Dear People Pleaser,

Saying yes to everything may benefit others; however, at some point, it will get tiring.

I know that you mean well.

Often times we develop these people pleasing habits out of a longing for acceptance. I completely understand: acceptance is something we all crave. Being nice and never saying "no" to favors seems like a surefire way to gain the friendships and trust you crave because people will like having you around. The issue with this is that you don't exactly know when people keeping you around for company changes to people keeping you around for convenience. Are said friends in your company because you are being your authentic self, or are they benefiting from your need to please them? People notice when you are fighting for their attention and affirmation and have the ability to capitalize on it for selfish motives.

If you can't say "no" are you truly being your authentic self? You can say that being nice and constantly looking out for people is "just who you are," but what happens when you begin missing out on things you enjoy and putting up a façade of what you want to do? When you are always seen smiling and excited it can be hard to be vulnerable with others; however, it is important to stand your ground whether it be you simply being too tired to do a favor or even putting in input on where to get dinner that night. Your opinions are valid! You shouldn't have to get sushi for dinner if you don't like it because you wanted everyone else to get what they wanted. There are ways to compromise and make decisions that can benefit most everyone if you are willing to advocate for yourself. True friends will be willing to work with you and what you want or need. True friends will also realize that you are your own person and you have your own needs.

Part of true self-care is knowing your limits and what you need. This means saying "no" when you know you should. If you're already busy with lots of school work, it is probably the best for you to not take on another responsibility. Taking on something else would take away from your own success and the time you would otherwise devote to your own welfare. A huge part of learning how to say "no" is learning your limits. Start noticing when you feel overwhelmed or stressed out so that you can recognize when you need to take time for yourself.

Part of loving yourself is knowing your limits and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Asking for a break or help is completely normal and OK to do. You don't even have to be stressed out to take time for yourself! You can say "no" to anything that you don't want to or don't feel comfortable doing. That is the beauty of having free will.

So please remember, that it is OK to put your own needs before others. True friends will understand your need to rest or have time to yourself I promise. Be yourself and stand by your choices, that is how you maintain your integrity and obtain true friendships.

Don't forget to advocate for yourself.

Sincerely,

An Ex People-Pleaser