I admit it. I have an awful, relentless and guilt-ridden condition.
It cripples me and leaves me feeling drained and exhausted, but other times proud and satisfied and elated. It’s an impulsive addiction. One that a lot of people also suffer from.
My name is Natasha, and I’m a people pleaser.
I just can’t say no.
Sometimes it might be 4 friends who all want to catch up on the same weekend. Deep down I know that I will run myself ragged just coordinating an entire weekend of squeezing things in, only to have 2 people cancel at the last minute. Logic tells me that I can spread it out over two weekends, but I don’t want to disappoint.
Other times it might be a lazy colleague who asks you to help here and there with tasks that aren’t mine to do. But I feel sorry for them or think of who will really miss out in the end. So I say yes. Before I know it, I’m actually doing both their job and mine.
Sometimes it’s in business. I sure as heck don’t want to fail in business so I always say yes. I accommodate difficult staff and attend functions when I’m too tired to even stand up. I worry that by saying no, other business people will think I’m unsuccessful.
I don’t know whether it’s the satisfaction I get of making others happy or the worrying that if I don’t say yes, then I will disappoint them and they will be mad at me, or gossip about me. Apparently I’m more worried about people disliking me than having my own sanity.
People pleasing seems to give me a strange sense of sanity. Sadly.
Unfortunately it’s the people who I love most that I find it easiest to say no to. My partner, my child, my parents. The sad thing is that I’m not the only one who sufferers each time I say yes. My family does. It takes a toll. ‘Yes’ has become like a poison to my relationships. Every time I say ‘yes’ to someone, I say ‘no’ to Amelia. And ‘no’ to myself.
After a long reflection I have decided that I need to say YES to saying NO. I have decided that NO establishes boundaries.
It cuts through bullshit.
It demonstrates that I can prioritise and that I’m a focused business person.
It demonstrates my commitment to my family and the value and respect I have for my sanity.
I will always be a people pleaser. And although I may start saying NO a little bit more… Please know that I will always need to please. Selflessly please. And I just can’t help it.
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