If you’re like me and many of my clients, you’ll agree that people can take advantage of your time, efforts and love without giving it a second thought. And we have to own too, that we are guilty of taking advantage of others as well. All relationships are co-created.

Why is this????

Most people are unaware that we are creating our experiences, both bad and good, 24/7. And if you’re like most, then you will likely agree that you feel unacknowledged for all that you do. A simple thank you would suffice and yet that rarely happens, not to mention that it seems like the more we do, the more that is expected of us. It’s never enough and we make it mean we’re not enough.

fustrated womanThis is how burnout happens. We do and do and do and do and then we do more. Around and around we go and even though we’re overwhelmed, it hardly compares to how frustrated and disappointed we feel in how others seem to take advantage of our kindness.

Resentment builds up over time and we find ourselves angry, sad and just plain tired of it. Then, we point our fingers at others blaming them for the lousy way we feel.

The irony here is that as humans we like to feel needed, appreciated and loved, so we have an innate desire to please others. It truly is one of life’s greatest joys. And if this is so, then why does it feel so crappy sometimes?

Being a People Pleaser and Pleasing People are really two different things. As People Pleasers, we do for others to be liked and accepted. We often say yes when we really mean no. It’s fear that has us do that. The fear that we’ll disappoint a spouse, friend or client or that we’ll just feel guilty for not being available when someone needs us. People Pleasers are pleasing others at the sacrifice of their own needs and desires and this is never good. Yes, sometimes we have to sacrifice for a sick child for example or filling in an extra shift at work, but I’m referring to the choice to put oneself on the back burner all the time where doing for oneself doesn’t even appear as an option.

content womanWhen we take care of ourselves first, it becomes a natural desire to do for others. When we’re filled up, rested, pampered and we feel great, we authentically step up to support others and we both mutually benefit. That’s pleasing people, not people pleasing.

Because we train people how to treat us, by what we say, what we don’t say and what our actions, choices and behaviors convey, it’s up to us to let others know what they can and can’t get away with when it comes to being in a relationship with us.

The best thing you can do right away, without hesitation, is to remove these two phrases from your vocabulary for good:


Even if you mean it….and trust me, most people don’t, you’re setting yourself up to be taken advantage of. These two phrases are an abbreviated way of letting someone know your time is not valuable, you don’t command respect and you don’t care to communicate.

Let me explain. If your friend continually shows up late for lunch and you’re annoyed, saying “No worries” to her when she shows up is really a cop-out to letting her know how you really feel. You can very calmly and graciously tell her that your time is valuable and you don’t appreciate it. Saying “No worries” lets her off the hook without consequences and will only make you more resentful toward her. You will most likely preoccupy yourself with your own disappointment over lunch and continue to hold a grudge after that. It’s loving to be honest with your friend and believe me, she will respect you for it. If she doesn’t, you may want to contemplate if she’s the kind of friend you want to surround yourself with.

smiling peopleIf you’re picking up the slack for your co-worker who never seems to come through on his end of the project and you’re taking the load on, don’t say “No problem” when he apologizes for not
showing up. Let him know that you don’t appreciate his irresponsibility and you won’t be covering for him again. If you care about him, it’s loving to let him know that his irresponsibility is unbecoming. If he’s doing it to you, he’s most likely doing it to others and sooner or later somebody will react unfavorably. We all need to learn our lessons. If your spouse isn’t doing their set of chores around the house, stop saying “No worries” or “No problem” when they give yet another excuse of why they didn’t come through. It may be okay sometimes, but it’s never okay all the time. Be honest with yourself. You either share the way you feel or you risk being taken advantage of and then you hold a grudge. That’s never loving.

It’s nice to let others know that we’re there for them, that it’s our pleasure to serve them and that we are happy to support them. There are very clear ways to say this when the opportunity presents itself. No worries and No problem are not good ways of communication anyway and people who are consciously aware don’t take it seriously either. It’s a good way to deflect true authenticity and vulnerability and set the relationship up for a lot of phoniness.

So, if you want to be appreciated, appreciate others more, lessen your worries and minimize your problems, never say these phrases again and see what happens.

To your future appreciation and respect….you deserve it!!