For as long as I can remember, I have always been a people pleaser. When you’re younger, you don’t realize the extent of which it becomes detrimental, but eventually it catches up to you. So here I am, at 23, with the realization that it had to end. Have you ever seen the movie called, Yes, Man? Well, that was me (insert all exaggeration). The psychologist in me tries to analyze why I feel like I always have to take care of people. I won’t tell you about mine but all I can say is it’s all in the childhood and that is plain textbook my friends. No, but seriously, take that first step to realization. Try to think of where it stems from. Were you the oldest of your siblings? Did your parents rely on you for more than you could handle as a child? Is it a cultural thing to always present your best and to do it all? There are so many possibilities. Once I realized where and how it all began I started to understand myself better instead of beating myself up about being a people pleaser. I had run myself to the ground trying to understand “how could I be so stupid” before without actually trying to be productive about it. I took myself to a point of extremism before I made a change. So what does being a people pleaser look like? It’s never being able to say “No”, or, when you do finally say “No”, feeling awfully guilty about it. I would even feel bad for people having to do things for me, could you believe it? Something as small as driving me to the airport or giving me the last water in the fridge, I mean I know it sounds extreme but it was true in my case. But when people asked me to drive them to the airport or give them the last water in the fridge I was happy to do it. What’s strange is that no one ever made me feel guilty but I still did feel that way. People started taking advantage of that very quickly, I realize that more as an adult. The kids I grew up with were as clueless as me so couldn’t take advantage of me properly yet, BUT becoming an adult surrounded by other adults, I realized these people know what they’re doing. So much that I woke up six years into a relationship realizing that it had happened to me. I had officially been a sucker. I realized that within my friendships and family life too. You ever need someone to do something? Call Indie, she won’t say no. I’m not saying it’s not good to be reliable but don’t be too readily available. There’s another form of people pleasing and it is the worst kind. Instead of physical it’s more mental, it’s feeling like you need to be a certain way for people to accept you or feeling like you have to agree with people. Have you ever been in a relationship or friendship and felt like you couldn’t be yourself? Like you had to conform to who they wanted you to be? Eventually you’ll wake up one day and realize that you’re so lost with yourself. You’ve been pleasing people left and right and with each time you do it strips away at your core. Until finally there’s nothing left for you to give, you’ve given it all. For me, that’s what possessed me to make a change. I can’t give you the answer that will work for you, but for myself I found removing myself from everyone for a little bit kind of worked. I wasn’t answering phone calls or text messages, I wasn’t hanging around being people’s Uber driver, and It forced people to go rely on others. I started focusing on myself more and just staying in tune with my needs and wants. All the effort I put into pleasing other people I put into pleasing myself. By doing this I realized my worth. When you realize your worth there is no going back. And different things work for different people, but I do encourage you to access, take a step back, and work on you. You can’t be a people pleaser forever. The one you should please the most is YOU.