I never would have said that I was a people-pleaser before stepping on this path, but looking back I was, not in every way, but I definitely identify with some of the behaviors. I think we all can be at times. We all want to be liked. We want to make people happy. We want to look like the good guy. The hero even. But when we use the act of making people happy as our own self-worth, that’s where people-pleasing becomes a problem. Yes, it’s nice to do things for other people, but not if we’re putting other people’s needs before our own, neglecting our own as a result, or we’re doing it in such a way that it becomes self-destructive. Many times people-pleasing comes from our own self-worth issues, I know it did for me, I didn’t think I had any worth, so I equated my worth to the acts I did for other people, and if those people didn’t appreciate those acts as much as I thought they should, I would get angry. Wrong intentions, wrong reaction. We should only do something for someone else if we genuinely want to do it and expect nothing in return from that person other than knowing your act may have made their day better, otherwise you run the danger of people-pleasing with selfish motives. So, how do we know if we’re people-pleasing? Here are some signs.
Pretending You’re Always In Agreement. You pretend you always agree with everyone’s opinions or values just be liked, or to be seen as being on the same page, going against your true beliefs and what you stand for. I am a firm believer in always listening to someone’s opinion, even if it differs from your own, but never fake who you are to make friends, as sooner or later the truth will come out and you will be labeled as just that, a fake.
You Fell Responsible For Other People’s Feelings. Each of us in charge of our own feelings and emotions, you as an individual cannot make someone feel something they do not. Again, it’s nice to do something for someone if you know it will help them or they’ll appreciate the gesture, but it’s not your job to manage someone else’s feelings, and you can’t, your job is to manage your own.
You’re Always Apologizing. Never be sorry for being you. People-pleasers typically over apologize always fearing that people are blaming them, even when they’ve done nothing wrong. When you’re secure in who you are and know your true intentions, there is no need to apologize for things unnecessarily, there should be no fear that you’re always in the wrong, or it’s your fault for something you didn’t do.
You Feel Obligated. You over-schedule your life with things and activities you’re not really interested in doing but feel you should to keep someone else happy. You are in charge of your life and your time, you don’t have to agree to anything you don’t want to, or you feel burdened by. Again, the only reason to do something is because you want to, not to look good to someone else or because you feel you can’t say no, you can. Better to be honest about how you feel than do something and then feel resentful when you’re there.
You Fear Anger. You make decisions based on whether someone might get mad at you and fear their displeasure. We can’t control whether someone gets upset with us, we also are not responsible for someone else’s happiness. Living in fear of upsetting someone is a true sign of a people-pleaser and a sign of self-doubt and low self-esteem.
You Mimic Those Around You. You’re a chameleon and act like the people you are around never showing those you’re with your true self for fear of not being accepted for who you are, or upsetting someone. Different people tend to bring out different sides of us, we do tend to have different facets of our personality, but to pretend to be what you’re not can be self-destructive and can often sabotage your goals if you’re not truly expressing who you are and sharing that with those around you. Be confident in your true you and don’t be afraid to share that with others, people want to meet the real you, not the you you think they want to meet.
You Need To Be Complimented To Feel Good. Everyone likes to hear when they’re going well, but people-pleasers depend on it. They’re constantly seeking validation for what they’re doing, or sacrificing, and when they don’t get it feel a sense of betrayal, but the only person you’re betraying is you, for not being yourself in the first place. The only person you should be making sure is happy is you, that happiness should not come at a cost to make someone else happy.
You’ll Do Anything To Avoid Conflict. No one likes conflict, well, no one who loves themselves and those around them, but to go to great lengths to avoid it is a sign of a people-pleaser. At some point we all find ourselves in conflict, there’s no way to avoid it, and doing everything in your power to try to avoid it might just cause more conflict because you aren’t being true to who you are, eventually someone will see that. Walk in to everything situation with the best of intentions, and know why you’re there, that’s the best any of us can do, conflict will happen regardless at times, but if you’re being honest you have nothing to worry about.
You Won’t Admit Being Hurt. Not wanting to disappoint anyone or hurt them, you keep your feelings inside, not admitting when you’ve been hurt. You deny anything is wrong, which only makes you feel worse, and keeps those relationships superficial and weak, as sooner or later your pain will cause you to disengage with that person, or they’ll sense you’re not being honest about who you are. If you’ve gotten hurt talk to the other person, we unintentionally hurt others at times, and some times it’s done by us. A conversation can clear the air and make a relationship clearer and stronger.
Recognize yourself in any of these behaviors? I think we all can to a degree, whether in our current life or in the past. People-pleasing really has the opposite result, because as we focus on pleasing others we are not pleasing the one true person who matters, us, and while we’re running around doing things for everyone else, there’s a part of us that is dying as we stuff down our goals, desires, and interests to keep up a facade we think we should present to the world. Be you. That’s all you need to be. That’s enough. Stand tall in who you are and what you believe in and share that with those around you, if that’s not appreciated in your current social circle, then perhaps it’s time to find a new circle of people just like yourself, or, a circle who wants you to be nothing more than who you are. SLAY on.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you identify yourself as people-pleaser? If yes why? If not why? Did you recognize yourself in any of the scenarios in the blog? Which ones? How has acting out this way harmed you? How can you change this behavior? What do you think will change when you do? How is your journey of self-love coming along? Where do you think you can improve? Where have you improved? SLAYER, write down 5 things, you cannot buy, that you are proud of. Keep that list with you and when you feel the urge to people-please, look at it, and know you are the person you need to please because you are an incredible person all on your own and your needs also deserve to be met. Go after what you want, and know, you are enough!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you