Putting other people first all the time is a recipe for being taken advantage of and feeling resentful, hurt and disappointed. It saps your confidence and self esteem.
Do you spend too much time worrying about what other people think, or might be saying about you?
Are you overly concerned about what you say and do around other people or feel overly responsible for their feelings?
Do you put other people first and know more about what they want, than you know about yourself?

Many, many people are absolutely crippled by the anxiety that gets generated by the fear of upsetting other people, or, worrying too much about other people think of them.

If this is you, you will know how debilitating it is. Not being able to say no to someone, not being able to do something important to you because it might displease someone else, pleasing everyone else,never quite getting around to putting yourself first and feeling disappointed that other people do not treat you in the same way.

You end up being treated badly by other people and feel lost, unfulfilled, disrespected and resentful.

Of course, other people’s opinions matter and it is good to find out what other people think – rather than what you think they think.

Women, in particular, are often brought up to believe that their job is to make other people happy and when they are happy you will be happy. But this often a recipe for disaster at work.

You get overworked, overlooked and under rewarded.

And, even worse, if you always put other people first, and don’t stand up for yourself, your self esteem and confidence plummets and your passion and purpose for work gets worn away.

You begin to feel anxious, hurt, indecisive, annoyed or even angry, get stuck, confused and overwhelmed, as the fear of upsetting other people, and what they might be thinking about you, is more important than your own well being.

Follow this 4-step process and get clear about what you really think and feel and want (or don’t want) to do….and communicate that to other people.


Step 1.

Be an Observer.

Simply observe how other people react to what other people say and do and move on to observe how other people react to you.

Be interested and curious, ask yourself questions about them and what they are doing.

This stops you from becoming embroiled emotionally and you can see more their reaction much more clearly as separate from you.

Though other people do blame you for upsetting them or give you praise for making them happy – their feelings are theirs and are not within your control. You cannot MAKE anyone happy or sad or worried, cross…… or anything else.

How they react to you is to do with them. Their history, their makeup, how they are feeling, what is going on in their lives etc etc.

And equally true is the fact that no-one else can make you happy, sad, cross or anything else either.

Imagine if you did not nee to be responsible for how other people felt!!! What if you didn’t have to change other people to make yourself happy? How liberating would that be?

This is not a mandate to treat other people badly. It is still your responsibility to treat people kindly and with respect. When you know you have done that, you can also be sure that how someone else reacts is up to them. Their business and not something you need to fix.

Step 2

Shift Your Awareness

If you are a ‘People Pleaser’ you are much more aware of how other people feel than how you feel yourself.

Ask yourself regularly, throughout the day, ‘How do I feel right now? Such a simple question becomes ridiculously hard to answer when you are always focussed on how other people feel and what they want to do.

Notice how you feel when you know that someone is not happy about something you are doing or saying.

Notice what you don’t do or say because you know that is not what the other person wants.

Do you become critical of them or yourself? Do you want to hide or withdraw, get angry with them or do you start to beat yourself up?

Do you get depressed or give up? Become more and more anxious to please them and get things ‘right’?

Begin by just noticing how you are feeling. Ask yourself regularly throughout the day ‘how am I feeling right now?’

Start to shift your focus away from what other people are feeling, stop focussing on what they do or don’t think, say or do and start to focus on what you feel, think or want to do.

It takes practise, but you will soon get to know yourself and learn ‘what feels right for you’.

Step 3.

Manage Your Emotions

Now you are aware of what you are feeling you can start to manage and change how you react to other people’s real, or imagined, judgements of you.

The emotions you need to focus on first are fear, worry or anxiety. It is this group of emotions that are stopping you from being honest and being yourself and stop you from making changes. Once you have learned to deal with this feeling you will be clearer about what beliefs and inner conflicts you have that are holding you back from living your life.

Concentrate on lowering your levels of anxiety, using whatever techniques work for you – exercise, creativity, music, being outside, relaxation, meditation, pets, cooking, socialising, talking things through, etc etc

If you would like some more ideas get my 10 Instant Calmers sent straight to your inbox. This audio, workbook and quick effective tools and techniques will help you to take control of your anxiety and stop being so stressed and worried about what other people think.

Get your free complete set of Instant Calmers HERE

Step 4.

Be Assertive

Being assertive is not about getting your own way.

Being assertive is about seeing everyone as important as each other. You are no more, or less important than anyone else and as such will need to negotiate and compromise to find a solution that is acceptable to each of the people involved. Sometimes a long and arduous process, depending on who you are dealing with, but well worth the effort! It is about being honest with yourself and communicating clearly your wishes to other people.

If you would like to learn how to be assertive check out the blog How To Be Assertive. 

Or Book A FREE Session with Linda.

Knowing what you really want and being crystal clear about what is stopping you, are the first steps in making the changes you want in your life.

That is why I offer a free, 50-minute Clarity Session.

This is for you if you want to:

  • discover the underlying block (or blocks) that are getting your way
  • reveal your next best steps
  • get some practical tools to help you quickly
  • want to make this the year you FINALLY make the changes you’ve been dreaming of, & just need someone to help you get there. 

How to Apply for your session:

Go straight to my diary and book a time

Text or call: 07795311354 or email linda@lindabarbour.co.uk and we’ll find a mutually convenient time to ‘meet’.