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In the past, I felt frustrated at work because of my own tendency to people please. If you can relate, here are 4 facts about work boundaries for people pleasers.
As a recovering people pleaser, I had a hard time in the workplace in the past.
Since I wanted to please everyone, I often went too far with my efforts, and I was frequently frustrated and burnt out.
It can be easy to always want to be the most helpful person on the team. Yet, no matter how much I did, I never felt like I was doing enough.
I remember lying awake at night, going over and over all the things in my head I needed to do. And all the things I didn’t do. I couldn’t win with myself!
Also, it seemed like everyone else knew some secret formula for not seeming to care as much as I did. How were they so detached? All my coworkers seemed to be able to compartmentalize their work lives. So, what was wrong with me?
Well, it turns out there was nothing wrong with me! I simply needed to start setting boundaries at work. Not only with my coworkers, but also with myself.
If this is something you can relate to, here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you find a better work-life balance, and to decrease your frustration in the workplace. Let’s talk about 4 facts about setting boundaries in the workplace for all of us people pleasers.
First of all, it’s important to remember that work will always take all the energy you put into it.
This was such an important mindset shift for me! Especially as a recovering people pleaser.
What it means is that you’ll never get to the end of the pile of things you need to do. At some point, you just need to close your computer and come back the next morning.
Bearing this in mind, it’s up to YOU to set limits with how much and when you work.
So, if you’re used to working extra hours to try and get everything done, the work will be there for you.
But, if you start setting a strict 9-5 schedule with yourself, then that’s the amount you’ll work.
Also, when you set these limits with yourself, your coworkers and boss will follow suit. Instead of expecting you to be available at all hours, they’ll understand that they can only access you during that time.
Remember, it’s up to you to set limits with how much you work. Because work will always take as much as you give it!
Secondly, it’s a simple fact that not everyone will like you, no matter what you do.
I remember when I was extremely desperate for one of my coworkers to like me. I would bring her cookies, try to chit chat with her and ask her how her day was going.
While I was trying to be nice, I was really going out of my way to force her to like me (lol!). I simply couldn’t accept that she didn’t like me. And I was trying to control the situation, which was definitely codependent.
However, over time I realized…she didn’t like me and maybe that was ok.
While it’s good to be liked, people sense if you’re desperate for them to like you, and you’ll quickly lose respect that way. Believe me, I learned this the hard way.
Also, I later realized…I didn’t actually like her very much either. So, forcing it wasn’t working for anyone. We were able to work together without being best friends. Who knew?
So, remember this simple truth: no matter what you do, not everyone will like you. And that’s ok!
Another thing to remember is that saying yes to everything won’t get you ahead.
For example, if you’re the one who always volunteers to take notes, people will start taking you for granted. Since you always say yes, they know they can depend on you, right?
While it’s good to show you’ll go the extra mile, you need to be strategic in the things you agree to.
Start asking yourself, which projects sound fun to me?
Rather than saying yes at every chance you get, start getting in touch with your own goals and desires. What things actually sound fun to take on? What would help advance your career? Where do you want to end up in your role?
Spend time with yourself finding these answers. Don’t do what you think will please everyone around you. Make decisions that will actually benefit you, and that you’ll enjoy.
And if you’re not sure, you can always ask your manager how you can grow toward the things you want.
You can also try this simple exercise to help you get to know yourself.
So, remember to be strategic with your yes, rather than taking on every extra ask you can.
Finally, it actually is possible to be too nice.
I know, I know, us people pleasers are always told that we’re too nice. And it doesn’t really feel great to hear that.
Now, I’m not telling you to STOP being yourself and stop being nice.
But, here’s the thing…
Being overly nice can be seen as a weakness to certain people. For example, I had a coworker that I was extremely nice to. I would bend over backwards to accommodate her and I always said yes to her.
But then, she eventually walked all over me with demands and last minute requests. But really, that was because I never set boundaries in the first place.
Eventually, I realized to limit my kindness with this certain person. I was still kind and professional, but I no longer bent myself so far out of shape to say yes to her.
So, ask yourself this: am I being kind or am I simply giving too much?
Being a recovering people pleaser at work can be tough. So, start setting limits with yourself and with others. That way, you’ll avoid feeling resentful, stressed and burnt out. And you’ll be more at peace.