How To Be The Opposite Of People Pleaser And Live Confidently
Becoming the opposite of people pleaser means you get to live your most authentic self without guilt. Who wouldn’t want that!?
Living with anxiety for 30 years taught me how to pretend to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. But in doing that, I contributed to my anxiety because if I wasn’t able to keep up the personality that they expected I worried that they wouldn’t like me anymore. And, the cycle continued.
Learning more about who I am and how to live an authentic life helped me tremendously to let go of anxiety and live with more joy and peace.
What is an authentic person?
If you think about it, you don’t want to be friends with people who are fake or talk behind your back or tell stories that are obviously untrue.
You want to be friends with people that you can count on that you believe in and who will be upfront and honest with you. I give you permission to also be that person for others. To be the opposite of people pleaser.
And instead, be your true authentic self and to be okay with the fact that that means you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
So what does it mean to be your authentic self?
One of the number one characteristics that authentic people have is that they accept themselves and they accept other people. A part of this is learning about who you are and if you’ve been living out of alignment.
You may need to do a little self-exploration to learn more about who you are. Being authentic and being true to yourself means accepting each of the parts of yourself that you learn about.
For instance, I learned about myself that I don’t like spending time with people who are loud and like to party.
I feel drained and overwhelmed by those people. I would much rather spend time with people who are calm and enjoy good conversation.
In the past, I would have tried to keep up with the loud partying types, trying to change who I was to fit their lifestyle and reach the bar they were setting.
But as I did some self-exploration and learned more about myself, I realized that I don’t enjoy big loud parties with a ton of people and a lot of chaos. I had to become the opposite of people pleaser.
And, I had to accept my true nature is different than theirs and that’s okay.
Unfortunately, that meant spending less time with some people in my family. But, being authentic means being accepting of yourself and of others.
So I accept my family members who enjoy the big loud party scene and I accept myself as being someone who doesn’t enjoy that.
With that level of acceptance and that level of authenticity, I can go and spend an hour or so in that environment with them and then I can leave and not feel guilty. Because I have that level of acceptance of them and I am being authentic and true to who I am.
Authentic people are also able to express their emotions clearly and freely.
This was something that I really had to learn because I kept my emotions to myself for fear of judgment. I didn’t want to seem like I was overreacting or like I didn’t have things under control. But, slowly I started to learn that it’s okay to say I feel frustrated or I feel judged and blamed.
And, to accept that the person I’m saying those things to may not have the same level of emotional intelligence that I have. They may not receive that information calmly and with maturity. But I can only be authentic and true to who I am.
I express my emotions freely and clearly without concern about what the other person is going to think of me.
That makes me the opposite of people pleaser and makes me an authentic person. Because I am true to myself and my feelings.
When you live an authentic life, you make an effort to understand and that you’re going to make mistakes but, you need to stay open to learning from those mistakes.
This was also a big learning curve for me because I felt like if I made a mistake that made me weak, that made me incapable, that made me inept. But none of those things are true.
Making mistakes is actually a really beautiful thing.
Because each time is an opportunity to learn and to grow and for your next 40 years, learning and growing should be top priority. So every mistake is an opportunity to learn and to grow.
Ultimately, being an authentic person means being emotionally intelligent and always coming from a place of acceptance and not from being defensive.
What does it mean to live authentically?
Psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Curtis defined the word authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise”.
Obviously, this requires knowing your true self and that does take some time to explore a little bit. And as I said before, while you’re doing this exploration, you are excepting every bit about yourself that you discover.
You recognize that you have strengths and weaknesses and those are okay.
Your weaknesses do not make you worse and your strengths do not make you better than anyone else. They are yours and yours alone.
Being authentic is really very freeing because it allows you to just be you and not always trying to be something else for someone else. You are the opposite of people pleaser.
Or always try to be the perfect version of what you think you should or need to be. When you’re not acting authentically, it creates feelings like depression, anxiety, boredom, and stress.
Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to live an authentic life.
Define your values.
It’s nearly impossible to live an authentic life if you don’t know what your values are. You don’t have to hold on to the values that you were taught growing up.
You can decide for yourself what your values are and live in alignment with those values. Make choices for yourself and for your life based on the values that you’ve defined for yourself.
When you’re very clear about what you care about, it’s a lot easier to live authentically and in alignment with those things.
Keep an open mind.
Having a narrow-minded perspective and looking at everything with judgment and limitation is the exact opposite of what you need to live an authentic life.
That mindset is, in fact, a defense mechanism built to protect you from feeling vulnerable. But, as Brene Brown says, compassion and creativity are born from vulnerability.
If you want to live an authentic life, you have to open yourself up and allow yourself to feel vulnerable and that means keeping an open mind and seeing the world more holistically.
Leave room for introspection.
Introspection is also something that should be approached holistically. It starts with self-discovery and diving into your own thoughts and feelings and perspectives. But, it’s also to get feedback from the people who are close to you in your life.
An easy way to make this happen is to have your partner or best friend or sister fill in the blank of this sentence: If you really knew me, you would know this _____________.
Having the people in your life fill in the blank of that sentence can open up a conversation where a lot of introspection and learning can happen.
Reaching out for feedback from others makes the process holistic and gives you more a more diverse view of yourself, how you exist in the world and how the people closest to you experience you.
When you’re learning to live an authentic life it takes practice every day because you’re so used to responding to a certain situation in a certain way.
There are going to be times when you revert back to your old habits. So, staying mindful of how you’re acting can help you to snap out of it and stay in your authentic self.
This is where knowing your values can be very helpful because if you are acting in a way that is out of alignment with your values, then there’s a very good chance that you are out of that you are acting inauthentically.
Also, hopefully, you are going to continue to learn and to grow and your next 40 years. And with that you will learn more about yourself. Your values will change and your authentic self will change.
The key is to make sure that you are allowing that shift to happen and that you are encouraging it.
Is it important to be authentic?
I have three children and some of the things that they say, surprise the hell out of me. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “kids have no filter” and that’s absolutely true. They are already living as the opposite of people pleaser.
Kids live their 100% truest authentic selves with complete reckless abandon and we all really should strive to do that.
To get back to that, my youngest is five and my oldest is 13 and somewhere along the way, between five and 13 the connection with the authentic self starts to waiver.
Thankfully, as I have been through my own journey of self-discovery, I’m able to guide my kids to stay true to their authentic selves and not try to conform or to be what they think other people want them to be.
It seems that losing connection with our authentic selves is inspired by the desire to be liked. It is a child’s greatest fear to not be liked or accepted by their friends at school.
This prevents you from becoming the opposite of people pleaser
Because, when you are concerned with or consumed by being liked, you are at the mercy of other people. Their opinions, their beliefs, their values, their perspective.
And, if you stay in that dysfunctional cluster for long enough, you will start to make decisions about your life and your future based on other people’s beliefs, perspectives, opinions, and values.
Until one day you wake up looking ahead at your next 40 years wondering whose life you’ve been living. Being authentic, learning to live an authentic life is crucial to your success, emotional intelligence, emotional and mental health.
When you’re living an authentic life, you decide what success means. You decide what it means to be a good person, to be a good friend, to be a good partner.
Being the opposite of people pleaser is incredibly liberating and opens up your heart and your mind for so much creativity, compassion, and magic.
How can I live more authentically?
The great thing about life as that it’s never too late. You can make changes in your life at any point along the way. Your life is yours to do what you want until it’s over.
So as long as you are here on this earth and in this life, it’s never too late to make a change. And if you want to start to live an authentic life, I think these tips will help you get started.
Listen to your inner voice.
Trust your gut instinct. There is a voice inside of you that knows what is true and what is authentic and she will speak up. You just have to listen.
When you do things like meditation or journaling to quiet the chatter in your mind, it’s a lot easier to hear her. So schedule some time each day to meditate or writing in your self-care journal and listen for her voice.
She’s always talking and it’s important for you to hear her and reconnect with your highest self. At some point along the way in your life, your thinking started to limit who you were going to become.
Try to identify that point and reconnect with who you were before then. This could have been before you had children before you had a mortgage and responsibilities and started thinking about what you should do.
Reconnect with what you want to do and who you want to be.
Feelings like anxiety and guilt and regret do not serve you.
Do what you need to do to process those feelings and let them go. Trust yourself and believe in yourself and have faith that you deserve the absolute best out of life.
Keep an open mind just like there is a voice inside of your heart and your gut that is telling you which direction to go in. There’s also very likely a voice in your brain that is telling you you’re not capable of going in that direction
The voice in your brain needs to be quieted and even evicted.
I like to ask people “if the voice in your brain was a person and she was sitting on the couch next to you and she was saying all of those things to you that you say to yourself in your mind, would you let her stay?”
Would you want to spend time with her? How about invite her to lunch? Would she be somebody that you would look forward to being with?
If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be saying those things to yourself in your mind either. To be the opposite of people pleaser you have to get out of your head and get into your heart.
Be open to vulnerability.
You don’t have to be the victim or the hero in your story. Instead, be the author. You get to decide how things go. Allow yourself to have an open heart and to experience vulnerability.
Let your spirit out to play.
Things like dancing, singing, yoga, art, meditation, laughing, crying. These are all forms of expression that you deserve and need to allow yourself to experience. There’s no need to be stoic and tempered all the time. Be free.
Gratitude is a simple and magical gift that you can give yourself every day. The importance of gratitude in life can’t be underestimated. Writing down in a journal what you are grateful for, will train your brain to appreciate the little things and it will bring happiness to your heart.
According to Psychology Today, if you do that on a daily basis, things like anxiety, depression, and overwhelm will start to fizzle away.
We are all a work in progress.
But progress is perfection.
And practicing and being committed to live an authentic life every day will bring you the happiness, fulfillment, excitement, and inspiration that you’re looking for.