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Personal Development

Lagom: Swedish Philosophy For Living a Meaningful Life

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Did you know that Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world? What do they do so differently that it helps them stay happy and satisfied with their lives? The answer is found in one word – lagom.

In this article, I will share with you what lagom is and how we can all implement it into our lives and make it more balanced and meaningful.

What Is Lagom?

Lagom (pronounced “lar-gohm”) is the Swedish philosophy that focuses on finding balance in your everyday life through moderation.

This word can be translated as “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.” In other words, if you focus on having enough but not too much, you create a balanced mindset.

The famous Swedish proverb says “There is virtue in moderation”. And this is the main difference between our american mindset which makes us always seek the next best thing.

Lagom philosophy is the opposite of materialism and consumerism. It focuses on creating a balanced, sustainable lifestyle that welcomes the pleasures of existence rather than those of consumption. This philosophy is very practical and applied to everyday lives – food, clothes, lifestyle, work, etc.

Lagom is all about having only what you need. It is the new minimalism for anyone who wants to live with fewer material possessions but aim to enjoy a more meaningful and happier life.

Don’t they get bored living like this?

Lagom is not a rejection of pleasure, but the ability to indulge in it in a moderate and balanced way. Of course, the Swedes also allow themselves to deviate from the plan. If you’ve ever been to Sweden you know what an incredibly strong coffee they brew! Not to mention punch-rolls, chocolate balls, cinnamon buns that Swedes adore. However, after a little indulgence, they do not punish themselves with strict diets but get back to a moderate and balanced lifestyle.

How to practice lagom?

Now let’s talk about how we can implement lagom into our daily life. As I already mentioned, it can be applied to all areas of life. In this article, I will share with you some ideas on how to do it.

Step 1: Inspect your home

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If we try to highlight the area where the Swedes are #1, it is home organizing. Impeccable Sweden style is not overloaded and attracts the eye.

But how did the Swedes manage to create this balance?

They have an innate desire for minimalism and absolutely no desire for hoarding. That’s why there are no boxes in Swedish homes filled with old things like broken phones, a dozen old sweaters, and jeans that we vow to wear one day, old magazines, etc.

Here’s a little clutter test for you. Check the correct statements box:

  • You have a box or drawer with the items that you never use.
  • It takes you more than five minutes to find the right thing.
  • You feel stressed if your friends come to visit you without an invitation because you have to do a big cleaning first.
  • You have things that you don’t use or things that you don’t like anymore.

If you have marked more than two points — it’s time to think about how to throw out the excess.

Here are a few tips on how to declutter without stress:

  • Don’t try to do it all at once. Take 10 minutes a day to declutter.
  • Distribute items in three boxes: keep, give away/donate, and throw away.
  • Use the “buy one thing, get rid of one” rule.
  • Do not allow the emergence of “hot spots” where junk tends to accumulate.
  • Keep your toiletries in a special box.
  • Keep all your papers and documents in folders.

Step 2: Infuse your house with lagom

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Reduce the number of items

For several months, once a week, remove one item from each room — and very soon you will notice that the energy of your house has improved.

Be mindful of what you buy

If you buy a new item, let it be not only beautiful but also functional and high-quality item. Look for handmade items, visit fairs, and meet new artists and designers. But before you buy anything ask yourself if you really need it or perhaps your home already has everything you need.

Invite nature into your house

Use natural eco-friendly materials in the decor. Get indoor plants. Collect twigs, snags, acorns, pebbles from the beach — all this brings you closer to nature. As you may already know, nature heals and if you invite nature into your house you also infuse it with peaceful and healing energy.

Do not clutter the house

Keep it simple. For each new item, get rid of one old.

Step 3: Be mindful of your food

We, Americans, tend to waste lots of food. It makes us spend more money than you probably should. But if we become more mindful in planning and organizing food we can actually save more money than you may think. And the less money we spend the less stress we have. Here are a few tips on how to be more organized with your food.

Freeze your food

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Label the bags of frozen items so that you don’t confuse chili with strawberries.

You can freeze herbs, juice, coconut milk in ice molds.

Freeze overripe bananas so you don’t waste them. You can use them later for making ice cream or smoothies.

Don’t let the vegetables wither

To keep salad leaves and green leafy vegetables fresh longer, wash them, put them in a sealed bag, and put them in the vegetable compartment.

Too much parsley or dill? Finely chop it and freeze it. You can use it for soups and other dishes.

Buy seasonal and local products

Do not use expensive imported ingredients brought from the other side of the planet for preparing your meals. Try to always buy local veggies, berries, and fruit. Find out which fruits and vegetables are in season and try to cook seasonally.

Plan your menu a week in advance

This is a super helpful tip for those who want to reduce the amount of food waste. During the week, prepare simple dishes. Leave new and complex recipes for the weekend, when you have more time. This will also help you to be less stressed about not having enough time.

Step 4: Create a balance between work and personal time

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We tend to go from one polarity to another. Today we’re working hard with no breaks and rest, and tomorrow we are so exhausted that have zero motivation even to get up from the bed. Lagom teaches us to create a balance between work and personal time that you can use for hobby, yoga, rest, or other things you like to do during your free time. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Reduce the number of tasks scheduled for the week and weekend

On the weekend, choose one day when you have nothing planned. This is a day for restoring balance, spending time spontaneously, and communicating with your family and friends.

Good rest is the key to efficiency and stress reduction

Try to go to bed on time and get up a little earlier than usual. An extra half hour in the morning will give you a sense of control over time and self-confidence that you are unlikely to be able to experience while doing everything on the run. If it is still dark outside when you get up, light a candle and drink tea from your favorite mug. It will give you a feeling of self-care and the necessary comfort for feeling safe and relaxed.

Step 5: Take care of your health

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A healthy body and a balanced mind lead to a happy life and less stress. Lagom gives us some tips on how to take care of our health and be more balanced.

Make your workout easier and don’t overdo it

Everyone should make time for rest, work, and active movement. Find a way to work out in a way that brings real benefits to both body and spirit. Make sure that you actually enjoy your workout time. For example, go for a run alone to clear your mind, or go for a walk with friends to chat. If you feel like lifting weights brings more stress to you than enjoyment, then maybe yoga or cardio exercises will suit you better? Don’t try to copy others. Find your own unique way to work out and enjoy it!

Seek balance, but don’t be obsessed with it

There is no doubt that balance is the key component for our physical and mental health. However, we all need to accept that there can always be a slight imbalance in life. There is no need to feel stressed about it. Each of us, from time to time, has days when we have too much work and it’s hard to find time for quality rest. Sometimes it is impossible to find time for the gym and working out. Don’t feel stressed or guilty about that.

Keep it simple

Use natural cosmetics. Skincare is really simple — healthy food, rest, and fresh air will do almost all the work for you.

Step 6: Spend more time outside in contact with nature

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Swedes love to spend time in nature. More than half of Sweden’s territory is covered with forest. Nature is an integral part of Swedes’ life.

The state also strongly supports such leisure. In Sweden, there is a concept called “Allemansrätten” – everyone’s right to access certain public or privately owned land, lakes, and rivers for recreation and exercise. Everyone can freely walk, pick mushrooms and berries, and camp in any place if it does not disturb the peace of others. So, Swedes in any weather go out of town, have picnics, go sailing, etc.

In 2016, the World Wide Fund for Nature conducted a study that found that those who regularly go out to nature feel happier and healthier. Another study also showed that during these “nature time”, we calm down, restore the psyche, and become more creative and peaceful.

Step 7: Don’t get involved into arguments

Try to cultivate peace in every communication you have. Instead of passionately proving your point, try to always find a compromise. If you feel like your opinion is not welcomed, let your opponent keep his/her views, don’t try to change them. Arguments and conflicts lead to stresses, disappointments, and breakups. You can always walk away from the argument and let people have their opinions.

Step 8: Invite celebration into your life

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Arrange small celebrations for yourself for your family and friends. In Sweden, there are many traditions that are designed to unite friends, colleagues, and family members. For example, the sacred Swedish Fika ritual – a coffee break with sweets. Its essence is simple: a hot drink, a treat, and communication without haste. Or Fredagsmys – a cozy Friday ritual, when you are gathering with the family, watch a movie, and eat something tasty. It is these small traditions that create unforgettable memories, evoke a smile, and create a feeling of being loved. This atmosphere reduces stress and makes life more enjoyable.

The Bottom Line

You can start practicing lagom by asking yourself, “Is this lagom?”. When you look inside your crowded closet, or when a big portion of food is placed in front of you, or when you consider that second cookie, ask yourself if you really need it, if it is lagom. Constantly, try to build that balance between work and your personal life. Always make sure you find time to do the things you love. Keep track of your spending, consciously reduce your environmental impact on the world, take purposeful breaks from work, spend quality time with family and friends. By bringing lagom into your life you become much happier, more peaceful, and less stressed.

Personal Development

How To Stop Overthinking: 6 Effective Strategies

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Overthinking is a habit that if not taken under control can cause tremendous distress and suffering. When overthinking, our brain tries to convince us that all those worries and ruminations could be helpful. Many overthinkers have a firm belief that they can come up with a better solution or prevent themselves from making the same mistake if they spend more time thinking and analyzing. All these can lead to analysis paralysis which becomes a real problem. The more you think, the worse you feel. Overthinking often leads to anxiety, anger, frustration, fear, and other negative emotions that may cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing the situation clearly. In this article, I want to share with you 6 effective tips on how to stop overthinking and take control of your mind.

What Is Overthinking?

Overthinking is basically what its name suggests – thinking too much. When you are going over the same thought, again and again, so that your brain becomes incapable of translating this thought into actions or positive outcomes. When you think about something too much or for too long, that you can’t get it out of your head and feel worried or stressed about it – this is overthinking.

Do you often worry about the future, catastrophic predictions about events that haven’t happened yet? Do you think with regret about your past, “should haves” and “could haves.” Do you fret over what others might think of you or let negative self-talk build up in your mind? These are examples of overthinking.

If you are one of those who tend to overthink an important decision, replaying all the options in your head, you may experience “paralysis by analysis”. You are so afraid of taking the wrong action, so you take no action at all.

Overthinking often leads to sleepless nights when your brain just won’t turn off, increased symptoms of depression, elevate your stress levels, and cloud your judgment. 

Common Types Of Overthinking

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Nick Wignall, a clinical psychologist, suggests four common types of overthinking:

#1: Worry

This is one of the most common types of overthinking where we imagine possible problems or dangers in the future.

“Of course, anticipating problems or threats in the future is often a good thing to do! But helpful planning is different from unhelpful worry in that worry doesn’t actually lead to new information or insights that can be helpful. For example, your spouse is on a plane flight and you start worrying about different ways the plane could crash and kill your spouse. This kind of thinking doesn’t actually keep your spouse safe, plus it adds a lot of stress and anxiety to you.” – Nick Wignall

#2: Depressive Rumination

This type of overthinking is about replaying events from the past in an unhelpful way. A depressive rumination is a specific form of overthinking our own past mistakes or failures.

“As opposed to helpful reflection, depressive rumination is unproductive and doesn’t lead to anything but shame, guilt, and sadness at oneself. Depressive rumination is one of the key drivers of not only depression but also self-criticalness and low self-esteem.” – Nick Wignall

#3: Angry Rumination

This type of overthinking is similar to depressive rumination except the object of the overthinking is other people and their mistakes rather than yourself.

“For example, after a fight with your spouse, you find yourself replaying arguments you’ve had with them in the past and going over evidence of why you were right and they were wrong. Although it often feels good in the moment, angry rumination tends to lead to aggression, resentment, and distorted beliefs about other people in our lives.” – Nick Wignall

#4: Fix-It Mode

This type of overthinking happens when someone is sharing a painful or difficult experience with you and you have a hard time tolerating the anxiety that comes from hearing it. It affects you in a way that you begin thinking about best ways to fix the problem or do things differently.

“Fix-It Mode is a form of overthinking because you’re applying problem-solving-style thinking when what would be more helpful is to simply listen empathetically and validate the person’s difficulty rather than trying to fix it (and make yourself feel better in the process).” – Nick Wignall

Of course, there are many other types of overthinking. But the four listed tend to be the most common and often produce the most suffering.

Why Do We Overthink?

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Often, the tendency to overthink roots in unhealed trauma or deep emotional issue. Here are the most common reasons why we overthink:

  • childhood trauma
  • obsessive desire to control the situation
  • intolerance of uncertainty and tendency to pretend that things are more predictable than they are
  • perfectionism (as intolerance of feeling less than perfect)
  • an excuse for procrastinating or avoiding decisions
  • you see everything as a problem to be solved with lots of thinking
  • excessive fear of conflict

Of course, there are many more reasons of overthinking. But the listed seven are some of the most common. The above causes are a good place to start if you want to stop overthinking.

How To Stop Overthinking?

Now let’s talk about how to stop overthinking. Here are six strategies that I find most effective.

#1: Identify the Emotions Behind Overthinking

First, try to identify what emotion is hiding behind your overthinking. For example, when you start overthinking by worrying about future events, it might be the case that overthinking is functioning to relieve or alleviate some anxiety you have about your future. Overthinking may temporarily distract you from your anxiety temporarily and give you the illusion of control in a short term. However, it’s not solving the problem but only makes it worse. Therefore, it’s essential to look for the emotions behind overthinking and ask yourself if there’s a better way to deal with them.

When you take time to identify your emotions and validate them, it helps you to become more productive in the long run.

#2: Challenge Negative Thoughts

Overthinking is often a response to feeling bad emotionally. But if you allow your negative thoughts to take control of your mind, you end up feeling even worse. It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. The most effective way to switch the frequency of your thought patterns is to practice positive self-talk.

Next time when you start overthinking, pause for a moment and point out that your thinking is not entirely accurate. This simple technique will help you to achieve a more balanced and emotionally neutral way of thinking. With practice, you’ll learn to recognize and replace negative thinking patterns, before they work you up into complete insanity.

#3: Focus On Problem Solving

Overthinking your problems isn’t helpful – but looking for solutions is. If it’s something you have some control over, think about how you can prevent the problem or challenge yourself to identify a couple of potential solutions. If it’s something you have no control over – think about the strategies you can use to cope with it. Instead of overthinking your problems, focus on the things you can control, like your attitude and your effort.

#4: Schedule Time For Reflection

Instead of dwelling on your problems for long periods of time, try to take a brief reflection on them. Constructive reflection can help you to see more clearly how you could do things differently, recognize potential pitfalls to your plan, and perform better in the future.

For example, you could schedule 10 minutes of “thinking time”. During that time period let yourself think, analyze, or mull over whatever you want. But when your time is up, move onto something else. And when you start overthinking things outside of your scheduled thinking time, simply remind yourself that you’ll need to wait until your next “thinking time” session to address those issues in your mind.

You can’t simply make yourself stop worrying. But this simple strategy will train your mind to do it at the right time.

#5: Change Your Activity

If you can’t make yourself stop thinking about something, try to change your activity. Things like exercising, engaging in conversation on a completely different subject, or working on a project can help you to switch the focus of your attention and stop overthinking. Doing something different will put an end to the negative internal dialogue.

#6: Practice Mindfulness

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The mindfulness practice will help you to train yourself to be aware of things without thinking about them. By practicing mindfulness we become able to notice when negative thought patterns arise and shift our attention out of thinking mode and into awareness mode.

You can start practicing mindfulness by simply paying attention to the experience of every activity during daily life rather than thinking about it. Or, you can practice mindfulness meditation. For doing it, simply sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breath for 20 minutes.

The Bottom Line

Overthinking takes a lot of energy. It takes away your inner peace and harmony. But the good news is that overthinking is a habit and habits can be broken with the right approach and enough patience. If you want to stop overthinking, the key is to understand why you do it and then implement the strategies to eliminate it.

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Personal Development

7 Tools For Introspection To Boost Self-Awareness

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How well do you know yourself? When faced with a challenge, where do you find the insight to move your life forward? How do you keep yourself from making the same mistakes again and again? Introspection and self-reflection can help you to understand yourself better by examining your inner feelings. When turning inward, you can find a way to restore the lost relationship with your inner self, heal your inner child, and find the root cause of your problems. In this article, I want to share with you 7 tools for introspection and self-reflection that will help you to understand yourself better.

3 Components of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is one of the most important psychological traits you can develop. It helps you to manage your emotions, understand your emotional blocks, the root causes of your trauma, and the particular patterns in your behavior and reactions that may affect your life and relationships with others in a negative way.

Self-awareness is our ability to observe and accurately identify our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. There are 3 components of self-awareness that should be used to change your life for the better:

#1: Introspection

Introspection means “looking into” and refers to the process of self-observation and examining your own thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions. It gives you direct access to your own internal psychological processes, judgments, and perceptions.

#2: Self-reflection

Self-reflection refers to the process of examination, contemplation, and analysis of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions.

#3: Insight

Insight is the result of introspection and self-reflection. It refers to the clear and often sudden discernment of a solution to a problem.

Now let’s talk about the tools for introspection and self-reflection that you can use to understand yourself better.

7 Tools For Introspection And Self-Reflection

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Let’s dive into the art of understanding who you are by exploring different introspection tools!

#1: Ask Self-Reflection Questions

Asking yourself questions is a good way of finding your personal truth. Take this practice to the next level by writing down your answers and then reading them to yourself.

Here are some questions you might like to ask yourself:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I feel?
  • What is my predominant emotion now?
  • What do I want in life?
  • What does happiness mean to me?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is my true purpose?
  • What would truly fulfill me?
  • What role do I play in relationships with my friends/colleagues?
  • What do I want my romantic relationship to be like?

These are just a few examples of the questions you might want to ask yourself. Feel free to create and ask your own self-reflection questions.

#2: Journalling

By keeping a journal, you are adding a ritual to your life. You’re giving yourself permission to spend time alone with your thoughts.

Writing down your thoughts, feeling, and emotions can be a powerful tool for understanding yourself better. Moreover, keeping a journal will help you to organize your thoughts, see life events from a different angle, and process your thoughts, actions, and situations on a deeper level. When you give yourself space to work through these things, you begin to notice patterns and belief systems you carry that need worked through.

#3: Oracle Cards

Our rational brain speaks in form of words and verbal descriptions, whereas the unconscious speaks the language of images, symbols, and archetypes. Because oracle cards are usually image-based, they are one of the most powerful ways of connecting with the wisdom buried deep within us.

When using an oracle deck, we are connecting to our unconscious minds which are a bridge to the Universal Consciousness. Communication with the images on the oracle cards triggers deep instinctive and timeless knowledge within us and invites it to rise to the surface.

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How to work with Oracle cards?
  1. Pick a deck that resonates with you the most and that you feel you can trust.
  2. Consider creating a section in your introspection journal that is dedicated specifically to your oracle introspective work.
  3. Think of some questions or topics you would like to explore (for example, “What is holding me back that I don’t want to face?” or “What is my major blind spot right now?”.
  4. Pull a card (one or multiple).
  5. Write down the cards you pulled and your reflections. 
  6. Read the description of the cards and try to sense if there anything uncomfortable in you that has been triggered and what emotions you’re feeling regarding what you have just read. Write down all your feelings and sensations.

#4: Alone Time

Alone time is crucial for your self-reflection! Being alone allows us to drop our “social mask,” thus giving us the freedom to be introspective, to think for ourselves. Use this time to think and meditate. You can use walking meditation for asking yourself self-reflection questions. I find it easier to find the answers when I’m on a walk. Sometimes I even feel how my self-awareness increases with each step.

#5: Meditation

When meditating, pay attention to the sensations of the present moment – feelings of warmth and coolness, hardness and softness, pressure, and lightness. What parts of your body touch the ground? How does the shape of the body change with each breath? How does your experience change over time? Developing awareness of the present moment will help you see your feelings, emotions, and blocks more clearly. Regular meditation practice will make you more introspective and mindful.

#6: Take a Personality Quiz

Taking a personality quiz is the most popular tool that many people use on the path to a more self-aware life. It is designed to reveal aspects of your personality that are often hidden. Usually, a personality quiz is designed in a form of a multiple-choice questionnaire that you need to fill out. When you’ve completed the quiz you’ll get a description of your personality and its hidden aspects. Reading and analyzing the description can be very helpful in analyzing yourself and the patterns of your behavior.

#7: Numerology

Numerology is one of my favorite tools that helps you not only understand your personality but also your karmic lessons, the spiritual reasons for your life problems, and so much more! To find out more about how to use this amazing tool check out my articles:

Your Destiny Number Holds The Solution To Your Karmic Problems

Discover Your Soul Number And Its Impact On Your Destiny

Everyone Should Know Their Kua Number! Here Is Why

Name Numerology: What Planets Influence Your Life?

Conclusion

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Whether you’re trying to understand your current feeling and emotions or to find the best solution to your personal problems, the above tools for introspection will help you to see a deeper level of your subconscious mind. Remember to be gentle with yourself. Don’t judge or criticize yourself no matter what your introspection reveals. Remember that your emotions are just messengers from your unconscious but they don’t define who you are.

Here, we are all learning to accept ourselves in different emotional forms and to love ourselves unconditionally. So let your introspection journey be filled with the joy of discovering your authentic nature and courage to reveal your true self to this world.

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Personal Development

11 Signs Of a People Pleaser & How To Stop Being One

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People-pleasing might not look like something bad. What’s wrong with being nice to others, trying to help them out, and make them happy? However, people-pleasing goes beyond simply being nice and kind to others. It involves editing your behavior for the sake of other people’s feelings or reactions. In this article, I will share with you what people-pleasing is, how you can identify a people pleaser, how this affects your life, and what you can do about it. Read on.

What Is a People Pleaser?

A people pleaser is a term used for describing a person who pleases others just for the sake of keeping them as a friend or making them happy.

People-pleasing is a strategy for coping with the lack of security in a relationship. A people pleaser’s goal is to keep anyone from knowing just how bad and insecure they feel about themselves and they will strive for this goal at any cost. They hope that saying “yes” to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked.

In an intimate relationship, a people pleaser frequently paints illusions that depict what they believe their partner wants to see in them and never show their true face of who and what they really are.

11 Signs of a People Pleaser

Now, how can you tell if you are a people pleaser? Here are 11 telltale signs that you can be one.

#1: You need others to like you

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Do you often catch yourself worrying about rejection? Do you have a strong desire of being needed? Do you believe that when people need you, there is a better chance of receiving affection from them? Are these worries, desires, and beliefs often lead to specific actions designed to keep people happy with you so they don’t reject you?

If you anwered “yes” to at least one of these questions, that could be a sign that you are a people pleaser.

#2: Sometimes you feel like you’re being taken advantage of

For some people it’s easy to recognize and take advantage of a people pleaser. They know you will agree to whatever they ask, so they will keep on asking. And you keep saying yes, because you are afraid of being rejected and want to keep them happy.

#3: You’d rather do something you don’t want to than say “no”

Do you feel uncomfortable of saying “no” even if you’re asked for something you don’t want to do? Do you sometimes fake an illness (or being busy with work) to get out your commitments? That could be a sign of a people pleaser?

You might worry that telling someone “no” will make them think you don’t care about themFor you, it seems like a safer option to just agree to do whatever they want, even if you don’t actually have the time or desire to help.

#4: You apologize often

People pleasers tend to apologize often, even when it’s not necessary or when it’s not even their fault. Sometimes it may seem like they apologize for being themselves. You should be aware that frequent apologies can be a sign of a bigger problem. 

#5: You feel exhausted and stressed

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Do you feel like you don’t have enough focus or/and energy to complete a task, reach your goals, or lead your project to success? Is your own life disorganized? Are you often late? Do you have a feeling of being barely held together? This could be a sign that you’re a people pleaser. A lack of boundaries eventually leads to burnout, exhaustion, and stress.

#6: You can’t stand being criticized

Even a small criticism can seriously upset you, shake your self-esteem, and even turn you against the person who said it. When your self-esteem depends on other people’s opinion of you, you can never feel secure and relaxed. You are in constant need of proving your worth by pleasing others. And criticism is a sign that your technique isn’t working. That’s why you feel so upset when others criticize you.

#7: You need praise to feel valuable

A people pleaser depends on validation. If your self-worth depends on what others think about you, you’ll only feel good when others shower you with compliments. Also, if you do something for people, you always expect something in return – gratitude, a good opinion of you, nice words about you, appreciation, etc. Usually, deep inside you know exactly how you want a person to react and what to say in gratitude to your action. However, such expectations often fail.

#8: You pretend to agree with everyone

Agreeability seems like the quickest way to win approval. However, if you pretend to agree with someone/something just to keep everyone happy, you’re setting yourself and others up for future frustration.

#9: You suffer if someone is angry at you

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When someone is angry at us, it’s usually pretty uncomfortable for most of us. However, a people pleaser takes this uncomfortable feeling to the next level. Knowing that someone is angry at you feels so bad that you’ll be more likely to compromise your values just to overcome this situation.

#10: You often feel frustrated and resentful

You spend the majority of your time doing things for others. The people you help might appreciate your sacrifices. But they may also not realize that you’re making sacrifices for them.

In either case, being conditionally nice expecting people to treat you a certain way, can eventually cause frustration and resentment. This often turns into passive-aggressive behavior. Such behavior can confuse or even upset people who genuinely don’t understand what’s happening with you.

#11: You’re a giver with a goal of being liked

Being a people pleaser usually means you are a giver. You like giving to others whatever you can – your time, attention, compliments, support, help, gifts, money, etc. Making sacrifices for others might feed your self-esteem and make you feel more worthy of being liked by others. However, such a tendency can also lead to a sense of martyrdom.

Why Being Too Nice Can Be Dangerous

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Being a people pleaser is an everyday struggle when you’re constantly under big pressure. Though it might feel good and very satisfying to be recognized as a nice person, it puts you under extreme pressure to keep up with the self-image of a saint. Therefore, most people pleasers struggle with stress all the time.

When you’re a people pleaser no one really knows the authentic you – they only know the image that you present them with. This often makes you feel lonely, “invisible”, and “unseen,” even if you are constantly in the spotlight.

Being a people pleaser, you may not be conscious of suppressing some of your negative emotions, but eventually, you will have to face the consequences. You can’t sacrifice yourself to other people’s needs, deny yourself, and expect to feel fine in the longterm. Suppression of emotions eventually results in physical or psychological breakdowns. Many chronic mental and physical illnesses are caused by the desire to please others.

It’s very important to come to the realization that people-pleasing is a self-destructive pattern. At first, it might come across as a selfless act. However, people-pleasing is actually a selfish act because you’re trying to control someone else’s reaction towards you by behaving in a certain way.

As a rule, people-pleasing is based more on the desire to be in control than it is to please other people. The desire to be liked by others is just a symptom of the desire to be in control because deep down you feel powerless or worthless.

How To Stop Being a People Pleaser?

#1: Learn to say “no”

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You don’t have to say “yes” all the time. Realize that you have a choice to say “no” anytime you feel uncomfortable doing something. By learning to say “no” when you feel like it, you will not look like you don’t care but it will show people that you are being authentic and truthful with them.

#2: Set clear boundaries

Ask yourself what you’re willing to do, and don’t go beyond these limits. Always let people know when they’re stepping over your boundaries. Be clear and polite. Don’t feel bad about telling people that they can’t just pop over when they want to or borrow your things without asking or call you in the middle of the night.

#3: Take your time to analyze the situation before agreeing into something

When someone asks you for a favor, it’s perfectly fine to say that you will need some time to think about it. This gives you the opportunity to analyze the situation and decide if you can commit to helping them. Don’t hesitate to ask the details about the commitment for clarifying what exactly is needed from you.

When analyzing the situation, ask yourself:

  • How stressful is this going to be?
  • Do I have the time and desire to do this?
  • What am I going to give up/sacrifice for committing to this task?
  • How pressured or stressed am I going to feel?

If the person needs an answer right away, it’s best to say “no”. Rushing yourself into “yes” may get you stuck in a situation that is too stressful for you to handle.

#4: Set a time limit

If you do agree to help someone out, it’s essential to limit your time frame when you’re available for this person. For example, you can tell them that you are only available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. If they really need your help they will make it work. But do not sacrifice your plans for other people’s needs, especially if they don’t respect your time and boundaries.

#5: Don’t give unnecessary excuses

Being a people pleaser created a habit in you to always defend your decision to say no to someone so they understand your reasoning. But this actually backfires. As soon as you start explaining, you give the other person a perfect opportunity to come back and give you options to whether to do it later or ask to adjust your schedule, or something else. And at the end of the day, you will end up still doing what they want.

#6: Don’t apologize if it’s not your fault

Pay attention to when you’re apologizing and consider if your apology is really necessary and you’re really at fault. Ask yourself if you’re really responsible for the situation. If the answer is “no”, you don’t need to apologize just to make people comfortable.

#7: Use positive self-talk

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Use positive self-talk to remind yourself of your priorities and boundaries. For example, you might say “I can do this,” “I have the right to make decisions and do the things the way I want them to be done,” “My decision is right for me”, “My values are more important than saying yes in this situation”, etc.

Conclusion

A people-pleasing is a daily struggle that crashes your spirit constantly. This destructive pattern leads to intense anxiety, chronic pain, and tons of repressed emotions. In order to solve this problem, you need to shift your focal point from the outside to the inside world. Be gentle to yourself. Remember that to be loved is your birthright. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself for being liked or appreciated. Eventually, your authentic self will blossom in its divine beauty and your light will be enough for people wanting to be around you.

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