While being a 'Yes Person' is great if you want to dive into new experiences, learning the art of saying no is just as crucial for your sanity. By the time you reach your 30s, you have more responsibilities on your plate and a better sense of who you are, so it only makes sense to be more critical of what you agree to and how you spend your time.


Here are signs you're a chronic people-pleaser, and how to adjust so you can start prioritizing your needs (for once):

You keep saying sorry when asking someone for a favor.

And literally for Every. Little. Thing. You apologize profusely when you accidentally step on someone's foot, borrow a charger, or when you can't make it to a barkada dinner. (Ladies, true friends will understand when you need to cancel plans for the sake of your mental health.)

What to do: While it's good to be sensitive to other people's needs AND remain courteous at all times, it's best to save apologies for when you actually did real damage.

The next time you catch yourself saying sorry for the smallest thing, try to put a more positive spin on it by saying thank you instead. This way, you remain polite without putting yourself down.

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The answer to "So, sino mag-aadjust?" is always you.

Work often gets dumped on your lap because you say yes even when you already have 195840374 items on your to-do list, while the rest of your team seems to have enough time for proper work-life balance. 

What to do: Remember, there's a difference between being a team-player and a doormat. Only take on extra work when your main responsibilities are done—otherwise, you'll underperform and only end up stressing twice over.

Over-thinking isn't new to you.

You sometimes spend hours analyzing a text message just because there was no smiley, wondering if the sender is being cold for an unknown reason. You're constantly seeking the approval of others—even from people you're not particularly fond of—and you always behave in ways that will get people to like you.

As Elliot D. Cohen Ph.D. writes on Psychology Today, "Getting the approval of others is sometimes a good thing, but not at others: Indeed, sometimes it is better to stand your ground against people who ask you to sell your soul. Paradoxically, others are more likely to respect you if you remain true to your rational principles and better judgment."


What to do: Learn to let go. Yes, it's easier said than done, but one thing you can do is to distract yourself. The moment you catch yourself stressing over the same thing for more than five minutes, make it a point to stop and do something else instead. It can be as simple as reading an article online, or messaging a friend you've been meaning to catch up with.

Friends often go to you when they need to rant about something...

But most of the time, they don't really listen to your advice. They even get annoyed when you disagree with them (when you find the courage to speak up, that is), which makes you change your opinion and validate them instead. Another downside? They're usually unavailable when you're the one who needs to vent.

What to do: If you don't have it in you to tell your friend off or to totally disagree with them, instead of changing your opinion, just tweak your approach. Ask them questions like "Are you mad because of how they made you feel?" and let your friend reach the conclusion on their own. But don't walk on egg shells just to make sure their ego stays in tact. At the end of the day, it's not your job to validate others the way it's not their job to validate you.


Source: Psychology Today

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