Enough People Pleasing Already

assertiveness balance Sep 10, 2020

There are so many demands on our time right now. Work from home, homeschooling, virtual meetings galore, house work, cooking, self-care, child-care, and on and on. The list seems endless on a good day and 2020 has seemingly eliminated those. We have so much to do between our families and our work.

Do you feel that you need to jump in at work to help at work whenever asked? That’s great – until it takes away from the things that are important to you. Are you overwhelmed because you are scrambling to get your work done because of the time spent helping others? If so, it’s time to step back and gain perspective.

It is important to help others, that is one of key requirements of being a part of a team. However, your personal success is dependent on what you get done. You must be someone who gets things done in order to move up. So how do you find the right balance?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does this request take away from a critical task I already have to do? If it will, then you need to say no, or defer your help until you get your task done. Clarify that you have a critical task due and you are committed to getting it done. If the request can be done without impacting your critical items, and you are willing to make the time to help say yes, otherwise decline to help at this time.
  2. Is this request aligned with my / my team goals? If the answer is yes, then you should proceed to help and determine how to fit it in. Negotiate the timeline if the due date is too tight or push something else out to make it work. If it isn't aligned, defer it to another person or team that is better suited to the task. 
  3. Are you feeling pressured to help to your own detriment? If the answer is yes, then you need to pause and figure out where the pressure is coming from before you act. If your boss is pressuring you to shore up a shaky team member/ project, then ask for more clarification. Find out how this will help you in your career or why you and not someone else. When the pressure is from a chronic needy co-worker it may be time to RESPECTFULLY decline to help.
  4. Will this help you achieve your goals? If the answer is yes, then do it. This is clearly lined up with your goals so find the time. If the request won't help you then find a way to say no without burning bridges. 

We can't do everything so do what will have the biggest impact. To be successful learn when, and how to say no, to protect your time and your needs. Helping others is part of everyday life, but you will always be behind schedule, overwhelmed and frazzled if you put others needs before your own. This isn’t being mean, it’s having balance, and when you focus on pleasing others, you will not be personally satisfied. 


Continue the conversation on Facebook at Leadership Wisdom for Women in Stem


50% Complete


Please enter your name and email to stay up to date.

We hate spam so we can promise your information will never be sold or shared.