People-pleasers are renowned for going above and beyond to satisfy others. Going above in order to please people might leave you feeling emotionally drained, agitated, and anxious, even if these traits are normally positive.
This article discusses the characteristics of a people-pleaser, as well as the reasons behind this conduct and its potential drawbacks. It also covers advice on how to quit putting the demands of others before your own and start attending to your own need.
A People-Pleaser: What Is One?
Someone who prioritizes the needs of others before their own is a people-pleaser.People-pleasers have a strong sense of empathy for others and are frequently regarded as affable, helpful, and kind, but they can also struggle to speak up for themselves, which can result in unhealthy patterns of self-sacrifice or self-neglect.
People-pleasing is linked to the human trait known as “sociotropy,” which refers to an excessive concern with winning others’ praise and preserving relationships.This conduct could be a sign of one of the following mental health issues:
✔ Depression or anxiety
✔ Disorder of avoidant personality
✔Disorder of the borderline personality (BPD)
✔ Dependent personality disorder or codependency
How to Tell if You’re a People-Pleaser
People-pleasers frequently exhibit a variety of traits. The following are some indicators that you may be a people-pleaser:
✔You find it tough to refuse someone.
✔You’re worried about what others might think of you.
✔When you decline requests from individuals, you feel bad.
✔You worry that if you decline their invitation, they’ll think you’re rude or self-centered.
✔You consent to things you dislike or perform actions you don’t want to.
✔You experience issues with poor self-esteem.
✔You want people to like you and believe that by helping them, you will gain their respect.
✔You apologize to people all the time.
✔Even when something isn’t your fault, you accept the responsibility.
✔You spend all of your free time serving others, so you never have any.
✔You sacrifice your needs in order to fulfill those of others.
✔Even when you don’t agree with them, you pretend to.
People-pleasers are frequently adept at perceiving others’ emotions.They are also typically compassionate, considerate, and empathetic.These favorable traits could also be accompanied by negative self-perception, the need for control, or a propensity for overachievement.
When you’re a people-pleaser, all of this effort to keep others happy may leave you feeling exhausted and worried, despite the fact that many may perceive you as a giver or nice person.
Factors Behind This Trait
It’s crucial to comprehend some of the causes of your potential people-pleasing behavior in order to cease doing it. Several elements, such as the following, could be involved:
☐ Lack of self-worth: People-pleasing conduct can occur when a person has low self-esteem and doesn’t respect their own needs and desires.People-pleasers may consider that doing stuff for others would result in acceptance and approval because they lack self-confidence and have a need for validation and attention.
☐ Perfectionist tendencies: Some people demand that everything be “just so,” including what other people are feeling and thinking.
☐ Insecurity: Others may try to please others out of insecurity, fearing that others won’t love them if they don’t go the extra mile to make them delighted.
☐ Previous experiences: Difficult, painful, or traumatic events may also have an impact. For instance, those who have experienced abuse may make an effort to appease others and be as accommodating as they can to prevent inciting abusive behavior in others.
There are occasions when altruism serves as the driving force behind helping others. Someone may really desire to see that others receive the assistance they require. In other situations, trying to win over others might help a person feel loved or validated. People feel as though they are valuable and useful when their happiness is ensured.
Effects of Being a People-Pleaser
It’s not always awful to be pleasing. Maintaining strong relationships with loved ones requires being someone who is attentive and compassionate. It becomes a concern, though, if you’re looking for affirmation to boost a shaky sense of self-worth or if you’re putting other people’s happiness above your own emotional wellbeing.
You might go through some of the following effects if you spend all of your time trying to make other people happy and gain their favor.
Angry and irritated
Even while you could love assisting, you’re also likely to feel frustrated when you’re acting resentfully or out of necessity. These emotions may cause a vicious loop in which you assist someone, get upset with them for abusing your kindness, and then feel guilty or sad for yourself.
According to one study, persons who feel a great urge to satisfy others are also more likely to overeat while they are out with others.
Stress and Anxiety
Making others happy can cause you to exhaust all of your physical and mental resources. You can experience stress and anxiety as a result of trying to handle everything, which could be bad for your health.
Actually, there are several advantages to helping others for one’s mental health.
However, if you don’t make time for yourself, you risk suffering the damaging health effects of too much stress.
Lack of Willpower
You are less likely to have the resolve and willpower to accomplish your own goals if you are putting all of your effort and mental capacity towards making others happy.Mental toughness and self-control may be finite resources, according to some study.
It may simply indicate that you don’t have much time left to focus on your own needs if you are using your mental energy to make sure that other people have what they want or need.
Not Being Authentic
People-pleasing personalities frequently conceal their own needs and preferences in order to please others. This can give you the impression that you are not living your life honestly; you might even come to believe that you don’t even know yourself.
It’s challenging for other people to get to know the real you when you hide your true emotions. In every close connection, self-disclosure is crucial, but it is ineffective if you aren’t being really honest.
You could experience resentment if all of your efforts are focused on making sure you live up to other people’s expectations. While others may respect your generosity, they can also start to take your thoughtfulness and attention for granted.
Some people might not even be aware that they are misusing you. They only know that you are always ready to help, so they are certain that you will be there anytime you are required. They might not notice how stretched thin and possibly overcommitted you are.
Being kind versus trying to please everyone
There is a difference between acting in a way that is kind and acting in a way that is people-pleasing.People frequently show kindness for a variety of reasons, including feeling good, helping, returning favors, and earning them. It’s likely that people-pleasing is at play if you’re doing something out of a fear of being hated or rejected if you refuse.
How to Stop Pleasing Others
Fortunately, there are certain actions you can take to stop trying to make everyone happy and learn how to strike a balance between your need to please others and protecting your own interests.
It’s critical to be aware of your boundaries, set them up firmly, and then express them. Be explicit and precise about the responsibilities you’re willing to accept.If someone seems to be requesting too much, let them know that their request exceeds the scope of your willingness to assist and that you are unable to do so.
There are more strategies to establish boundaries in your life to assist control your propensity for people-pleasing. To limit your ability to converse, you can, for instance, only accept phone calls at specific times.
You may also say that you can only be reached for a limited time. This can be advantageous because it guarantees that you are in charge of both what and when you are willing to do anything.
Making a big shift can be challenging, therefore it is frequently simpler to start by being assertive in modest ways. It might be challenging to alter one’s behavior patterns. You frequently need to retrain not only yourself but also those around you so that they are aware of your boundaries.
Because of this, it may be beneficial to start small and gradually become less of a people-pleaser. Start with declining smaller requests, try voicing your opinion on something minor, or make a request for something you actually need.
For instance, try declining a text request. Then gradually advance to saying “no” in person.Practice in various places or circumstances, such as when interacting with coworkers, placing an order at a café, or speaking with salespeople.
You’ll develop more confidence each time you make a modest step away from being a people-pleaser, which will enable you to regain control over your life.
Create Priorities and Goals
Think about how you want to use your time. Who are you hoping to assist? What objectives are you attempting to meet? You may decide whether you have the time and effort to devote to something by understanding your priorities.
Take action to solve the issue if anything is draining your energy or consuming too much of your time.You’ll discover that you have more time to dedicate to the things that are truly important to you as you get better at setting those limits and saying no to things you don’t really want to undertake.
Use constructive self-talk
Build up your resolve with empowering self-talk if you begin to feel overburdened or tempted to give in. Continually remind yourself that you deserve time to yourself. You shouldn’t feel pressured to spend time and energy on things that don’t make you happy because your goals are vital.
Delay to Buy Time
Tell someone you need some time to ponder about it when they ask for a favor.By delaying your response to a request, you will have time to consider it and determine if it is something you truly want to undertake. Quickly responding to requests can leave you feeling obligated and overcommitted. Before choosing, consider the following questions.
☑ How long will this process take?
☑ Is this really what I want to do?
☑ Have I got the time to accomplish it?
☑ How anxious will I be if I say “yes”?
Additionally, studies show that even a little pause before making a decision improves decision-making accuracy.
8 You can more effectively determine if you have the motivation and time to take on something by allowing yourself some time.
Examine the Request
A further step in conquering your people-pleasing tendencies is to watch out for indications that others are attempting to take advantage of your kindness.
Do you know somebody who always seems to want something from you but then suddenly disappears when you need a favor in return? Or do some individuals appear to be aware of your generosity and approach you knowing that you won’t say “no”?
Take some time to consider the matter and decide how you want to respond to the request if it seems like you are being coerced into doing something. Be stern and straightforward with repeat offenders or those who continuously pleading for your assistance.
Do Not Offer Excuses
When you say “no,” it’s crucial to be firm and to refrain from citing other commitments or offering an explanation. When you begin defending why you are unable to perform a task, you open the door for criticism from those around you. Alternately, you can be allowing them to change their request so that you can still comply with it.
When you say no to something, try to be firm without going into needless detail about your justification. Remember that the word “no” is a full sentence.
Keep in mind that relationships need giving and receiving
A certain amount of reciprocity is necessary for a solid, healthy connection. When one person always gives while the other always takes, one person is frequently giving up items they need to make sure the other person gets what they desire.
Even though you might enjoy making people happy, keep in mind that they need to be doing the same for you.
When you desire to Help, Help
You don’t have to stop being considerate and kind. These are admirable traits that can help build solid, enduring partnerships. Examining your intentions and motives is the key. Don’t act solely out of fear of being rejected or a need for other people’s favor.
Continue being good, but only on your terms. Kindness doesn’t need recognition or incentives; it just needs a desire to improve another person’s situation.
A Word From Englishwithmumin
Finding strategies to create boundaries and reclaim your time is crucial if being a people-pleaser is preventing you from pursuing your own happiness. Keep in mind that you cannot satisfy everyone.
Speak with a mental health professional if you find that you are a people-pleaser and it is affecting your wellbeing. You can work with a qualified therapist to develop healthy boundaries, moderate your behavior, and give yourself priority.