Category Archives: Articles

21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

I came to this point in my life when I did not know what do anymore. Everyone is demanding so much time, attention, and money from me. When I to give them what they need, I cry helplessly.

I feel like I have to be this superwoman who always saves the day. I feel like I am in a constant cycle of trying to make everybody around me happy–not knowing that I am fully sacrificing my own happiness already for their sake. I put others’ happiness before my own. I give them all that I have just so they would be happy. I give them all my time, attention, and money… but it will never be enough.

I know I should be happy whenever I help other people. But I can not help but feel that at the end of the day, all I have is myself and nothing else.

And today, I realized that I am a people-pleaser. I know there are others like me… others who feel trapped and helpless as well.

I want to stop being a people-pleaser but I do not know how. I sometimes feel abused already but I still cannot stop. I am always torn when it comes to decision-making. I cannot just do what I want, because then I would always have to think what others would feel.

I simply do not want to be a failure… 😦

To those who are people-pleasers like me, I want to share with you this article that I read online: 21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser by Margarita Tartakovsky.

People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to keep it that way,” according to Susan Newman, Ph.D, a New Jersey-based social psychologist and author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—And Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever.

“They put everyone else before themselves,” she said. For some, saying “yes” is a habit; for others, “it’s almost an addiction that makes them feel like they need to be needed.” This makes them feel important and like they’re “contributing to someone else’s life.”

People-pleasers yearn for outside validation. Their “personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,” said Linda Tillman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Atlanta, GA and assertiveness expert. Thus, at the core, people-pleasers lack confidence, she said.

They worry how others will view them when they say no. “People don’t want to be seen as lazy, uncaring, selfish or totally egocentric,” Newman said. They fear “they’ll be disliked and cut from the group,” whether it’s friends, family or co-workers.

What many people-pleasers don’t realize is that people-pleasing can have serious risks. Not only does it put a lot of pressure and stress on you, Newman said, but “essentially you can make yourself sick from doing too much.” If you’re overcommitted, you probably get less sleep and get more anxious and upset. You’re also “depleting your energy resources.” “In the worst case scenario, you’ll wake up and find yourself depressed, because you’re on such overload because you possibly can’t do it all,” she said.

Here’s a slew of strategies to help you stop being a people-pleaser and finally say no.

1. Realize you have a choice.

People-pleasers often feel like they have to say yes when someone asks for their help. Remember that you always have a choice to say no, Newman said.

2. Set your priorities.

Knowing your priorities and values helps you put the brakes on people-pleasing. You know when you feel comfortable saying no or saying yes. Ask yourself, “What are the most important things to me?” Newman suggested.

3. Stall.

Whenever someone asks you for a favor, it’s perfectly OK to say that you’ll need to think about it. This gives you the opportunity to consider if you can commit to helping them. (Also important is to ask the person for details about the commitment.)

Newman suggested asking yourself: “How stressful is this going to be? Do I have the time to do this? What am I going to give up? How pressured am I going to feel? Am I going to be upset with this person who’s asking?”

Asking yourself these questions is key because, as Newman said, very often after you’ve said yes or helped out, you’re left wondering, “What was I thinking?” I neither have the time nor the expertise to help out.

If the person needs an answer right away, “your automatic answer can be no,” Newman said. That’s because “Once you say yes, you’re stuck.” By saying no automatically, “you leave yourself an option” to say yes later if you’ve realized that you’re available. And “you’ve also gotten it off your must-do or don’t-want to do list.”

4. Set a time limit.

If you do agree to help out, “limit your time frame,” Newman said. Let the person know that “I’m only available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.,” for example.

5. Consider if you’re being manipulated.

Sometimes, people are clearly taking advantage of you, so it’s important to watch out for manipulators and flatterers, Newman said. How do you spot them? She said, “Often the people who flatter you will say [statements like], ‘Oh you’re so good at baking cakes, would you make a cake for my child’s birthday?’ or ‘I don’t know how to put this bookcase together, but you’re so handy, can you help me out?’”

A classic line is “Nobody does this better than you do,” she said. Also, these people “will either coax you into doing something or try to tell you what your availability is or what your time frame is.” Basically, before you know it, they make the decision for you.

6. Create a mantra.

Figure out a mantra you can say to yourself to stop you from people-pleasing. It can even be a visual as simple as a big “No” flashing when a certain friend who “can always talk you into something” approaches you, Newman said.

7. Say no with conviction.

“The first no to anyone is always the hardest,” Newman said. But once you get over that first bump, “you will be well on your way to getting off the yes treadmill.” Also, remember that you’re saying no for good reasons. “You get time for yourself and for the people you really want to help,” she said.

8. Use an empathic assertion.

Some people initially think that being assertive means “stepping all over people,” Tillman said. Instead, she explained that “assertiveness is really about connection.”

Using an empathic assertion “means that you put yourself in the other person’s shoes as you assert yourself,” Tillman said. So you let the person know that you understand where they’re coming from, but unfortunately, you can’t help. “People need to feel heard and understood,” and this is a respectful way of asserting yourself and saying no.

9. Consider if it’s worth it.

When asserting yourself, Tillman suggested asking yourself, “Is it really worth it?” It’s probably not worth it to tell your boss about his annoying habit, but it is worth it to tell your friend that you can’t do lunch because you’re super busy.

10. Don’t give a litany of excuses.

It’s tempting to want to defend your decision to say no to someone so they understand your reasoning. But this actually backfires. According to Newman, “As soon as you start explaining, you give the other person lots of wiggle room to come back and say, ‘Oh, you can do that later,’ ‘You can adjust your schedule’ or ‘That’s not as important as what I’m asking.’”

11. Start small.

“Everything we learn how to do we learn through a process,” so take baby steps, Tillman said. Instead of barging into your boss’s office to ask for a raise, talk with your immediate supervisor first about how to prepare yourself for the talk, she said.

12. Practice successive approximation.

Successive approximation means taking “one step in the direction you want to go” and rewarding yourself for getting that far, Tillman said. If your neighbor’s dog’s barking is driving you crazy, make efforts to confront the person by first saying “Good morning,” as you’re both leaving the house, she said. Another time, you might mention how noisy the neighborhood has been. If he doesn’t get the hint, you can knock on his door and use an empathic assertion.

It can help to write down “how you get from A to Z,” Tillman said. This also helps you gain courage to confront the person, she added.

13. Don’t apologize — if it’s not your fault.

People-pleasers tend to be serial apologists, Tillman said. Pay attention to when you’re apologizing and consider if you’re really at fault. Ask yourself if you’re responsible for the situation, she said. Usually, the answer is no.

14. Remember that saying no has its benefits.

As Newman said, “you as a person are entitled to your time and you need to rest and rejuvenate to be there for the people you want to help out.” Look at saying no as an opportunity to spend your time doing what you value in your life.

15. Set clear boundaries — and follow through.

“We all have physical or emotional limits,” Newman said, and because of these limits, we have to set boundaries. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do, and don’t go beyond these limits. Also, be clear in communicating your boundaries. Say what you’re thinking and what you want.

Letting someone step over your boundaries without voicing your frustrations can lead you to “bottle up this negative feeling about a person…to the point when you have a blowup and really hurt someone’s feelings or end the relationship” completely,” she said.

For instance, you might “have a friend who’s just so emotionally needy and negative that she calls you all the time with her problems and wants you to listen,” Newman said. But “even just listening is asking a favor…[and] every time you hang out, you’re miserable and she feels better.” Respect your boundaries, and at some point, say to her, “I can’t help you,” Newman said.

There also are subtle ways to respect your boundaries. You might “start taking every other call and wean yourself off of her.” You can do the same thing with a person who calls you at your busiest time of day. You might say, “I can’t be available for you at 2:30 because I’m at the office; let’s set up a particular time to talk,” she said. When setting up the time, offer one that works best for you.

Setting physical boundaries might mean telling a person that they can’t just pop over when they want to or borrow your things without asking, she said.

16. Don’t be scared of the fallout.

People-pleasers often worry that after they say no, the fallout will be catastrophic. But as Newman said, “the fallout is never as bad as we think it is.” In fact, “it’s usually very insignificant.” Why? For starters, “people are not thinking about you as much as you think.” Usually after you say no, a person is more focused on who they’ll be asking next to help them than your so-called betrayal, she said.

Even a significant request such as being the maid of honor at your friend’s wedding isn’t disastrous. Being the maid of honor “takes a lot of time, energy and money,” which you may not have. You saying that “I’m really honored and this means so much to me, but I won’t be able to do it,” “isn’t going to ruin the wedding,” Newman said. “If you have a solid friendship, this isn’t going to end it.”

17. Consider who you want to have your time.

Newman suggested asking yourself, “Who do I really want to help?” As she put it, “Do you want to be there for your parents or some friend from college who lived down the hall who you partied with a lot who’s back in your life and really demanding?”

18. Self-soothe.

Using positive self-talk is “like being a good mother to yourself,” Tillman said. You can use this to remind yourself of your priorities and boundaries. For instance, you might say “I can do this,” “I have the right to park in this parking spot,” “I made the decision that’s right for me” or “My values are more important than saying yes in this situation.”

19. Recognize when you’ve been successful.

Many people-pleasers tend to focus on what went wrong, Tillman said. Counteract this tendency by keeping a journal with the times you handled a situation well, such as when you were assertive or didn’t apologize. In fact, you might be surprised at “how many more times you’re responding confidently,” she said.

20. Keep a confidence file.

Since a lack of confidence can cause your people-pleasing ways, keep a file with positive and praising emails, cards or anything else, Tillman said. (For instance, Psych Central associate editor Therese Borchard keeps a self-esteem file.) It can even come in handy when asking for that raise. Tillman suggested printing out any emails or letters of praise you’ve received from co-workers or higher-ups and taking them to your boss as another reason why you deserve a raise.

21. Realize that you can’t be everything to everyone.

Again, people-pleasers want to make everyone happy. While you might make someone happy temporarily, Newman said, it doesn’t work long term. And you can get hurt in the process. “People who preserve their time and energy and don’t say yes to everyone also realize that they can’t make other people happy,” she said. People-pleasers must realize that the only thoughts and feelings they can change are their own.

So after reading this, I now know what I must do, LEARN TO SAY NO.

The English Plural

The English Plural

Photo Credit: Gettyimages

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing,
Grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
What do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out,
And in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And in closing…

If Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?

Mga Kasagutan sa mga Tanong ng Bumabagabag sa Iyong Isipan

Ang aking kaibigan ay mayroon lang mga ilang katanungan na matagal nang bumabagabag sa kanyang araw-araw na pamumuhay. Maaaring ang iba rito ay alam na rin ito ngunit walang makapagbigay ng akmang kasagutan o pagpapaliwanag. Ito ay ang mga sumusunod:

1. Pwede bang uminom ng softdrink kapag coffee break? Pwedeng uminom ng softdrink kung coffebreak ngunit kailangan itong lagyan ng asukal at kopimeyt. Kopimeyt dapat at huwag gatas. (milk in my cereal, kopimeyt in my pepsi. Sounds good to me!)

2. Pwede bang gamitin ang a.m. radio pag gabi na? Maari lamang gamitin ang a.m. radio kapag gabi kung ang iyong pakikinggan ay f.m.

3. Ang fire exit ba ay labasan ng apoy? Ang fire exit ay ginagamit lamang bilang labasan ng apoy kapag may sunog. Ito ang kanilang daan upang sila’y makatakas o ang tinatawag na “fire escape.”

4. Ang uod ba pag namatay ay inuuod din? Ang tao kapag namatay ay hindi tinatao. Malamang ang uod ay hindi rin inuuod. Kung ang tao ay inuuod kapag nalaguatan ng hininga, siguro ang uod kapag namatay ay tinatao.

5. Totoo bang ang mga manok na pinatay sa Jolibee ay masasaya kaya sila tinawag na Chicken Joy?  Ang mga manok na pinatay sa Jolibee ay masaya kung kaya’t sila’y tinawag na Chicken Joy. Ngunit hindi kinakailangang sa Jolibee patayin ang manok upang maging ito ay maging masaya…ang mga manok ay nagiging masaya kapag sila ay may kasama sa buhay. Kapag ito ay nag-iisa lamang, ito ay hindi Chicken Joy kundi…McChicken Singles. (Ang pinakamasayang manok sa lahat ay iyong 6pc. Chicken McNuggets)

6. Kung ang 7-11 store ay bukas 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, at 365 days a year, bakit may lock pa ang pinto nila? Bakit? Bakit? Dalawa ang dahilan. Una, may coffee break (tingnan ang katanungan bilang 1 hinggil sa maaaring inumin kapag coffe break) din naman ang mga nagtatrabaho sa 7-11. Pangalawa, mayroon tayong tinatawag na leap year.

7. Bakit di mataas ang highway? Dahil kung mataas ang highway, walang paglalagyan ng skyway.

8. Ba’t alang lumilipad na sasakyan sa flyover? Hindi lang natin nakikita ang mga nagliliparang sasakyan sapagkat hindi tayo tumitingala kapag tayo ay nasa flyover. Ang pagsalin ng dayuhang salita na flyover sa katutubong wika ay “fly”-lipad, “over”-sa ibabaw. Ibig sabihin nito na ang mga kotse ay hindi lumilipad sa flyover ngunit sa ibabaw ng flyover. Ngayon kung titingala ka naman kapag ikaw ay nasa flyover ang tangi mong makikita ay ang kisame ng iyong sasakyan.

Sana ay nasagot ko ang iyong mga tanong at kung mayroon pang ibang bagay na bumabagabag sa iyong isipan huwag kang mag-alinlangang magpadala sa akin ng e-mail.  at lagi rin natin sana tandaan ang dayuhang salawikain na “ask a dumb question and you’ll get a dumb answer.”

Final Exam

WORLD HISTORY 
Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief and concise, yet specific.

ASTRONOMY
Define the universe; give three examples. 

MEDICINE
You will be provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes. 

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Write a fifth-generation computer language. Using this language, create a computer program to finish the rest of this exam for you. 

PUBLIC SPEAKING
Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin, Hebrew, or Greek. 

CIVIL ENGINEERING
This is a practical test of your design and building skills. With the boxes of toothpicks and glue present, build a platform that will support your weight when you and your platform are suspended over a vat of nitric acid. 

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
The disassembled parts of a howitzer have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In 10 minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision. 

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
You will be placed in a nuclear reactor and given a partial copy of the electrical layout. The electrical system has been tampered with. You have seventeen minutes to find the problem and correct it before the reactor melts down. 

BIOLOGY
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500,000 years earlier, with special attention to the probable effect, if any, on the Philippine social spectrum circa 1640. Prove your thesis. 

RELIGION
Perform a miracle. Creativity will be judged. 

MUSIC
Write a full piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with a flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat. 

LOGIC
Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

CHEMISTRY

You must identify a poison sample which you will find at your lab table. All necessary equipment has been provided. There are two beakers at your desk, one of which holds the antidote. If the wrong substance is used, it causes instant death. You may begin as soon as the professor injects you with a sample of the poison. 

PSYCHOLOGY
Based on your knowledge of their early works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Ramses II, Gregory of Nicea, and Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each man’s work, making appropriate references. Translate all quotations in Tagalog. 

SOCIOLOGY
Identify the sociological problems which might be associated with the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory. 

ECONOMICS
Describe in four hundred words or less what you would have done to prevent the Great Depression. 

MATHEMATICS
You have 60 seconds to mentally solve the mathematical problem below. Begin.

8,256.091 + _________ – ________ x ________ ¸ ________ = -38.07623

(Bonus question: Why is 11 not pronounced onety one? Provide a full numerical analysis in justifying your answer.) 

POLITICAL SCIENCE
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any. 

ART
Given one eight-count box of crayons and three sheets of notebook paper, recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Skin tones should be true to life. 

PHYSICS
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science. 

METAPHYSICS
Describe in detail the nature of life after death. Test your hypothesis. 

PHILOSOPHY
Sketch the development of human thought. Estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought. 

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.

The Paomnnehal Pweor of the Hmuan Mnid

I cdnuol’t blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Pertty srtagne eh?? Hvae a gerat day!!