If you want to be respected in life, say goodbye to these 10 people-pleasing behaviors

Respect is a two-way street, but it’s a road often blocked by the habits of people-pleasing behaviors.

These behaviors, while sometimes driven by a genuine desire to make others happy, can often leave you feeling overlooked and undervalued.

They can also result in others taking advantage of your kindness, which can damage your self-esteem and self-worth.

If you want to be respected in life, it starts with saying goodbye to these 10 people-pleasing behaviors. I’m going to guide you through what these behaviors are and how you can start letting them go.

So let’s dive in and start reclaiming your respect, because you’re worth it.

1) Always saying “yes”

Saying “yes” to everything is the hallmark of a people-pleaser. It’s a habit rooted in the fear of disappointing others and the desire to make everyone around us happy.

But here’s the thing – it’s simply not possible to please everyone. And in trying to do so, you can end up feeling overburdened and unhappy yourself.

More importantly, when you’re always agreeable, people start taking your “yes” for granted. Your opinions, desires, and needs can begin to appear insignificant, leading to a lack of respect for your time and energy.

It’s important to understand that it’s okay to say “no”. Not only does it help maintain your mental well-being, but it also sets boundaries and commands respect from others.

And remember, you don’t need to justify your “no”. Your time is your own, and you have every right to spend it as you wish.

2) Over-apologizing

Are you someone who often finds themselves saying ‘sorry’ even when it’s not warranted?

Here’s the thing – over-apologizing can make us come across as less confident and more submissive.

It’s important to apologize when we’re in the wrong, but unnecessary apologies can undermine our self-esteem and make us seem less assertive.

Let’s remember that not every mishap or misunderstanding is our fault, and there’s no need to take on unnecessary blame.

It’s okay to stand our ground, and it’s crucial to respect ourselves first if we want others to do the same.

3) Neglecting personal needs

This one hits close to home for many of us.

We get so caught up in fulfilling the needs of others that we forget to take care of our own. It’s like being on an airplane and forgetting to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

When you neglect your own needs, it sends a message that you don’t value yourself. And if you don’t, it’s hard for others to.

Remember, respect starts with self-respect. So, make sure to take care of yourself too. It’s not just okay—it’s essential.

4) Seeking validation

Seeking external validation is a classic trait of a people-pleaser. It’s the constant need for approval and affirmation from others that your decisions and actions are right.

Here’s the problem with this – when you rely heavily on others’ approval, you’re handing them the control over your self-esteem and self-worth. You’re allowing their judgments to determine your happiness and success.

But respect comes from within. You must first respect yourself before expecting others to respect you. And that begins by trusting in your own abilities and decisions, and not seeking constant validation from others.

5) Avoiding conflict

Avoiding conflict at all costs is another common trait of people-pleasers. They often go out of their way to maintain harmony, even if it means suppressing their own feelings or needs.

But here’s the thing – conflict isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, constructive conflict can lead to better understanding, deeper relationships and improved solutions.

Avoiding conflict might make things seem smooth on the surface, but it can lead to unresolved issues and resentment over time. It also gives others the impression that your opinions can be easily dismissed, which can diminish their respect for you.

Learning to handle conflict in a mature and respectful manner is a crucial life skill. It involves expressing your thoughts and feelings honestly, while also being open to other perspectives.

6) Suppressing emotions

Feelings are a fundamental part of our human experience, yet so many people-pleasers feel the need to suppress their emotions, especially the negative ones. Fear, sadness, anger – these are often pushed aside in an effort to maintain a cheerful and accommodating aura.

But here’s something we all need to realize: It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Emotions, both positive and negative, make us human. They allow us to connect with others on a deeper level.

Suppressing your emotions not only harms your mental health but also builds up walls between you and others. It prevents genuine connections and can even lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.

7) Overextending yourself

I remember a time when my calendar was packed with commitments, both professional and personal. From office projects to social gatherings, I had said “yes” to everything, often at the expense of my own rest and relaxation.

I thought I was being helpful and reliable, but in reality, I was just spreading myself too thin. I was constantly tired, stressed, and had little time for self-care or personal growth.

This not only affected my productivity and health, but also the quality of my relationships. I was present physically, but mentally and emotionally, I was often absent.

It took a serious toll on my health for me to realize that overextending myself wasn’t benefiting anyone, least of all me.

Overextension doesn’t earn you respect or admiration. It just leaves you drained and unfulfilled.

8) Ignoring your intuition

Your intuition, or gut feeling, is a powerful tool that can guide you in making decisions that align with your values and desires. But often, people-pleasers ignore their intuition in favor of pleasing others.

When you disregard your intuition, you may end up making choices that don’t truly resonate with you. This can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and resentment, as well as a loss of self respect.

Moreover, when you constantly ignore your own instincts, people may perceive you as indecisive or lacking confidence, which can diminish their respect for you.

So start tuning into your intuition. Listen to that inner voice that nudges you towards or away from certain situations.

Trusting your gut can lead to more authentic decisions and actions, which in turn can help you gain more respect from others.

9) Always going with the flow

It’s great to be flexible and adaptable. However, constantly going with the flow, regardless of our own preferences or values, can be detrimental. It can lead us to live our lives according to others’ choices rather than our own.

It’s okay to have opinions and make choices that align with our personal beliefs, even if they don’t always align with the majority.

Challenging the status quo doesn’t make you difficult; it makes you authentic.

So, speak your mind, stand your ground, and remember – it’s your life. Make sure you’re the one steering it.

10) Letting others define your worth

Finally, one of the most destructive people-pleasing behaviors is letting others define our worth.

When we rely on external validation, we give others the power to determine our self-esteem.

But here’s a powerful truth: only you have the authority to define your worth.

Your value is inherent and unchangeable, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. 

Final thoughts: It starts with you

The journey towards self-respect and earning the respect of others is intricately tied to our understanding and acceptance of ourselves.

One profound quote by psychologist and philosopher, William James, hits the nail on the head: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

We all have a fundamental desire to be respected and valued.

But it’s essential to understand that this appreciation must first stem from within ourselves. Only when we appreciate, value, and respect ourselves can we expect others to do the same.

Letting go of people-pleasing behaviors isn’t about becoming selfish or uncaring. It’s about establishing healthy boundaries, honoring your feelings, standing firm in your decisions, and valuing your worth.

As you embark on this journey, remember that it’s okay to take your time.

Changing ingrained behaviors isn’t easy, but every small step you take brings you closer to becoming a more self-respecting and consequently, more respected individual.

So here’s to stepping into our power, setting firm boundaries, honoring our feelings, and being unapologetically ourselves. Because at the end of the day, your respect for yourself sets the bar for how others treat you.

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