The Dangers of People Pleasing
By Asfa Shakeel
People pleasing is one of the worst habits to nurture within yourself. This is because of how negatively it impacts your own self-worth.
If you notice tendencies of people-pleasing in yourself, it is a sign that you have to dig in and understand which childhood experiences it comes from and try and fight those tendencies.
If you think you’re a people pleaser but are not really sure what it means or which behaviors to identify, here is a helpful list:
- You go beyond just listening to everyone, and actually pretend to agree with people about everything they say, even if it goes against your true beliefs and values.
- If another person feels upset or bad, you feel responsible for their feelings and want to bend over backwards to stop them from feeling that way.
- You apologize about everything, even when it is things that you have no control over and about things that are just you being you.
- Your schedule is filled up with tasks you are doing for other people, and you do not feel like you have control over your time.
- You do not have the ability to say no to people, and often have to think of creative excuses to get out of doing things that you agreed to in the moment.
- You take on the personality traits of the people around you, and start acting like them to make the environment more relaxed and easier to inhibit.
- You depend on validation to feel good about yourself, and need other people’s praise to be confident.
Keep in mind that all of these things do not have to apply in order for you to have people-pleasing tendencies. If some or most of them apply, you’re definitely in the danger zone and need to make efforts to fight these tendencies. Here are some of the drawbacks of being a people pleaser:
- People pleasers become so used to inhabiting other personalities that they completely lose a sense of who they are. Because they never get to be themselves, they do not even know who they really are. If you’re a people pleaser, you might never know your true opinions because you do not give yourself a chance to find out.
- Since people pleasers give away all their time to other people, they often end up feeling bitter and resentful about it because they are not able to say no. The dangerous cycle happens because despite this resentment, they will continue to attempt to please everyone around them.
- People pleasers often completely drain their energy doing things for other people, and when it comes to doing something for themselves, they cannot build up the energy to commit and end up procrastinating everything they want to do for themselves.
- Although people pleasers want to be liked by everyone, the reality is that other people see them as insincere and fake, which makes them push the people pleasers out of their social circles. You will end up being called only if someone needs something from you, because they know you cannot say no.
These are just some of the few reasons why people pleasing can be seriously harmful to your mental health and the value of your relationships. If some of the people pleasing tendencies apply to you, start making a change right now! The best way to start breaking away from these tendencies is to simply start being honest in your interactions with people. When you break the cycle of telling people what they want to hear and say what you want to say, you’ll notice a drastic change in their perception of you and your perception of yourself.