To check out the book, click here.
I was a born people pleaser. I never knew how to say no & if I had to say no I would carry guilt with me for days over it. I never knew how to handle confrontation or stand up for myself & my opinions on things. Any healthy criticism thrown my way I would overly take it to heart, self destruct & give up instead of growing from it. I constantly looked for outside validation & needed everyone to like & approve of me. If someone didn't like me, I would go to extreme lengths to win their approval back & mold myself into someone they would like. I became a huge push over because I constantly said yes & agreed to everything asked of me & it was no one else's fault but my own because I didn't set healthy boundaries with my loved ones or in the work place or in my friendships. I woke up one day not even knowing who I was anymore because I spent all of my time only concerned about what other people thought about me & doing things they would approve of. I had no idea how to sometimes put my own needs first because my mind set told me that was a selfish thing to do.
Even after I came to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like me & that saying yes won't change it & that I needed to learn how to say no sometimes & put my own needs first, I had no idea how to start doing it. My honey AJ is the one who bought me this book, The Disease to Please by Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D. & I can honestly say it has changed my life. I've learned how to find validation within myself & not just from the things I do for others or what others think about me. I've learned how to say no when I want to & not carry guilt over it & think my friendship/career is over because I said no. I've learned how to have HEALTHY confrontation & talk about things in calm ways even if the person I'm talking with doesn't necessarily agree with me. I've learned how to conserve my energy for the things I truly want to do. Of course sometimes I still say yes when I want to say no, we all encounter situations like that. But now I'm not completely drained by saying yes to EVERYTHING that I have more energy for the rare occasions I say yes when I don't really want to.
The book The Disease to Please is broken down into 4 parts. The first section you will dive into "People-Pleasing Mindsets" which talks about toxic thought patterns, how it's okay to not be nice sometimes, needing a balance in putting others first, how there is more to you than what you constantly do for others and that you can say no while still being a nice person. This chapter helped me realize how unhealthy some of my thought processes were. I recognized how I sometimes became a totally different person around certain people in order to win their approval. I woke up to the fact that I can say no & still be a nice person, saying no sometimes isn't rude! I also realized how often I would say yes out of habit, completely drain myself & end up not following through. Which helped me learn how much better it would have been, not only for myself but also for the other person, if I had just said no in the first place.
The second section dives into "People-Pleasing Habits" which this chapter was an emotional roller coaster for me. It dives deep to make you realize why, what or who molded these mindsets & habits into your brain & convinced you that this was how you needed to be in order to be loved & accepted by others. It goes over behaviors learned that feed into approval addiction, struggling with wanting your parents approval, losing yourself in relationships & sacrificing everything just to be loved & having a romantic addiction. If you've been following me long enough I can almost guarantee you already know I lost myself completely in my first real relationship because at a young age I already had a romantic addiction. I was obsessed with the idea of falling in love so as soon as I did, I gave up EVERYTHING to serve him & make him happy. But if you live to "serve" your significant other & only think about what will please them, you lose why they even fell in love with you in the first place because you lose yourself & basically just become a slave to them or another version of them. There's no more depth or uniqueness that you're bringing to the table because everything revolves around you doing what they want you to in order to keep them pleased. & sadly most of the time, no matter how amazing the person is with the right intentions, it's only natural they will accept it if you are constantly sacrificing everything for them. You must have balance & learn to set those boundaries for yourself. The longer you let it go in any of your relationships, the harder it will be to end those expectations others have of you because they are so used to you doing anything to please them, they aren't even aware.
The third section dives into "People-Pleasing Feelings" which focuses on fearing anger, disapproval, confrontation & just how much power you give to other people & the things they say to you. If someone tried to give me healthy criticism or feedback on something I would act totally fine to their face but inside I'd be dying feeling like a failure that can't do anything right & I needed to just give up. I knew I had a problem with constantly needing approval from people but I didn't even realize until I read this how much I held onto what everyone else thought & how I avoided confrontation because of it. I use to give up my opinion or my thoughts or my needs just to avoid having those harder, more difficult, conversations. I did everything to avoid angering anyone or giving them a reason to be upset with me. Which resulted in built up resentment towards people & my needs constantly being put on the back burner & not dealt with. My relationships suffered because my loved ones had no idea because I wasn't voicing anything to them.
The fourth & final section is a 21 day step plan to walk you through how to say no & actually stick to it. Coming to the realization you have The Disease to Please isn't enough to help you end the mindset & behaviors you've been practicing, you have to be taught how to change these habits. People won't be use to you saying no at first & will try to talk you into it without even realizing they are doing it, it's just been the pattern of your life for so long. So you have to learn to not only say no but also stick to it. The plan goes in depth with journal prompts, reflecting, practicing conversations where you do say no & don't give in later but instead follow through with your no.
The biggest thing for me that has come from reading this book is learning how to feel validated by myself & no one else, learning to love without losing myself & most importantly learning how to talk about the harder things even if someone doesn't agree or understand or wants to hear it. Instead of my emotions & feelings coming out in rage because I anticipate a negative response from sharing my needs, I am able to communicate in a calmer and healthier way. It's still a work in progress & not something that will be changed over night but the 21 steps at the end of the book walk you through it so simply that by the end it has transformed your mindset & behavior patterns.
I highly recommend anyone that feels they can even remotely relate to these struggles, to read this book & learn how to occasionally put your own needs first while maintaining a balance with still loving, caring & pleasing your loved ones.
To purchase your own copy, just click here.
If you do end up buying & reading the book, please let me know & tell me how its helped you! It was such an eye opener for me & has changed the way I view myself & the way my relationships operate. I hope this can help at least one other person that struggles in the same way.
Know that you can be true to yourself, maintain balance & still be loved.
Thank you as always for reading :)
Nothing but love, always.
-The Balanced Planner