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How Do You Handle A Difficult Person At Work: Without People Pleasing

People pleasing comes from several different places. When I found out why I was a people pleaser, it helped me be more compassionate for myself. It also gave me the power to choose new ways to behave and think about myself and people. If you have the “disease” to please like I do, here are 5 reasons you people please and how to handle a difficult person at work without giving in to manipulation and intimidation tactics.

To start off, there are a few reasons you might be a people pleaser. ⁠And it’s important to understand where your people pleasing tendencies might come from. ⁠ Why? So that you can understand your own personality better. ⁠By understanding your personality you will know how and why you are motivated to behave the way you do. When you’re self-aware, then you can start figuring out strategies to make the changes you want within your life.⁠

Try this exercise to help you get to know yourself better. The 90 Day Who Am I Challenge. For 90 days I ate only clean 80 percent raw foods, I unplugged, I isolated myself from everyone with the exception of seeing clients, taking care of my family and grocery shopping. During that ninety days I keep a journal with me to write aha moments, feelings and emotions be it stressful or cheerful. I recorded everything good and bad. What I liked and disliked. Ideas that came to me. How God communicated with me. I learn that He used signs, symbols and numbers, my dreams, and my emotions to communicate. I learned that clutter, negative situations, words, events and people affect me differently than most people. I learned that art, nature and writing healed my soul. I learned that music and Hallmark movies raise my vibration much quicker than anything else I've tried. I learned I felt responsible for other people feelings, life choices, and happiness more than I did my own, this effect my work as a counselor and I realized why I was burnout and relapse in my eating disorder. I learned about my triggers such as silent treatment a form of emotional manipulation and how I allowed other people energy to affect my vibes. These are things I would have never known without slowing down enough to pay attention to how I felt, how I thought, how I made decision, and how I chose to response. These behaviors were blocking my blessing. Mother Teresa once said, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come without leaving happier." I done this all my life when interacting with others but not once have I ever done it towards myself.

Personally, understanding why I tend to people please has helped me a lot. First, it’s helped me understand my own motives better. Second, it’s helped me be compassionate toward myself as I tend to beat myself up. Especially after feeling drained from others negative energy.

If you can relate, here are 5 possible reasons you people please.

#1: You’re Naturally Sensitive

First of all, when you’re naturally sensitive, it makes you more vulnerable to being a people pleaser.

Since sensitive and/or empathic people can sense other’s emotional discomfort more, they’re more likely to try and help them resolve it. That way, the tension goes away!

I’m highly sensitive, so I know this one’s definitely true for me. When someone is in need near me, it’s hard for me to NOT help them out – simply because I sense they could use a hand. My natural nature is a nurturer caregiver even my money archetype is nurturer.

So, if you’re naturally sensitive like me, it might make you more vulnerable to being a people pleaser. Research topics on Empath and highly sensitive people. Dr. Judith Orloff is the expert and mentor I used to learn more about my own journey of understanding who I was as it relates to my gift and skills of being an Empath, developing my skills, and surviving in the world when you are sensitive to energy.

#2: You’ve Got the Helper Personality Type

Next, some people are more prone to being people pleasers because of their personality type. When you’re a helper or a giver by nature like me, it makes people pleasing feel normal to you. You feel it’s what you’re here to do. In reality from a spiritual perspective that's true you are a light worker. So, of course you want to help people out!

I, too, fall into this category. I tend to want to help a lot. Giving feels natural for me. But I learned I was giving to all the wrong people as I tend to attract self absorb, selfish, entitled, and narcissist people. With this knowledge and self awareness I learn how to protect my vibe, listen to it and follow it correctly. Not when I was seeking externally validation or felt fears.

If you relate to that, your personality type might condition you toward people pleasing more than others. Now you can watch out for unhealthy habits of saying yes to your boss or coworkers when you already have a lot stuff on your plate. Abandon the need to please or be nice.

#3: You Were Conditioned to Put Your Needs Last

Another reason you might people please is because of your childhood conditioning.

Were you were taught to put your needs last? (I was.) If so, you might be more vulnerable to people pleasing, like me.

Personally, I was taught to put everyone’s needs ahead of my own, that my needs weren’t important.

As an adult, I find it very difficult to prioritize my own needs. It’s something I constantly have to work on being a business owner serving many clients, mom to four and trucker wife!

So, if you struggle with abandonment and neglect trauma and were raised in a codependent home like me, it puts you more at risk of being a people pleaser especially in the workplace with customer service and clients.

#4: You Experienced Rejection But Not Acceptance

Yet another reason you might be a people pleaser is because of your past experiences.

Were you rejected a lot in your childhood? If so, that might make you more of a people pleaser.

For instance, I developed a sense of abandonment after my mom left to live with my great grandmother to pursue her career in law enforcement. Then as a young adult I experience mom shaming. During that same period my husband began his career as a over-the-road truck driver and that experience cause panic attacks that triggered my deep wounds of neglect and abandonment in my childhood experience that I had no clue exist or even part of the problem of why I thought and behaved the way I did my entire life. These experiences all had to do with me experiencing rejection and feeling acceptance as a child, as a young adult and new trucker wife. But most importantly these experience test my emotions, thinking, and behavior response within my relationships. I learned that I tend to use people pleasing as a way to control people in my relationships so that I can avoid my fear of rejection. I did this with work relationship too. Doing what was expected of me rather than honor my own needs was easy. Because I never knew what my own needs were. I used to say I'm easy going. I'm laid back. I adapt easily. But the truth was I had no real sense of self or self worth. So when others raise the bar of their expectations it was very easy for me to jump in and follow suit. I was constantly chasing people approval, yet I never felt accepted by them.

Nowadays, I find that has stayed in my psyche and makes me want to please those around me more.

Was this the case for you? If so, it might have turned you into a people pleaser at home or work.

#5: You Were Shamed For Your Emotions

When sharing difficult emotions as a child, you might have been shamed, dismissed or mistreated.

Because of this, it may have turned you into a people pleaser.

This is another point that I can relate to. After my mom left me to live with my grandmother to fulfill her dream of becoming a Florida Highway Patrol Officer. I would ask my grandmother "Why I couldn't live with my mom like I saw all my cousin and the other kids at my school who parents worked?" I was constantly told, “Your mama has to work!" Whenever I was sad I would also ask. However, I was shooed away with the same answer. “Your mama has to work!" The problem I face was I wasn’t allowed to show anger. When I did, I was quickly punished by words of neglect. Such as stop all that crying, you're alright. I was never given hugs or acknowledgement of how I felt. I was never even asked how I felt from other family members.

Reflect on how your parents or guardians handled your negative emotions when you were a child. If you experienced something similar, it might give you a tendency toward people pleasing.

As far as handle a difficult person at work without people pleasing all depends on how you define yourself. That's why the 90 day challenge is so important. If you don’t know what you really want, which direction to take in your life, what your purpose is for being on the planet you will pretty much fall for anything or be like I once was allowing others to define me and my self worth. Look, I'm going to be real with you. Our vibration is our main point of attraction, and when we are feeling good we are positively attracting. But when we are feeling low or down and out we are attracting more of those negative things to our life. That's why it's so important to protect your vibe. Even in the workplace you gotta protect your vibe. I had client that office I was clearing had an employee that was struggling with depression and a crucial part of her work was being affected by her vibe not to mention the energy within the office space. my client did all she could as a office manger to increase the woman vibe and help her feel more joy and happiness at work because she was an important part of the team. Come to fine out the problem was not work related. When the woman did start toffee better her mood was constantly brought down by her husband who was chronically negative and pessimistic. I had a session with her in my private counseling practice and showed her how to protect her vibe. In conjunction with cleaning the office environment and everyone practicing conscious mental and emotional health through self healing on a daily basis the firm is thriving. It's a win win for everyone!


As a recovering people pleaser, I fall into all the categories above. I’m very sensitive due to my born gift of empath, I’m a helper and I was taught being myself and having my emotions wasn’t ok. Yet, understanding this helps me understand WHY I please, have compassion on myself and gives me the knowledge I need to make different choices. Like having the courage to heal from emotional binge eating. I've been in full remission for five years now. Choosing to protect my vibe everyday. But not only that but having the courage to start a publishing company, private counseling and coaching practice and a commercial office energy clearing business. Something I would have never thought possible as a young woman struggling with codependency and emotional eating with suicidal fearful thoughts and none of faith and courage.

⁠I hope this helps you understand yourself better so you can make the changes you want as well.


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