We all enjoy being around pleasant, kind and helpful people in our place of work. Someone who is friendly and always happy to help, who will always lend a non judgemental listening ear and someone who can always be relied upon no matter what is asked of them. Someone that will never say no, despite what is being asked of them. These are all fine qualities to have and perhaps you recognise yourself in some of these descriptions. You may have even been described as a people pleaser or heard of others being described as such.
Being a people pleaser can be like a double edged sword because on one hand, colleagues will see you as the helpful and more accommodating member of staff whereas others may see you as someone who can be taken advantage of, often without you even realising what is happening. You also run the risk of becoming overworked and stressed due to trying to meet everyone's demands as well as trying to keep up with your own responsibilities.
There are certain behaviours attributed to people pleasers and one of them is the inability to say no. You may find yourself regularly taking on colleagues' work when you already have enough of your own work to do and whilst it is good to be a team player, it is equally important to know your own limits and to prioritise your own workload.
If your colleagues know that they can always rely upon you to sort out emails and messages, whatever the time of day or if you find yourself skipping breaks and working through your lunch hour, then it is time to start establishing some very clear boundaries and take your own entitled breaks when needed.
People pleasing characters often go out of their way to avoid conflict, confrontations or any type of disagreements. However, while none of these scenarios are pleasant, occasionally a disagreement may be necessary to address issues and to find a solution that will be of benefit to everyone involved. Disagreements do not always involve raised voices or accusations ~ sometimes you may even agree to disagree and leave it at that, yet healthy discussions lead to healthy outcomes.
You may find yourself offering excuses or apologies to colleagues even if something was not your fault. Do not add extra pressure to yourself just to please others.
You may even start to worry and become anxious even when you are not at work. Perhaps running possible situations through your mind and trying to figure out what may happen at work the next day. Anxiety will make your problems even bigger and send your mind racing and so you must try to recognise your emotions are not healthy.
If you feel as if you are always putting other people's needs ahead of your own, it can be very tiring so you need to start focusing on prioritising your mental wellbeing and implementing self care strategies that work for you. Taking care of yourself is far more important than taking care of others. By learning to say no, tolerating conflict and prioritising your own work and your own wellbeing, you can become a much more balanced and effective team member who is respected by colleagues and more importantly, respected by yourself.