How to control your people pleasing tendencies

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Article by by Niki Kinsella

People pleasing is something that most of us have developed from being small, as the environment we grew up in was possibly a little bit volatile.

We learnt from an early age that the best way to not be told off or to not be someone’s punching bag was by making them happy.

At whatever the cost.

Normally the cost of our own happiness.

When I learned that this was actually a thing, and that I wasn’t the only person who felt like this or did these people pleasing behaviours, I was so relieved, but needed to know more about how I could change.

After years of research, some deep inner work (which often made me feel like I wanted to hide in the cupboard with a bottle of vodka), and the mind-blowing realisation that I did NOT need to do this anymore, here are my top three tips on how to control your people pleasing tendencies:

  1. Realise that making someone happy is a beautiful thing. But remember that YOU are also a someone! And your needs matter just as much as everyone else. What makes YOU happy?

Do you even know?

Take some time to sit and think about this, because when you DO know, and you start doing these things and you begin to feel all sparkly and happy, you may just become a little bit addicted to this feeling. And realise that all the time you are doing things for other people, that could be time spent on doing the things that YOU love to do.

  1. Stop saying sorry just to appease people. This is a super hard thing to do at first and may make you feel a bit uncomfortable and squirmy. But I became sick of taking the blame for things that weren’t my fault just to keep the peace. I constantly felt like I was walking on eggshells and “sorry” was the first word that used to come out of my mouth. It was just easier. But know this – every time you say sorry in this way, it shows the other person that you do not value or believe in yourself. Instead try saying the word thank you if it fits, for example “You forgot to put the bin out AGAIN! So, I had to do it!” Instead of saying “sorry,” try saying “thanks for that.” It might take the other person by surprise, (or annoy them) but also make them feel like they are valued. Even if they are moaning a bit.
  2. Set boundaries. This really should have been number one! If you look up the word boundary, it means ‘a line which marks the limits of an area’. A personal boundary is an imaginary line that separates me from you. That separates my physical space, needs and responsibilities from someone else’s.

Boundaries allow you to be your true self. They create a separation that allows you to have your own feelings, make your own decisions and ask for what you want without needing to please others. Boundaries are an essential form of self-care. Healthy emotional boundaries mean that you value your own feelings and needs and that you are not responsible for how others feel and behave.

Boundaries allow you to let go of worrying about how others feel or behave, and places accountability squarely back with them.  Ever heard the saying “that’s your problem not mine!” This is where that would come in. 

All relationships need boundaries as without them people will not know what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.  There are a lot of takers out there in the world, who when they stumble across a kind-hearted beautiful soul who is a giver and has no boundaries, (a people pleaser) they will take full advantage.

Protect your gorgeous giving heart. Get your boundaries in place. What is and isn’t ok for you? And stick to them.

Remember, you always have a choice!

Niki KinsellaAbout the author

Niki Kinsella is a Spiritual and Empowerment coach and the Author of The Feminine Energy Guide – from Self Rejection to Conscious Connection, which is published today (Monday 13th September) and is available from Amazon and all good bookstores. After reading the book, Niki hopes women will have more self-awareness, self-belief, clarity, and confidence to shape the lives they want to live.

For the first 25 years of her life Niki was a people pleaser who felt anxious, uninspired, and lost.

After breaking free from a narcissistic relationship, she was left feeling withdrawn and undeserving. Consumed by self-doubt and fear, she self-medicated every weekend to block out the mum guilt and traumatic memories.

She had always been drawn to spirituality but was scared to be herself after being belittled and told her beliefs were stupid.

After battling with depression, panic attacks and addiction for decades, and then losing both her parents, Niki decided life was too short to give a shit about what other people thought anymore and decided it was time to make some big changes.

She began her own healing journey and made it her mission to help as many women as she could along the way. She retrained in holistic healing and spirituality and moved her business online during the recent global pandemic where she was able to reach and help 1000’s of women.

Niki has created a unique 5 pillar programme using all the spiritual tools that helped her to change her life, and will help you to do the same.

After reading this book you will have self-awareness, self-belief, confidence and clarity, and feel so excited you will be ready to pee glitter everywhere.

Niki Kinsella, The Feminine Energy Guide book cover
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