In life, we come across people who can never say no, or find ourselves in such situations. As a freelancer, you can either aggrandize or wreck your brand depending on your relationships with your clients. Often, based on the work contract, the clients assign you tasks as they come.
There’s no set date on when you will receive tasks. And sometimes, you find yourself working when you had not planned for it. For instance, a client may leave you with several free days during the weekdays and send you tasks that require your immediate attention, as the weekend approaches.
Since you need to make a good income, one tends to accept almost all tasks at any time. I once had this issue where I never had free time to work on my personal development goals. Every single day, even on the weekend, I would be working on a client’s project at the expense of my own.
After all, I wanted to prove that I was more than able to deliver. However, a close friend once enquired on why I never had time for anything else in my life. And confidently I explained how I needed to ensure that my clients could rely on me and would accept all tasks no matter how packed my schedule would be.
He then suggested that I should say no, some of the times. It didn’t make sense to me, as I was just starting out as a freelancer and needed to build my client base. After a while of pondering over the matter, I decided to heed his advice but with reservations.
I informed all my clients that I was available for tasks over the weekdays and my weekends were for me to work on my other projects. To my surprise, my relationship with the clients I had, became stronger, than before. I am now able to work on client’s tasks, my side projects, and find time to catch up with friends.
Yes, my weekdays can be pretty busy, but it makes the free time on the weekends, worthwhile.
The people pleaser attitude isn’t just for one’s social life; you can even find them in the workplace. Some colleagues are always trying to do everything for everyone. The funny thing is, they may complain about being used, overworked, manipulated, etc. but never at the right channels.
Who is a people pleaser?
It is good to offer help to others when, and if they need it; though, the pattern of people-pleaser behavior can be unhealthy and toxic, to an individual. A people pleaser is one who you can always count for a favor. They can never find it in themselves to say no.
They could be the most helpful people you know. Their needs come last in their list of priorities. Most times, a people pleaser base their self-worth on the approval of others. If what they want to share may offend another, they would instead withhold it, rather than share it.
Our egos cause us to love approval and validation. If you are always anxious about getting approval, you need to learn to create boundaries. It will help you distinguish urgent matters from those that can wait.
You can try this Quiz by Susan Newman, Ph.D., Social Psychologist; to find out whether you have a healthy relationship with the word no, or you are on the verge of suffering from the People pleaser personality disorder.
If the need for popularity, liking, being helpful, exceeds your need to assert your desires, then it becomes detrimental to one.
Drawbacks Facing People Pleasers
1. Management of Time
If you are perpetually doing everything for everyone at the expense of your needs, it is no surprise that you will find it difficult to cater to your needs. You don’t have time for your goals, needs, and desires. For you to gain mastery in a field, studies, project, life, etc., you have to find time to work on them.
A people pleaser interrupts their life, interests, desires, and put them in the back seat. They don’t have time to work on themselves or for their good. With little time available to pursue their interests, one may become bitter.
Resentment may also arise when one feels that they should receive a higher level of praise, or thanks, than what was offered.
2. Fake Relationships
Do you have a horde of friends who you are always there for, but they can never find time to come to your aid? Personally, I prefer to have no friends than engage Fake Friends. People that reach out to you only when they need something from you.
If you are a people pleaser, then you will attract a large number of manipulative relationships, because one can always turn on you for a favor. When it’s time for you to ask for a cash bailout, no one is in a position to help you.
However, after every payday, you get calls and texts from people you haven’t spoken to for a long time. Immediately after the long salutations, their true colors emerge, as they ask for cash. People pleasers are often in a financial crisis.
They feel obliged to keep loaning out their money, contributing to an event, and can’t put a stop to their disappearing moola.
A people pleaser may have little or no idea of what pleases them. One bases their interest and likes on the influence of others. A typical example would be, one’s choice of favorite music. You would find that one has no interest in a particular music and after realizing that everyone else seems to enjoy it, then their interests also peaks.
Also, they tend to be very jealous especially if they realize that someone else received a higher commendation or better service than them. It becomes an act of war. When a people-pleaser meets an individual who is immune to their need for approval, their world turns upside down.
They can’t please everyone, but people pleaser are in constant need of validation or feeling useful.
4. Lack of Identity
Since a people-pleaser keep mirroring others, you can never know who they indeed are. Rather than share a conflicting interest, they would suppress it. One has to exert a massive amount of energy in trying to figure out what others want to hear or like.
It leads to mental fatigue. It would have been put to better use in discovering who one is, in this journey of life. To recharge for the next day, one has to retreat into a cocoon of limited exploration and experience.
It is not wrong to want to help others or desire to maintain peace and harmony, instead of causing conflict. However, there’s a fine line between a people pleaser and all that. Whether it’s good or bad, I leave that to you to decide. So, where do you fall?