Singing the People Pleaser Blues

February 28, 2017

Have you ever read a list and felt like it was written just for you? That’s what happened when I clicked on an article with the headline, “Signs You Are Too Nice.” It could’ve been called “Signs You are a People Pleaser,” “Signs You Don’t Know When to Say NO,” or “Signs You are a Human Doormat” It boils down to one thing. Your efforts to get people to like you, rescue people and/or avoid conflict at all costs are causing problems for you.

How do you turn things around? It’s not easy. A few years ago I realized that my schedule was out of control because I lacked the ability to say, “no.” I declared 2007 “The Year of No.” You know how New Year’s resolutions work. I turned down a few requests, started to feel guilty then loaded up my calendar again. Feeling like I was letting people down was a bigger downer than being too busy. Now I’m making an effort to actually schedule some weekends and evenings off. It has required making a commitment to me that allows me to have more spontaneous fun and even (gasp) some real downtime.

I’ve gone through the contact list on my phone and removed a few numbers.  The people who only call when they think their “friend” in radio can hook them up with tickets, the people who just like to spread bad news or “borrow” money can talk to my voicemail. I simply don’t pick up the phone when I see a call from a number not assigned to a name. The chronic money borrowers were warned that if I wasn’t paid back the Bank of Ramona would be permanently closed. Being too nice resulted in doling out loans to needy people who’d post social media pictures of their new iPhone, vacation or designer purse a few months after begging for money to pay for rent or car repairs. I don’t know who said it first, but my friend DeeDee is fond of repeating that she refuses to support people who “buy what they want and beg for what they need.” AMEN to that!

Some might liken being too nice to having low self-esteem. They might be right. I’ve tolerated some ridiculous behavior and let a few users abuse my bank account and my schedule over the years. So how do people pleasers like me keep the emotional vampires from bleeding them dry? Since, I’d rather be remembered as generous and helpful when it’s time to write my obituary I’ll continue to be kind. However, instead of being too nice to everyone the new goal is to just be nicer to me.

Check out this list from Madame Noire. If you find yourself clicking through it and nodding your head in agreement then we might be doormat sisters from different misters or you could be my too nice brother from another mother.

Signs You Are Too Nice