Calling All Singles: Are You A People Pleaser?

Heybaby welcomes guest writer, life coach Rachel Lipton. With a decade of experience consulting with organizations to significantly elevate their leadership development and organizational effectiveness strategies, Rachel partners with executives, emerging leaders, and teams to lead from a place of strength and step into their power. Rachel believes everyone should be able to have the freedom to find their creative, soulful inner spirit no matter their circumstances, and have trust in themselves regardless of what “boxes” they have been put in.  In this post, Rachel discusses how to keep your inner people pleaser in check when you’re looking for that special someone. Take it away Rachel. 

Do you constantly think about what other people think of you? Do you want to make sure others are happy and that what you do makes them happy? Do you say “yes” when really you want to say “no?” If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, you may be a people pleaser. 

Most of us have an inner people pleaser to some extent. After all, we are social creatures that need each other to survive and thrive. Our people pleasers may have served us well to get straight A’s, win points with our parents or other people of influence in your life, or stay safe in uncertain situations (this is especially true for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ-identifying folks). But likely these old habits no longer serve us in adulthood and sometimes that part of us can get in the way of what we really want.

When it comes to dating, people pleasers may be prone to spending too much time with someone who isn’t aligned with who they are. From not leaving after the first cup of coffee with someone you aren’t really into, to being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t fully light your fire, people pleasers are at risk of not being able to be their authentic selves and find what they want out of life. 

So what can you do? 

1. Identify the people pleaser tendencies in you.

When do they show up? How do they show up? Begin to pay attention to what you say and how your body reacts in these situations.

2. Give the people pleaser a character.

Maybe it’s Charlotte from Sex and the City, the pig from Babe, or a cartoon character from one of your kid’s television shows. What does the people pleaser wear? What does she sound like? What does she like to do? It’s a fun (and funny!) exercise, but it helps separate that well ingrained voice from who we are as a person.

3. Take small steps to build new habits.

Once you start noticing the people pleaser’s habits, you can start to unlearn them. Practice saying “no,” ask yourself what you really want, find a moment in your day just for you. The more we practice, the more we begin to know what we really want and can begin to manifest it.

4.Give yourself some grace.

Self-compassion is never overrated. We are our own worst critics. As you notice the people pleaser more, you may feel frustration, sadness, or anger. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to be with whatever comes up in that moment.

5. Get support.

It can be hard to notice well-worn thought and behavior patterns that no longer serve us. Consider working with a coach or therapist. This work can be transformational and vastly improve your dating life.

With practice, you may find that you start setting more boundaries with others (including potential dates!) in your life and saying yes to you more. Cheers to working with our inner people pleasers to have a more fulfilling dating experience (and beyond)!

All the best,

Rachel Lipton

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