Yesterday’s post talked about why we might appease someone. Once we recognize that this might be a part of how we communicate, we can begin to work on healthier strategies. Here are 5 tips on how to potentially stop appeasing people:
- Recognize that you have a choice. If we are appeasing others because we fear their rejection, or worry that they will be angry at us, it often feels that we don’t have a choice. Reality tells us we do. The moment we moved into adulthood we became in charge of ourselves, our actions, our mistakes, our successes and our ability to choose.
- Examine your relationships. If you have people in your life who tend to be controlling or manipulative, you may have learned that appeasing them was easier than setting a boundary. Examining your relationships is a good way to determine if you may need to make some adjustments as to how much you give to them.
- Know your triggers. If you recognize that appeasment comes as a trauma response, begin to work with your triggers to calm your system. This will allow your rational brain to temper the fear response that automatically rears itself to protect you.
- Know what you own. Someone else’s anger is their responsibility; if you appease them because of it, they learn that anger is an effective way of getting what they want. That being said, protect yourself from abuse – physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse – all of it is not okay.
- Practice saying no. Start with a trusted friend or therapist – by practicing with them (and role playing more difficult responses), one can gain confidence in learning how to say “I’m sorry, not this time.”
When we do things out of kindness, or make a thoughtful decision to take the high road, we are feeding our internal spirit. When we people please or appease others, we take away something of ourselves. Learning how to stand a little straighter will help us along in our journey to be true to ourselves.
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