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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!



Joy to the world! Peace on earth! Happy holidays! Or is it? This is one of the most stressful times of the year for many. Family time, travel, gifts to buy, meals to prepare, etc. We want this time of the year to be merry and bright for our family and friends. Feeling overwhelmed is an under-statement.

Kick off December by giving yourself the gift of a wholistic approach to survive the holiday season.


Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas


Survival tip # 6: People Pleasing


In a perfect world, our holiday season should be full of good times and happy memories only! Sadly, there are those who do not have the good fortune to enjoy the holiday cheer and fun with family and friends. Many feel pressured to live up to a high standard and unattainable expectation to please those around them; even at the expense of their own health and well-being. This may lead some to experience elevated stress, bad health and even suicidal thoughts.


Did you know that your people-pleasing may be a sign that you need the support of a life coach or mental health professional to help you get to what is driving the need to people-please. You are not alone if you feel the need to please others. Many feel an intense need to please and care for others. This may be driven by fear of rejection and/or fear of failure. When you choose not to address the deep need to please others, it may cause you to neglect your own needs, push you to exhaustion, cause you to behave in a passive-aggressive manner, create feelings of resentment, feelings of stress, and an increase in the likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety.


If you tend to need to please others, this may be a sign that you have low self-worth. People-pleasers also tend to be driven by the need for approval, likely give too much, are very agreeable, frequently apologetic, make very little time for themselves, and dislike conflict.


These behaviors all come at a price, of course. Many who who suffer from low self-esteem will seek external validation in what they do. There are consequences to seeking external validation and often show up in the form of stress, aggression, and addictive behaviors.


This is the time of year where we give to others. However, please do not forget the most important person in your life...and, that is YOU! It's not selfish to take care of yourself. It's a necessity. Give yourself the gift of self care and continue reading to learn about some of the ways to avoid falling into the people-pleasing trap this holiday season! (Amen)


1. Giving to Earn Approval

It's the holidays and who doesn't love giving and receiving during this time of the year? However, if you tend to be a people-pleaser, you may find yourself over-doing the giving in order to earn approval. When giving comes at the expense of your own health and happiness then you have likely crossed the line. You can determine if your motivation is unhealthy by questioning your desire to give. Ask yourself if you are giving to gain approval. Or, if your giving is beyond your means (time and money). Finally, ask yourself if giving to another will actually bring you joy. If you are not giving in a healthy manner then you likely need to re-consider "the gift".


2. Helping Without Being Asked

Do you offer help without even needing to be asked? This may be an indicator of low self-esteem that stems from a faulty belief that you are not worthy if you are not useful. Giving of your time during the holidays is beautiful and thoughtful; however, if you are a people-pleaser, you may be giving at the expense of your health and well-being. Before jumping in to volunteer to help, check in with a trusted friend or family member that can help you identify the true motives of your desire to give. It's always a good idea to pause before committing to anything (especially during the holidays) to determine if it's truly something you want to do.


3. Apologizing for Everything

Find yourself apologizing during the holidays, even when it isn't your fault? Those that tend to be people pleasers will over-apologize for anything and everything. It's the holidays and there are additional factors that creates stress and anxiety for many; and, inevitably things can go wrong. Take the time this holiday season to observe how many times you find yourself apologizing at a holiday gathering or event for any little problem that occurs. If you make a mistake and need to take accountability then do so. However, become aware of when you find yourself "needing" to apologize for everybody and everything! Practice being mindful and only taking accountability and being sorry if you are 100% certain you should.


4. Avoiding Disagreements or Conflict

Honestly, many people avoid disagreements and conflict like the plague. Especially during the holidays. However, if you are a people pleaser, you likely fear anger. Why? Because anger can be an indicator of disapproval. People pleasers need to keep other people happy; and, they need everyone to have a good opinion of them. If those around you are feeling angry this could mean you have failed at pleasing them. Work on breaking the habit of avoiding conflict and disagreement by consciously holding space for the discomfort you experience when there is conflict. Take a pause. Breathe. Realize you do not need to fix the problem. You'll find that you may conserve your energy. And, that is a beautiful gift to give yourself!


5. Packing Your Schedule

Avoid the need to pack your schedule during this holiday season. Give yourself the gift of prioritizing your time for things you personally enjoy at this time of year. When scheduling holiday activities keep yourself at top of mind. Giving back to yourself will decrease stress and make you less Grinch like! When we stretch ourselves too thin, we become bitter, frustrated, and argumentative. No one wants to feel that way during the holidays! So, think ahead and schedule time to take care of responsibilities (such as work, household duties, and childcare), time for relaxation, hobbies you enjoy, and the holiday activities you love. Once you have taken care of your needs, then fill in any extra time on the schedule to spend quality time with those you love.



References:


“6 People-Pleasing Behaviors to Avoid during the Holidays.” Amen Clinics 6 PeoplePleasing Behaviors to Avoid During the Holidays Comments, https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/6-people-pleasing-behaviors-to-avoid-during-the-holidays/.

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