Can’t Say No: Confessions of a People Pleaser



Is NO spelled Y-E-S? For those of you that know me or have friend that is similar then you will understand that the word NO is not in our vocabulary. Now of course, I am able to say NO to those closest to me such as my husband, son and mom but anyone else in my life I have found it to be an extremely difficult thing to do. Why? Because I am a People Pleaser.

I do not even think twice about agreeing to do something, go somewhere or make plans with someone because I feel that their acceptance of me is dependent upon how available I am to them in their lives. Yes, I understand this sounds completely crazy but it has been a literally turmoil inside of me numerous times in my life. It has been such turmoil to the point of being so afraid that I will disappoint those in my life even if it is in the smallest of ways. I understand in the real world saying NO does not disappoint others but somewhere in my world I have come to believe that it does.

People pleasing is one of my biggest flaws. A flaw that I have tried to dig deep and work on within myself. During the process of examining the reasons for being a People Pleaser I have discovered four critical things about myself:

1. I come off as flaky 

Because of times in my life that I have found it difficult to say NO to those around me I find myself becoming over-committed. I have committed to too many things with too many people sometimes in the span of just one day. Doing so comes a point where I can not live up to what I have agreed upon doing whether it causes me to be late or even having to reschedule.

2. I get high anxiety

There have been moments in my life where I have been asked to do a favor for someone that in reality I should have just been able to say I was unable to help out. I over exert myself to please those around me which at times gives me anxiety because I also have to think about how to balance the rest of my responsibilities.

3. I feel like I am the rude one if I say NO

I pride myself on manners and being overly nice to those around me. I try my hardest to never come off rude. When I am asked to do something, and I just respond NO I feel the need to have to explain my reasons why. Just saying NO to someone without giving a reason could possibly offend or hurt someone’s feelings, in my world.

4. I can say NO to those closest to me because I know they will love me unconditionally

I have found it really easy to say NO to family and friends that are closest to me. Over the years I have figured out the reason I am able to be blunt with them is because I know without a doubt they will love me unconditionally. They will love me if I am flaky, have high anxiety or even if I come off rude. I have also become very thankful for those in my life that know I am a People Pleaser, and still have loved me through my biggest flaw.

Aside from the four seemingly negative discoveries I have made of myself I have found the biggest reason as to why I am a People Pleaser is for the number one fact of having a heart FOR people.

I want to serve those around me. I want to make sure those that are hurting are being comforted. I want to love on those that feel broken. I want to do so much for others because I have been done so much for in my life.

Maybe later on down the line in my life I will learn how to easily add NO to my vocabulary. Until then, I am going to focus on being aware of this characteristic, and try to turn it into a positive aspect in my life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here