Worrying about what others think of you should not be a major consideration in your life. But it’s a particularly difficult problem for those with people-pleasing tendencies, who worry about what others think of them.
People-pleaser behaviour is when you’re hungry for approval and eager to avoid conflict and so you say “yes”, even when you don’t want to. You might also tell little untruths to avoid hurt feelings and you suppress your real opinions and beliefs just to get along and to make things smoother. You might even take on more and more work so as not to disappoint or be disliked, until you reach a point of overwhelm.
How many times have you gone and spent money that you didn’t have just to avoid conflict or that awkward conversation that would have forced you to admit that you just can’t afford it? How many times have you said “okay, I’ll do it” or “just this one last time”?
It is understandable to say that there is no financial lesson more important than learning how to handle your financial affairs, without fearing the opinion of others and being a people pleaser.
Below are five people-pleasing behaviours and how you can also overcome them:
You have difficulty saying ‘no’.
Do you wish you could put your foot down sometimes and say no? Many of us feel compelled to agree to every request and would rather juggle a million jobs than refuse to help, even if we are left with no time for ourselves. But learning to say no can earn you respect from yourself as well those around you.
How can a people pleaser possibly overcome this challenge?
♦ Keep your response simple. Try to be strong in your body language and don’t over-apologise. Remember, you’re not asking permission to say no.
♦ Buy yourself some time. Having thought it through at your leisure, you’ll be able to say no with greater confidence.
♦ Consider a compromise. Avoid compromising if you really want or need to say no.
♦ Separate refusal from rejection. People will usually understand that it is your right to say no, just as it is their right to ask the favour.
♦ Don’t feel guilty for say no to your children. Rather than cave into their protests, let them know who is in charge by setting boundaries.
♦ Be true to yourself. Be clear and honest with yourself about what you truly want.
You are afraid to disappoint others.
Anxiety about letting people down can be a form of social anxiety disorder, in which people habitually avoid situations in which they might disappoint somebody else.
So, you don’t want to tell your mother you won’t be home for the Christmas break because she’ll be too disappointed. Sometimes we do things that make others feel better, even if it’s not quite what we want to do. But what if she’s going to disappointed that you are making a job or a career choice that she doesn’t like, but that is your total dream? Do you then give in so that your mother won’t be disappointed?
It is important that you establish expectations and pass along those expectations to your mother. Nobody is perfect, and everybody experiences the pain of disappointing somebody in their life at least once. But through working on the cause of your anxiety around letting people down, figuring out you core values, and experiencing it a little at a time, you can look forward to a life where it stops bother you as much,
You give in to others too easily.
Helping and giving are character strengths, as far as we are concerned. But sometimes our helpful intentions give way to dysfunctional helping and giving. The solution isn’t to stop helping altogether’ it’s to set boundaries when tell-tale signs of unhealthy helping appear.
Think about it: How often do you give in to kid’s request for a new gadget or pressure from your partner for a holiday away? Push back. Think about the alternatives to work within your budget.
So, what do you do when people question you for not giving into them? Hold your ground! Stand firm in what you want to do with your life, your time, and your energy. You will likely feel empowered by the fact that you stuck to your guns and were not submissive in this situation specifically.
You avoid conflict/keep the peace.
Sometimes, people-pleasers give in to what other people want of them simply because they do not want to cause a scene. Avoiding conflict is a common motive for people who are trying to please other people. Dodging conflict can seem like the safe way out of a situation on the outside, but on the inside, you might be bothered by how things occurred. This can lead to unhealthy or uncomfortable circumstances, as someone thinks you are find doing something. In these situations, conflict is necessary and healthy, as you should draw your boundaries.
This is maybe the biggest financial threat to a people-pleaser because it affects future income. For example, the people-pleaser is unwilling to have uncomfortable conversations with their employer about a pay rise. If you have clearly brought value to the organisation, it makes sense to simply ask. However, make sure that you can quantify and articulate the value. Then, the conversation will be rooted in facts, not emotions.
Saying you agree when you really don’t.
When people ask for your take on a scenario, you might just stick with the popular opinion so you can blend in. Your real opinion is never revealed because you are afraid of upsetting or disagreeing with someone. Sticking with this can be draining and can cause people to think that you are something that you are not.
In this situation, it is vital to understand that you cannot please everyone. It is normal to have people that love you and people that do not like you. A part of being successful or happy is having people that won’t like everything you say. Even the kindest, most giving people in the world cannot please everyone. So, remember this as you go along your financial journey!