten playground!
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