Want Less Drama in Life? Stop People Pleasing!

One of the things that so many people complain about in their life is the amount of drama that is in it. And one of the biggest problems that causes this drama between us and other people is an inner feeling that we have to make everyone like us; we need to be the solution to everyone’s problems. We need to be there for people so they continue to be our friend… or just nice to us.

At first, we like this feeling with people. We all like to feel that we’re important. We like to feel that the more we help this person, the more they’ll see us as a reliable and trustworthy friend and/or more.

However, as time goes on, we might start feeling that they’re taking advantage of us. That if we don’t do what they ask, they’ll be upset and we won’t hear the end of it.

“It’s their fault that they don’t understand me! If they understood my position, they’d stop asking so much from me!” you say?

Not necessarily. As adults, being stretched thin is totally our call. More than likely, we were the one’s who said yes to helping them in the first place. They asked and we agreed.

We all have demands in life that need our attention. On one hand, some of us are just better at asking for help from others. On the other, some of us are more inclined to be the helper.

If you are that helper type who wants less drama in your life, maybe ask yourself how you can get out of your situation.

More importantly, “How do we stop people pleasing?”.

First, you need to start expressing your concerns and opinions around others by communicating more clearly.

And second, by working on yourself some so it doesn’t happen as much as in the future.

Start Being Ourselves Around Others and Communicating More Clearly

If you find out that you’re a people pleaser, you might be wondering what you can do to stop it right away. Well, that might be a little hard depending on your situation. I mean, you still more than likely want to remain friends with these people – you just want to change your relationship with them a little. So let’s look at some of the things you can do right away that will help give you some space and time to figure out the deeper issues.

Stalling  – Not exactly the best tactic as it’s not very clear per se, but I have to put it in here if you’re looking for some immediate help. You’ve probably already played dumb or said you have too much going on to deal with their request right now (…however they can call you later).  Simply remember that this tactic only gets you so far and that as soon as you say yes, you’re stuck.

Ask for What You Want –  If you’re with a group of people, just say what you want to do. You might not change anyone’s mind, but it might surprise you that some of them might have wanted to do the same thing… they were just too afraid to say anything.

Compromise – If you’re with one other person, simply go for the trade. It might be as simple as saying, “If we do this, I’d like to to this.” Don’t try and force your decision on them. Remember, you’re trying to eliminate stress here. Do it for both parties.

Set a Time Limit – Another way of getting out of doing something you don’t want to is actually agreeing, but saying you can only do it for so long. This is a form of a compromise, but instead you’re giving yourself room to part ways.

Learn How to Say No (Don’t Give Excuses) – Sometimes, none of the other tactics are going to work. Perhaps you don’t like a co-worker’s friends. Or you get stressed at certain events. You simply don’t want to do whatever is being asking of you. When this happens, you’re just going to have to grin and bare the response. Just remember to be POLITE in your response. A simple “no, thanks” typically goes far.

Do Something For Yourself – Many of us agree to do what others are doing because we don’t want to be left behind. However, it’s totally ok for you to do things on your own if you are left behind. In fact, you should learn how to embrace it! None of your friends want to go to the other movie you suggested? Check it out on your own time! Let other’s opinions be things to consider in your decision – just not the final factor.

Whichever of these that you choose, remember that in the end, no one is a mind reader. So remember that they’re not used to you actually voicing an opinion. Also, don’t expect them to suddenly start waiting for your response.

The Harder but More Rewarding Part – Working on Ourselves

Until you examine who you are and adjust, you’re still going to attract the same kind of people in your life. This is true of not only people who want to take advantage of you, but all negative people. So let’s start digging deep and start changing some things around a little bit.

Examine Your Fears – Most of the time when people are people pleasers it’s because we are afraid of the outcome of not pleasing others. In a worse case scenario, if we start expressing our needs, will others accept them? If the answer to that is no, ask yourself if they’re really worth keeping around. Are they a lifter or a weight in your life?

Recognize Your Successes (Keep a Journal!) – Another reason we are people pleasers is because we feel that going with the flow of others adds value to us. You’re totally aware of their success, but of they of yours? Remember times that you have accomplished things. Even if you don’t think they were a big deal. To someone in the world, they are. Did you learn how to finally use roller blades? Good. Got your first meaningful job? Great! Celebrate your wins no matter the size and keep a record of them so you can look back in the future if needed.

Examine Boundaries (and Create New Ones) – Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Do you tolerate the intolerable? Or do you strive for excellence and set the bar up there for others as well? Learn how to identify and label unacceptable behavior for others. When they do it ask yourself why they’re even in your social group.

Stop Basing Your Own Worth By How Much You Do For Others – I saw a post on Facebook not too long ago that said that if the world was full of love that worth would not exist. Here’s the thing: if you hang out with people who do appreciate and respect you, you’re going to find out that you have all the worthiness you need to be successful in life. Stop

Consider the Source (Are You Being Manipulated?) – Sometimes people are just manipulators and you’ll have to learn how to sniff them out. A classic line that manipulators use is “Oh, you’re so great at XYZ! Would you help me with mine?” That doesn’t sound so bad, but on top of that they’ll try and coax you into doing something you hadn’t planned on and try to tell you what your availability AND time frame is to said job. They make the decision for you.

Run from these types of people.

Practice Successive Approximation (Create an A-Z plan and list) – Sometimes you’ll have people in your life that just can’t take the hint. You’ve tried several of the above tactics and they’re still being persistent in trying to get your attention and/or telling you how you can help them.

In this case, you’ll need a plan to get from where you currently are with this person to where you want them in your life. If they’re actions are predictable, this will be much easier to carry out.

An example might be noisy neighbors. Step 1: Just greet them. Step 2: Next time you see them, mention how noisy the neighborhood gets. Step 3: If they didn’t get the hint yet, just go knock on their door and politely ask for them to quiet it down.

Consider who you want to give your time to. – Ultimately your choice is yours to make. Do you want to spend time with someone who constantly makes you feel bad or with those who will respect and care about you?

Don’t be Scared of the Fallout – If someone in your life isn’t happy that you’re setting boundaries and starting to care about your own time and what you invest it in, perhaps you don’t need that person around. I know this is the hard part, but it isn’t your job to worry about what others think of you.

Realize You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone – Frankly, you are who you are. You have your strengths and weaknesses, as does everyone else in the world. Don’t expect to be Superman. Just realize that no one is perfect and you shouldn’t expect for yourself to be. When you have to say no, it’s ok. Just remember that you’re saving yourself in the long run by not rescuing everyone.

You only have so much time on Earth. Make a Stand. Make Your Time Your Time.

Homework

The next time you’re feeling that angry feeling towards someone “controlling” you, think about who they are. If they’re not a boss, client, or family member ask yourself if you need them in your life. Even if they are a supervisor, client, or family member, ask yourself if this constant frustration is worth your long term time and energy. If it isn’t, start looking for a new job or different clients. If it’s with a family member, figure out ways of limiting your time with them. Whatever is in your life right this instant isn’t what you’ve always had and always will have. Change is inevitable. Just become the catalyst and change it yourself.

The Bad Excuse of Perfectionism

Perfectionism: Good or Bad?

Most of my life I’ve been wanting to do something as good as I could because my name was tied to it’s quality. The better and well put together the project, the better I looked. So becoming a Perfectionist wasn’t too hard for me. In fact, for many years I thought being a perfectionist was a compliment.

However, as time went on, I came to realize that being a perfectionist was an excuse. That if you boiled it down, I wanted to be certain of getting desired outcome before even trying to make an attempt at that outcome.

One of the things that first hit me when I was in grad school was this idea that perfectionism could actually be a bad thing. That making sure that something you produced was good enough for you. That everything was perfect.

In grad school, they talked about how there were PhD candidates that would be so involved with having a perfect dissertation that they’d miss their defense date and not graduate for another semester.

That is a stark difference than what I had seen in my undergrad days or even before – when I was rushing to get things “done” and turning them in on time. It was hard for me to believe that people could miss deadlines by trying to be perfect – because wasn’t meeting that deadline part of being perfect?

Perspectives of Perfectionism

Afraid of Being Wrong

As I think back, though, I remember one time after I had taken a salsa dance lesson. I had learned a new move and wanted to try some things out with a friend. However, because I was too imperfect in my mind, I was afraid to even be on the dance floor. I couldn’t do what I came to do. It was torture.

Sometimes the hard part is starting. Sometimes it’s finishing.

In the creative life, it’s been said that as a creator you’ll always find something that needs to be touched up on. Whether that’s a speech, a painting, or a video, you’re never going to be truly satisfied. You’ll need to find out how to say “Well, that’s good enough”.

Simply accept that no one is perfect and neither should their work be.

Failure, the Twin of Success

Without failure, we can’t learn. I know, I know. School and Corporate America would tell you otherwise. The thing is, though, is that failure is necessary for growth. Have you ever heard the saying “If I’m not failing, I’m not trying?” Here’s another perspective for you. If you’re not trying, you’re not doing what you’re meant to do. Which means, if you’re not failing you’re not doing what you’re meant to do. Which is worse? Failing or doing what’s meaningful to you?

 

Tactics to Overcome Perfectionism

Prioritization

I recently saw this quote graphic on Facebook:

The-key-is-not-to-prioritize-what’s-on-your-schedule-but-to-schedule-your-priorities-Stephen-Covey-QUOTES

Setting priorities is key. If we stretch ourselves too thin, we’ll be creating opportunities for our perfectionism to get the best of us. When you focus on one thing at a time, you’ll have a high likelihood to get that one thing done. Make sure you realize how much time you’ll need and set realistic time aside accordingly.

Scheduling

I recently posted about my weekly scheduling routine in this post. Weekly scheduling does a couple of things. First, it takes those priorities you just listed and gives them mini-deadlines in a given week. Deadlines are important because setting them and meeting them helps you get to your next priority.

Scheduling, especially with an app like Google Calendar, also gives you a mini-time line and helps you keep track of things you’re going to be doing.

How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite at a Time.

Sometimes you’ll find yourself continually hitting a wall when you’re trying to do a project during a certain amount of time. That’s when you know that you’ll need to cut your projects into smaller components. An example might be doing a project for school.

When I was doing my major projects for school, including my senior design project and my thesis, there were milestones that were set for me. As a creative doing our own thing, we need to be able to figure out what those milestones are on our own. If your shooting to get 10 things done in a week and you’ve fallen short, try getting 2 done and see how long that takes.

Fire, aim, ready. Repeat.

In the world of engineering, we’re taught to measure twice and cut once. Be as efficient as possible. However, that can really kill you as a creative. Why? As an engineer we have parameters that we have to build something in. On the other hand, as a creative, we have little to no parameters – other than those we set for ourselves. So the easiest way to figure out what those parameters are is to just fire, see what the bullet hits (if anything), and then adjust accordingly. Then try again.

In the end…

The trick to fighting Perfectionism is to not fear or dread doing your projects.

You still have to get them done. However, Just Do-ing It might involve being a little strategic.

Take back control.

Get your stuff out there and see the difference in the world you can make!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 9 of 10: A Generational Decision

“The choices we make today are going to have impact on at least two generations after us. That means our kids and our grandkids.” – Campbell Haigh at an LTD Rally in 2007

 

I’m not sure about you, but that kind of frightens me a bit. As of right now, I don’t have kids (they’re in the not too distant future), but you know, I want to be a good example for them. Personally, with all of the political stuff that we’ve been through as of late with more people getting on welfare and believing that society owes them… I’m somewhat worried about my kids getting an influence from that thinking.

 

However, I realize that I can’t protect them from that fully, and potentially one of the biggest things they can see me do is struggle to get New Inceptions to what it has the potential to be in the future.

 

History is Written by Winners – How Will You Impact History?

 

Perhaps the business that you start will only be known about by your family in the future. Or, like Steve Jobs, your name will go down in infamy. That’s luck of the draw.

 

But really, as we’ve eluded to, you have to be a leader to get due credit – bad or good.

 

Something I also heard from the rally I quoted at the start of this section was this: A majority of people who are on their deathbed always wonder about their legacy. If they are going to be remembered. What could they have done differently?

 

This is something else that has driven me to make a mark in the sand. I don’t want to live the rest of my life wondering “What If?”. What if I had actually taken the time to start something? What would I have done? Where would I have gone? What would my family had been able to experience?

 

I know that if I do nothing, then nothing will happen. I know that if I work for someone else, they’ll get most of the credit for what I’ve done. We, as people, have the need to be recognized. At what level varies from person to person. I want to be remembered as someone who did something during a time that I could have chosen to mail it in with so many of our generation or do nothing. What’s the opposite of caring? No, it’s not hating. It’s indifference.

 

I’m simply suggesting that you do what Brendon Burchard talks about all the time: Live, Love, Matter. And personally, I don’t think there’s any better way of doing just that than by being an Entrepreneur.

 

Making the Big Choice

 

As I’ve been trying to make the case for as many Millennials to start their own business in this series, I realize that it’s going to be an individual choice for everyone. For me, it’s never really been a question on whether or not I’d go down this path, but when.

 

Personally, I’ve always kind of struggled with authority and even my the most influential people in my life have always asked when I was going to start my own thing. I guess my main problem was that I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do as a business. It wasn’t until I found fizzle.co that I felt that I had the backing and the proper check points in place to start.

 

So that’s one of the things that I would recommend is that if you’re looking to start something, see if you can’t seek insight into that world from people who are already there.

 

Another thing that kind of kept me back was wondering if I knew all I should about whatever it was that I was going to build NI on. Probably just like you, I don’t necessarily feel that I’ve accomplished much. However, when I ask others if I’ve been successful, they say that I have. In fact, they’ve even pointed out a few products that I can make right away.

 

Your hurdles might be completely different. Maybe they’re financial hurdles. Maybe they’re time issues. Everyone will have different things to get through. However, you need to make the choice. It’s either yes or no. And you need to live with and accept that choice.

 

Again, personally, I think it’s much easier to accept a choice when at the end you can at least say you HONESTLY tried.

 

You’re Unique: Share Your Voice, Your Passion, Yourself

 

You’ll probably have the same question as I did. What have I achieved? What do I know? How can I add value to others? The simple truth is that we’re all different – each of us has a story. Even someone that does car maintenance will do it differently compared to another mechanic. Does he see it as something that “needs to be right”? Or does he see it more as an art form? Does he work on cars for historical significance? Or is tinkering simply his passion?

 

When you think of your skill sets, what makes you different? When other people see something as a task… how do you see it? Perhaps it is something like car maintenance. Perhaps it’s something so niche and focused that many people will instantly see you as the expert because before you came, there was nothing.

 

Either way, your individual take and expertise is needed!

 

So below, I’d like you to think of and share at least 5 things that you believe is no big deal that you could 1.) be able to teach others to do or 2.) be able to do for them.

 

What passion and interests do you have that you could share with others and add value to their lives?

 

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 7 of 10: Easiest Method of Self Expression in One’s Career

In the last session of this series, I had a little tough love for our generation. But there was a reason for that. A lot of us ARE lost. Not lost as in a lost cause but lost as in confused. It is said that when people are confused, they lack clarity on what action to take – so they take none. The secret on taking action is to first find out where you are.

 

Just like when you’re lost geographically and you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you’re at so that if you had a map, the map could actually be of use to you.

 

Part of finding out who you are includes finding your personality. Another part includes finding your purpose in life. To Millennials, these are highly important. We are very self expressive. (You might not think you are personally, but then again we are the Generation of “Me!”.)

 

When you find your purpose in life, life gets that much easier. You start making choices that reflect where you want to go. It’s a life hack that is well worth the search.

 

On the other hand, when a person hasn’t found their purpose, there’s a good chance that they’ll jump from occupation to occupation or vise to vise hoping that they can fill the void in their life.

 

How to Find Your Purpose

 

Personally, I’ve learned a lot about myself since I’ve gotten out of grad school. I’ve had time to figure out what makes me tick and what I’m good at. This has helped me clear the view of what I want to accomplish in life. In other words, I’ve found my purpose.

 

Before you start on your path of finding your purpose, you might need to deprogram yourself. I did this with the book The Four Agreements. I highly recommend this book, however it might come off a little out there. So if you want something that’s more down to earth, try this. It has a longer list of things to remember… but it’s still useful.

 

Once you deprogram yourself, the first part to finding yourself is to recognize your personality. Finding your personality helps you learn how you naturally interact with the world around you. Do you live for the future? Do you live for the now? Or do you live based on where you’ve come from? How do express yourself? How do you think? These are questions that can be answered by figuring out your personality.

 

Once you find out who you are including your strengths and weaknesses (and acknowledging them) then you can start looking at finding your passion. Your passion is basically the concept of what you’re naturally interested in. What do you do with your spare time?

 

People might have similar strengths and weaknesses. They might have similar personalities. But the chances for them to have the same strengths, weaknesses, personality, AND interests is a pretty small chance. This is what makes you valuable. You just need to know where you fit. Once you’ve discovered your passions, you’ll be onto finding your purpose.

 

Your purpose is finding out how you fit into the world. And my biggest recommendation is: Don’t try to force it. If you’re a circle, don’t try being a triangle. If you’re a connector of people, don’t try being a super geek.

 

If You Don’t Program Yourself What To Think, The World Will Do it For You.

 

The mistake of not finding your purpose will more than likely land you in a situation you don’t want or appreciate. I’ve seen several people struggle with themselves through a midlife crisis. Yeah, you remember that phrase? It’s not used as much as it used to be, but people still go through them. Why?
Because they have been living someone else’s dream for them. They didn’t take the time to figure out what they wanted in life… until they realized they were a certain age and it wasn’t what was supposed to happen… to them. They might be really successful if compared to others, but in reality, they should have been doing something else the whole time. Have you ever heard of the expression in regards to a person’s career: “I found that I was climbing a ladder but realized that it was on the wrong building”?

 

Believe it or not, this has happened to a number of our parents. It’s one cause for people suddenly seeking divorce after being married a long time.

 

Have Full Reign to Follow Your Purpose

 

As an employee, we’re told what to do, when to do it, and possibly how to do it. Of course, as an employee this is what we signed up for. We’re selling our most valuable commodity, time, for money. If you have a problem with any of that… you should probably be a business owner.

 

However, if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s obviously risk involved. But there’s also risk if you’re an employee as well. As an entrepreneur, you might find yourself not needed. As an employee you might find yourself… not needed.

 

The difference? When you first started your job, you were guaranteed income. You knew you were going to get paid. As an entrepreneur, that might not be the case. However, as an entrepreneur, you have full control on your career. For some that’s a little hard to handle. Yet for others, that’s all we want to handle. We want to be personally responsible for our own success.

 

In the comments below, let me know if you’re on the path that you feel is right for you. If it isn’t right, say why not. If it is right, let me know how you found this path. Did you go through the above process or simply stumble into it?

 

Next week in part 8, we’ll be discussing Leadership by means of being an Entrepreneur. We touched briefly on this in part 6, but we’ll be looking more at why being a leader gets you closer to your ideal self.