For a long time I lived my life attempting to please everyone I ran across, people I knew and didn’t. I thought If I conformed to what people wanted me to be , I would be liked. Wrong! I’ve learned by being myself and respectfully having my own opinions I’m not pressured to be someone I’m not. When you put on heirs just to make others happy that causes emotions inside of you that can be draining. Know that People will accept you for who you are or those people whom don’t do not deserve to be a part of your life.
Here are some of the signs you might be a people pleaser:
Source: Barry Davenport/ Live Bold and Bloom
- You avoid conflict or disapproval by acquiescing to the wishes of others.
- You frequently say “yes” when you mean “no” and vice versa.
- You never want to hurt anyone’s feelings even at your own expense.
- You would rather your life appear perfect and nice even if you are unhappy.
- You only feel loved and accepted when you are pleasing others.
- You feel like a “good” person when you please others and a “bad” person when you don’t.
- You haven’t defined your own goals and dreams.
- You don’t have a “personal operating system” of your own beliefs, values, and integrity.
- You have a hard time making decisions without deferring to others.
- You are guided by what you “should” do rather than what you want to do.
- You often have problems with time management.
- You tend to attract people to need to rescued or taken care of.
- You over-volunteer often at the expense of your own family.
- You rarely say what you think or feel.
- You have a hard time relaxing and doing nothing.
- You’re exhausted from trying to be perfect all the time.
- You desperately fear letting other people down.
- You avoid rocking the boat at all costs, even if it means lying.
- You need a lot of verbal approval and reinforcement.
- You suppress your anger or frustration for fear of rejection.
- You often over-apologize or apologize when it’s not really your fault.
- You rarely take risks or allow yourself to look silly or foolish.
- You often feel trapped, anxious, and easily upset.
- You feel guilt about not being able to accomplish enough.
- You have a hard to being authentic or even knowing who the “real” you is.
Though it might seem that sacrificing it all for others is a loving and generous way to live, you’re actually undermining your relationships and your self-respect.
Those whom you continually accommodate will gladly accept your beneficence. But at the same time, they begin to lose respect for you. They see you have weak personal boundaries and will trample over them because you’ve given them tacit permission.
Even though you deeply desire their acceptance and approval, you push them away with your lack of self-respect and confidence to stand your ground, speak up for yourself, and express your own choices and beliefs.
This loss of respect often leads more unconscious people to truly take advantage of you, using you to meet their needs without appreciating your time, effort, or generosity. The more you give, the more they will take.
Being a people pleaser is not sustainable. It takes tremendous energy to keep everyone happy and say “yes” to every request. It’s impossible to be perfect, to avoid all conflict, and to live without your own beliefs and values. You begin to feel taken for granted and unappreciated.
These feelings turn to resentment and anger. But you can’t express your anger, so you internalize your frustrations and become anxious, passive aggressive, or depressed. Or you get physically sick. Or all of the above.
Your personal happiness, your relationships, and even your health depend on your ability to reclaim yourself and stop people pleasing. This doesn’t mean you can never do anything for anyone again. But it does mean you change your motivations and put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life. Pleasing others becomes a choice founded in healthy self-worth rather than a means to validate yourself.
So how can you release the need to please and empower yourself to live authentically on your own terms? Here is a thought:
This is always the first step toward positive change. If you recognize yourself as a people pleaser and see how it’s harming you and your relationships, then you must acknowledge it’s past time to do something about it.
Be Well, Journey