On this week's ADHD Nerds podcast, I talked with Brittany S Hochstetler about people pleasing and how it's so common for people with ADHD.
One of the reasons people pleasing is so common with ADHD has to do with emotional dysregulation and rejection sensitivity. The pain from rejection can be so severe, we go out of our way to avoid that pain from having a chance to strike again.
People-pleasing and overachieving is meant to build up a defense against negative criticism or rejection. You sacrifice many of your own desires and freedom in order to keep others satisfied.
But eventually, people-pleasing can often be a form of self-betrayal. You set yourself up for never being fully appreciated or respected, and you let your own desires become less important than others.
If you struggle with this, one thing you can do is learn to guard your "yes" and lean toward saying no as a default.
Saying yes to things by default often sets us up for major overwhelm later down the road (especially since we often lose track of current obligations).
Remember that "No." is a complete sentence.
You shouldn't have to defend or explain that answer. If asked why, you can say you don't have the time or energy because of your other priorities, but remember that they are the ones asking you if you can do something.
They are imposing on your needs and your priorities, asking you to place there's above your own. (There is a time for being a helpful friend, of course—but people-pleasers are often way too far on one side of the spectrum!)
Protect your "yes" and save it for the things you truly are able (and want or need) to do.
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. Devastating news - almost our entire family ended up having allergic reactions to our new puppy, Cora. 😢 Everything was fine at first, but after a few days it was obvious that it wasn't going to work out. We knew this was a possibility (no dog is 100% hypoallergenic), but we're still super sad.
Luckily, we were able to find her a great home with some friends who have been wanting a new dog. And our kids will still be able to visit her from time to time. We're pretty bummed, but happy we found a great home for her so quickly.