How to get over Fear of Disappointing Others

  1. Consider the costs and consequences of never say no. And painful as it may be, facing up to those costs can boost your motivation to change and do something different.
  2. Remember you are not responsible for other people’s emotions. Feelings are not something you can control while your actions are.
  3. Reframe your fear as uncomfortable, not dangerous. You’ll be a little more likely to tolerate it instead of impulsively trying to avoid it.
  4. Use reverse empathy to build some initial confidence. Reverse empathy means putting yourself in your own shoes when you’ve experienced something similar to what you’re afraid of someone else experiencing.
  5. Start with the 30% version and work your way up.  If you can practice tolerating the fear of disappointing others in small ways (the 30% version), you’ll be that much more confident when you finally decide to accept the big fear (the 100% version).
  6. Watch out for fake guilt. Often we end up mislabeling sadness or some other sadness-related emotion as guilt because however bad guilt feels, it gives us an illusion of control via giving back something.

Source: Nick Wignall