Some Signs and Symptoms That You’re a People-Pleaser
You’ll never attain your objectives if you’re striving to be all things to all people. When you’re a people-pleaser, you are always eager to lend a hand when asked, whether it be on a group project or in the form of exam prep assistance. You could be a people pleaser if you identify with the characteristics.
You are a people pleaser if you identify with several of the characteristics. However, being a continuous resource for other people might eventually wear you out emotionally. Fear of letting others down when they seek aid might force you to put your own needs on the back burner.
There is no clinical description for “people pleaser” because it is not a medical phrase. The term is used to describe someone who puts the needs of others above their own all the time.
Most individuals, especially those in intimate relationships, seek to be appreciated and liked. As social beings, people are generally like this. As a result, many people occasionally change their behaviour to make social encounters smoother.
Another characteristic shared by most humans is altruism, or the motivation to aid others. This may require sacrifices of time, money, or other resources from the individual.
People-pleasing, on the other hand, is much more challenging to break than these different behaviours. A people-pleaser may believe they have to conform to society’s standards to feel accepted. They may put on a mask or give in to too many requests for favours.
Please someone, and they may feel suitable for a little while, but that happiness won’t endure. They may need to keep helping others to feel appreciated or loved themselves. In the long run, this hurts them since they are less able to provide for themselves.
Signs That You’re a People-Pleaser
There are several ways in which people-pleasing might present itself. One could:
- Tend to overcommit themselves by agreeing to accomplish more than they can handle.
- Taking on new tasks even when they are already overwhelmed.
- Avoid advocating for themselves.
- Such as by pretending they’re right when they’re not.
- By going along with things they’re not thrilled about.
- Rather than opposing or speaking their honest opinion.
These people may also be more prone to feeling:
- The expectation that one must always act pleasantly
- Worried about making trouble or speaking out,
- Upset that they never seem to have time for themselves,
- Feeling that their own wants and needs don’t matter in contrast to others
- Feeling that people take advantage of them
- Trying to please everyone all the time is a bad habit that’s hard to stop.
You Act as if You Agree With Everyone.
It’s a sign of maturity to listen graciously to other people’s viewpoints, even if you disagree with them. However, suppose you appear to agree only to please others. In that case, you may wind up acting in ways that are inconsistent with who you really are.
Listening attentively is a social skill that many of us acquire. Constantly agreeing with others to garner their appreciation rather than because you believe what you’re saying can lead to people-pleasing behaviour.
You Tend to Take the Emotions of Others to Heart.
Understanding the effect your actions have on other people is essential. But the trouble arises when you believe you can make the other person happy. Everyone must learn to take responsibility for their own feelings.
You Have a Lot of Apologies.
Frequent apologies might be a symptom of a deeper issue, whether you blame yourself too much or worry that others blame you all the time. You shouldn’t feel guilty about being yourself.
Others who are overly concerned with pleasing others frequently feel responsible for the feelings of others around them. It’s natural to feel guilty or worry that you’re at fault when another person is upset. Saying you’re sorry when you’ve done something wrong is essential. Still, if you find yourself constantly apologizing for outside factors, something may be inaccurate.
Having So Much on Your Plate Might Be Stressful.
How you decide to use your time is entirely up to you. But if you have a tendency to please other people, you probably spend your time with things you assume others want you to do.
A Negative Answer is Out of the Question.
You’ll never succeed in life if you don’t learn to speak up for yourself, whether you’re the kind to say yes and then indeed follow through or the type to subsequently fabricate a sickness to get out of your responsibilities.
Lack of refusal skills. You could be a people pleaser if you have trouble saying “no” to other people’s requests. Instead of saying no right away, many people pleasers would instead come up with a lame justification later on. If you go through with it, you may come to regret not standing up for yourself.
It Makes You Uneasy When Other People Are Upset With You.
Just because someone is furious doesn’t necessarily imply you did something wrong. But if you can’t take criticism well, you’ll be more inclined to give in to temptation and compromise your principles.
You Imitate the Behaviour of Others Around You.
It’s natural for you to show different parts of yourself around different individuals. Pleasing others, however, can be a significant hindrance to success. According to research, people-pleasers would participate in harmful actions if they believe doing so will make other people more at ease. To make other people happy, people-pleasers will often overeat.
People pleasers tend to shift their behaviour and attitude to match that of the person or group. That can lead to you acting in ways that are out of character or participating in actions you disagree with just to fit in socially. People pleasers tend to do anything possible to avoid conflict, even if it means turning into an entirely different person.
To Feel Good, You Must be Praised.
While compliments and support are appreciated by most, people pleasers need constant affirmation. If you place your value solely in the eyes of others, you will only feel good when people lavish praise upon you.
People pleasers need validation from others to feel good about themselves. They can go to extremes to earn words of praise from others. The confidence of a people pleaser rises and falls based on how others perceive them.
You’ll Even Go Out of Your Way to Avoid Arguments.
It’s understandable to avoid confrontation at all costs. Try to avoid fighting at all prices. However, you may find it difficult to defend the causes and people closest to your heart when conflict arises.
You Tend to Deny the Existence of Painful Emotions.
If you want to have genuine connections with others, you have to be willing to express your sentiments when they are hurt. Suppose you’re in a relationship with someone, and you never let them see you angry, unhappy, ashamed, or dissatisfied. In that case, the relationship will remain on the surface.
Avoiding Social Traps:-Pleasing
Trying too hard to please your boss and show how pleasant you are might backfire. If you attempt to please everyone, no one will ever be satisfied with you.
Saying no to a little request is an excellent way to break the habit of always saying yes to other people. Express your viewpoint regarding anything easy. Or advocate for a cause you’re passionate about. You’ll learn to embrace your own identity with each success.
Seek assistance if you’re having trouble breaking the habit. A therapist can help you fortify the mental muscles that will allow you to manifest the life you envision.
Causes of Trying to Please Others
The term “people-pleaser” is more of a label than a medical condition. Therefore, it may be defined in several ways.
- People with low self-esteem may dismiss their own demands as insignificant because they believe they are not as vital as those of others. They might speak out for themselves less often or know what they really want. If they are unable to aid others, they may also feel that their lives lack meaning.
- Anxiety: Some people try too hard to satisfy others because they worry about being accepted, being rejected, or offending others. A person suffering from social anxiety could, for instance, feel pressured to conform to the wishes of their closest companions. It might be an indirect way of trying to influence how other people see you.
- Conflict-avoidance strategy: you are People-pleasing because of your conflict-avoidance strategy by those who are conflict-averse or who feel they must avoid confrontation at all costs.
- Culture and socialization: A person’s sense of responsibility to others and to oneself may be shaped by their upbringing and the norms of their family, community, or nation. Some people may realize that putting the needs of others before their own is admirable.
- Inequality: Some types of inequality might perpetuate the perception that some individuals are meant to look after others. An excellent example of benign sexism is the belief that women are inherently better carers and mothers than males. Women in heterosexual relationships may internalize these concepts and start placing more emphasis on their relationships as a result.
- Personality disorders: People-pleasing can be a symptom of personality disorders, which are chronic mental health illnesses. The symptoms of dependent personality disorder (DPD) include an extreme need for other people’s approval and assistance in all areas of life. To choose an outfit for the day, for instance, they may seek the advice of others.
- Trauma: New studies on the effects of trauma show that people react differently to stressful experiences than previously thought. Others may “fawn,” an extreme type of people-pleasing. To protect themselves, they resort to manipulating the people they are most afraid of into loving and admiring them.
Difficulties Associated With Trying to Please Everyone
People-pleasing can have negative consequences for the pleaser and others around them. Among the potential dangers are:
- Stress: When a person perceives that they lack the means to deal with a particular situation, they experience stress. When you put other people’s needs before your own, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Anxiety and tension can be brought on by acting in a false manner or by denying one’s own needs and desires.
- Exhaustion Mental or bodily exhaustion can result from taking on too much or putting on a more upbeat image among other people.
- Little free time: Self-care might be neglected if a person is overworked and has little free time. This might involve personal cleanliness, looks, mental or physical health, or career. As a result, individuals may be less able to aid others in the future.
- Neglect: Anger and frustration may result from resentment in those who believe they must always satisfy others. Passive aggression, in which anger is conveyed through covert means (such as humour or sarcasm), is one possible outcome.
- Dissatisfaction can cause issues in interpersonal relationships. Disputes might arise when, for instance, one spouse views the other as taking advantage of their generosity.
- Loss of self-awareness: People whose primary focus is on pleasing others may lose touch with their own desires and emotions. This might indicate that they have lost touch with their own desires and identity.
- Identities: When people constantly adjust their identities to fit the expectations of others around them, they risk experiencing role conflict.
- Adverse effects on others around you might arise when your need for approval takes precedence over others’ needs. For example, a person could indulge in detrimental gossip to fit in.
Tips to Stop People-Pleasing
Fortunately, there are things you can do to quit being a people pleaser and find a healthy balance between wanting to make other people happy and wanting to make yourself comfortable.
Put Limits On It
Limit yourself, set firm boundaries, and let others know what you’re willing to accept from them.
- Define exactly what it is you’re eager to take on.
- Say no to unreasonable requests.
Limiting your people-pleasing instincts can be accomplished in other ways as well. If you want to restrict the amount of time you spend on the phone with people, you may, for instance, only answer calls within specific hours.
Additionally, you may specify that your availability is time-limited. This can be useful since it allows you to plan your activities around your own schedule and preferences.
It can be challenging to make a significant change all at once, so it’s best to start by expressing yourself in little ways. Changing one’s ways of behaving can be challenging. Retraining yourself is only half the battle; sometimes, you also need to retrain those around you to respect your limitations.
Because of this, baby steps towards being less of a people-pleaser can be pretty helpful. Get comfortable with saying “no” and expressing your viewpoint or asking for what you need by starting with minor requests.
Try declining a textual request, for instance. The next step is to practise saying “no” to individuals face-to-face. Whether it’s ordering at a restaurant, interacting with a coworker, or a salesperson, practice makes perfect.
Taking baby steps away from people-pleasing can give you the self-assurance you need to reclaim your life.
Plan Your Approach
Think about how you would like to invest your time.
- With whom do you wish to work?
- To what ends are you setting out?
- Knowing your priorities might help you assess whether or not you have the time and energy to commit to anything.
- Take action to fix whatever is draining your strength or preventing you from making progress.
You’ll find more time for the things that matter most to you as you develop the habit of establishing limits and rejecting distractions.
Practise Upbeat Self-Talk
Reinforce your willpower with encouraging words to yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed or inclined to give in. Remind yourself that you deserve to spend time for yourself. You shouldn’t feel forced to spend time and effort on things that don’t offer you joy if they aren’t helping you achieve your objectives.
Wait It Out
If someone asks you for a favour, politely decline and say you need time to consider it. Saying “yes” immediately away might leave you feeling obligated and overcommitted, while taking your time to answer a request can allow you the opportunity to consider it and determine whether it’s something you genuinely want to undertake. To help you decide, consider the following questions:
- How long do you anticipate this taking?
- Should I go through with this?
- When would I find the time?
- If I answer “yes,” how much pressure will I be putting on myself?
Taking a moment to reflect before acting has also been shown to improve decision quality.8 By allowing yourself a minute, you’ll be better able to correctly assess if it is something you have the desire and time to take on.
Evaluate the Inquiry
Learning to recognize the warning signals of someone taking advantage of your good nature is another strategy for getting over the habit of pleasing others.
- Are there folks who always require something from you but disappear when you try to repay their kindness?
- Or, do some folks seem to be aware of your generosity and ask because they know you won’t say “no?”
If you’re feeling pressured to comply with a request, step back and think about how you want to respond. When dealing with individuals who demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance or who persistently request your aid, it is essential to maintain a professional and respectful demeanour while remaining firm and direct in your communication.
Never Make an Excuse
It’s better to just say “no” and leave it at that than to try to justify your incapacity to take part by citing other commitments or responsibilities. Once you start explaining why you can’t do something, you are providing others with a method to punch holes in your reason. Or you may be offering them the opportunity to modify their request in a way that allows you to fulfil it.
When saying no, try saying it firmly and without going into too much detail about why. Keep in mind that the word “no” can stand on its own as an answer.
Always Keep in Mind the Need for Mutual Effort in Any Relationship
There must be give and take in every healthy relationship. Giving to others constantly without expecting anything in return might lead to one party neglecting their own needs to satisfy the other.
Even if you like gratifying people, it is crucial to remember that they should also be taking measures to offer to you in return. You may be in a one-sided relationship if you do all the giving and they do all the taking.
Assist If You Feel Like It
You need not forsake thoughtfulness and kindness. Those are admirable traits that can help you build connections that last. The trick is to take a hard look at why you want something. Don’t do things just to please other people or to avoid being rejected.
Keep doing good, but do it how you want to. To be kind is to want to improve another person’s life without expecting anything in return.
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