People Pleaser: Cat Burns' song is great and why being a People Pleaser is NOT so great!

Kind, thoughtful, big hearts, like to help people, go out of their way to be supportive of their friends, clients and colleagues: many of my clients fit this model.  Popular at work and ALWAYS really busy.  Sometimes they feel they are stuck on a treadmill, unable to get off.  They know they are “their own worst enemy” and disparage themselves for taking too much on.  Over time they begin to resent all the extra stuff they’ve agreed to help out with or volunteered to do in a rash moment. It can all end in tears, an explosive outburst or an addiction to Jaffa Cakes…


Is there a colleague or friend who has come to mind as you read this?  They are really good at their job and the trouble is, they are good at lots of other people’s jobs too? Or they take on a client project and then project creep, through trying to fulfil the client’s everchanging expectations, means they end up losing money on the deal.


Wonderful to work with and brilliant team players, they want to be as supportive as possible whilst still hitting their own KPIs. Frankly, their families would like to see more of them!


We want them to recognise behaviour patterns and manage their negative emotions to gain confidence and clarity. It’s easy enough to say “You need to put boundaries in place”, it’s not that easy to do!  A change in behaviour requires a change in belief.  Uncovering the underlying beliefs which trigger “pleasing” behaviours takes time. 


A DIY starter could be to journal all the incidents in the day that involved helping out others rather than focusing on their own work.  With each incident they could record what emotions they noticed when being asked and the emotional rewards of having completed the work for others.  Record who that work is mostly coming from and what underlying reasons they may have to invest in that relationship.


Let me know how they get on. Jaffa cake anyone?