An Open Letter To The People Pleasers Of The World

by Megan Minutillo

You’re always saying “I’m sorry.”

You’re always taking on the hurt and hope and intentions of others, way before you ever think about what you need, what you want, and what makes you tick. You’re constantly putting yourself in a situation that makes others happy, but it makes you want to crawl outside of your own skin. You aim to please everyone but yourself.

You don’t know how to say “no” when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. No, scratch that – you know how to say “no”, but you don’t, because you feel bad for not being there for your family, for your friends, for your kids, for your co-workers, for your tribe…the list can go on and on. So you say “yes”, because you don’t want to let anyone down. Or make anyone mad. Or sad. 

Does that sound like you?

Welcome to the People Pleaser’s Club.

And I’m here to tell you enough is enough. Now look, keep reading. Try not to get all defensive, either. Understand that I’m not here to make you feel bad about your big heart, or your want to help, or your deep-rooted desire to make this world better. I think those things are beautiful, I really do. 

The world needs people with big hearts. But the big-hearted folks of this world need to take care of their hearts, too. 

How can you help the ones you love if you’re not whole yourself? How can you make this world a better place if you’re too tired to get out of bed in the morning? How can you pour into others if there is nothing within you to give? There’s a reason the quote “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is shared over, and over, and over again.

It’s because it’s true – you can’t.

It’s ok to say “no” to the things that cause you unnecessary stress and harm, so that you do have time for what matters most. That doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. You get twenty-four hours in the day just like everyone else, and those hours are precious time that you cannot get back once you’ve given them away.

It’s ok to say “no” when you don’t feel like going to the party, or the dinner, or out to drinks, or whatever social situation is beckoning for your presence and attention. They’re called social situations for a reason, they’re supposed to be fun. If being there is pure torture, why are you doing that to yourself? Stop. It. Right. Now.

It’s okay to walk away from people who make you feel lesser. It’s okay to tell them that they do this, too. And it’s definitely okay to stand up for yourself, even if standing up for yourself means that you’re going to potentially have an awkward moment. 

But what’s one awkward moment if it means you get to live fully in the skin you’re in? What’s one awkward moment if it means those around you no longer take your big heart for granted, but appreciate, and even reciprocate the love that you have to give?

It’s okay to put your needs first. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about people, it just means you care about yourself, too. 

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