Are You a People-Pleaser? This Is How You Quit

Sacha Strebe
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Christian Vierig/Contributor

Has saying yes become a bad habit? If you’re not sure, then ask yourself how you feel when you say it. Do you feel good, or are you gritting your teeth and cursing on the inside for not saying no? The difference here is crucial. Either you’re saying yes out of the goodness of your heart because you really want to help, or you’re doing it because you want everyone around you to be happy (even at your own expense).

If it’s the latter, then you fit into the people-pleaser category. Don’t worry—you’re not alone. As a working mom, I know all about putting everyone else’s interests before my own. It’s a habitual ritual that I’m more than ready to ditch. Why? It’s ruining my health and happiness. But in all honesty, it’s almost become an addiction. It feels good to be needed, but more importantly, I worry how others will view me if I say no. That disappointment is a heavy burden to bear.

But here’s the thing: You’ll actually earn more respect when you politely decline. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s the truth. According to Susan Newman, Ph.D., a New Jersey–based social psychologist and author of The Book of No, “You can make yourself sick from doing too much.” She told PsychCentral, “In the worst case scenario, you’ll wake up and find yourself depressed, because you’re on such overload,” she said. You can’t do it all, so here are simple ways you can quit today or start trying.

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