The festive season is all about generosity, giving and spending time with loved ones. It can often be a people pleasers worst nightmare sending us into overdrive. Many of us take the festive season seriously with to-do lists so long they cause burnout.
Speaking from experience the thing I love is seeing the people I love happy. I use to go above and beyond with Christmas feasts that would take weeks to prepare, late nights out with the kids to see the lights, presents piled up under the tree, festive catch-ups to celebrate the year that seemed endless and often starting in November!
As the weeks lead into Christmas, saying yes becomes easier as sheer exhaustion creeps. No becomes a thing of the past as we fall back into old habits when we are stressed or under pressure. You might like to read this article >> How to say NO without the guilt.
Christmas Survival Guide for People Pleasers
The very first thing for any people pleaser is to know how to read our bodies’ reactions. Our bodies are wonderful communicators. We can gauge how we should be responding when someone asks us to another Christmas party. Observing what your body tells us will help in all kinds of situations.
It’s a moment to pause and consider what is best for us. What are we thinking about when we get asked to the work Christmas party, a family get-together, or catching up with friends? What happens in your body, what do you notice? How is it responding?
If we are dog tired, we are probably not feeling a party at the last minute would be the right thing to do. However, we can often automatically respond instead of checking in for a moment to consider what we might need. But if we are getting a full-body yes and are filled with excitement, then going out for a night could be just what we need. It’s making sure we are responding from a place that feels good.
Knowing when we are on board with something we want to do. Will help us see when we are complying to other people’s needs because we feel we should. There is a huge difference.
Practicing awareness helps us to determine our full-body yes and what the feels like to us. When we are not living from that place we need to send our awareness to challenge ourselves. Looking at how we are behaving, and asking why we are not satisfying our needs.
If we asked ourselves honestly, with an open heart what we would like Christmas to look like. Does it match up to how Christmas is currently going for you? We can often get rather resentful when our plans don’t quite go how we would like them.
So, let’s get intentional about what it is we want!
Do you actually want a quiet Christmas? Has it been a really crazy year and you’re still processing? Do you need more time out? Do you just want, close family or close friends, get clear about what you would like?
You really want to make sure that your answers reflect your needs, not satisfying others.
Consider who do you want to be spending time with? How do you want to be spending time with these people? What’s your role in the situation? As people pleasers time is of the essence, and we are often the busiest humans. Because we’re trying to do all the things for everyone and making them happy.
Being intentional also means setting an intention for the festive season ahead. From my experience, I’m usually stuck in the kitchen doing all the things. And then all of a sudden Christmas is over and I’m like, Oh! I didn’t actually have a conversation with anyone. What happened there?
Acknowledge what you would like the festive season to look like and take ownership of it.
Learning to prioritise your needs comes with practice. And once you understand what you do and don’t want you can start to implement. This means simply learning to say no, holding your ground and perhaps offering a solution instead of jumping in to save the day. If you want to learn more about the art of saying no, head over here >> How to say No without the guilt.
Setting boundaries is about knowing when you can contribute or commit to other’s needs. We all love to help, it’s a part of our nature as humans but it doesn’t mean it should run us into the ground. Ask yourself, where is your energy at and do you honestly have the capacity to take on additional tasks like extra food preparation or driving your great aunt to the airport.
This is where learning to open up and articulate with people what we really need becomes the greatest gift. It’s taking ownership of ourselves, our time, our needs, our feelings, our energy and accepting that we can’t do it all for everyone around us.
Boundaries are a healthy sign that you honour your truth and for all those that dislike them? Perhaps they are the ones you need to place them with. It’s powerful once you begin. Read >> How to Set & Maintain Boundaries.
It’s really great to have someone on your side who understands your people pleasing ways. I know that for a lot of people pleasers, they’re not going to even want to share that they are a people pleaser. I get it. I really do. However, once you admit it to yourself and can admit this to someone, a loved one, that can support you.
When I first realised how I was changing my behaviour for others, I got my hubby on board to help me navigate social situations. I wanted a comrade to help me on the journey that I could trust. He became my sounding board when I made mistakes, I could confess my feelings as they unfolded. It strengthened our bond.
Having someone to catch me in the act of pleasing others would then open up a whole conversation about my habits. My wingman would give me a nudge or guide me away to ask me the big old question – WHY? And guess what, we all do it.
Depending on your personality type (take the quiz to find your people pleaser personality) but letting someone in will help you to start breaking down your habits.
Christmas can be overwhelming and quite stressful and we don’t need to do it alone. Share the load and make your life easier and ask for help. I know it can be a scary thing to do. But it will honestly save you a whole of negative self-talk.
The majority of people pleasers have forgotten how to take time for themselves. What if you could allocate 10-15min a day to refill your cup so you can help others from a place where you feel good too?
How we love ourselves looks different for all of us. Perhaps a ten-minute meditation is on the cards after everyone has finished their Christmas pudding, or going outside for a quick walk around the block with your favourite podcast playing in your ears. Maybe a snooze, a swim in the ocean, or a cup of tea in silence.
It’s about hitting the reset button. So you feel lighter and brighter and your energy renewed. Find some practices like, meditation, reading a book, some journaling, getting out in nature, yoga, running, painting, or other creative endeavors, find whatever you need to nourish your soul.
Filling up our cups will help us to do more of the things we want. And this is the reason why we set boundaries, have clear intentions and a support network. So we can honour our time for ourselves. That way, when we do walk into that Christmas party, the work get together or catch up with a friend. We are at our best because we have given ourselves the time and the energy to acknowledge what it is that we want.
There you have it, how to survive Christmas as a people pleaser. So get intentional, observe your body and what it’s telling you and set clear boundaries that make it easy to nourish your body.