As much as we might think that being a ‘yes’ person is a good thing, there is evidence to show that being a people pleaser can often come at the expense of our own wellbeing.
Specifically, it is our time, energy and resources that all pay the price for not wanting or feeling able to say ‘no’, whether it’s at work, home or in a social context.
The thing to remember, though, is that spreading yourself thinly for the sake of courtesy, FOMO or fear of confrontation can have many adverse effects, from resentment (of ourselves and the others) for making us do things we don’t want to, through to stress, burnout and missing out on the things you might actually enjoy or benefit from.
Saying ‘no’ more often involves plugging into your own sense of power, which annoyingly is something that often runs parallel to the desire to keep up or create appearances... and relationships.
Doing the opposite of what you might do ordinarily, and politely declining invitations and requests more often, places higher importance on your own feelings and needs.... and this can be empowering, to say the least.
The ‘how to’ of putting this into action can be complex, given the underlying psychology of ‘people pleasing’, but a good starting point is this:
Make a list of your top three priorities that are most deserving or your time and energy. This is a means of giving clarity on the kinds of things which you SHOULD say yes to, as opposed to those that are agreed to out of obligation, or something else.
Putting this into practice with the help of a few ‘anchor phrases’ can help you gain respect and confidence, not to mention time and energy to then allocate more appropriately. To eating cheese, with Netflix... for example?
If you can’t be them (cheese, that is!), may as well enjoy them, we say!