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People Pleasing

People pleaser’s are those of us that try very hard to make others happy, deeply motivated by a desire for approval and external validation. Often going out of our way in order to please others, even if it means sacrificing our own resources or valuable time. People pleasing behaviours often develop early on in life as a way to maintain closeness and connection with our care givers and those around us and can be linked with low- self esteem and insecurities.

Signs that you may be a people pleaser:

  • You have a fear of rejection

  • You apologise often

  • You find it hard to say no

  • You are fearful of setting limits

  • You feel uncomfortable if someone is angry with you

  • You pretend to agree

  • You don’t admit when you feel hurt

  • You avoid conflict

  • You crave praise to feel good

  • You are overworked due to your sense of personal responsibility

  • You feel responsibility for how people feel

Some disadvantages of being a people pleaser:

  • People may take advantage of you

  • Personal dissatisfaction

  • It could be causing you stress

  • Could be causing you to feel anxious

  • You may become over worked

  • Loss of own valuable time

  • Resentments could build within us aimed at those we are trying to please

  • Financial implications

  • There may also be a cost to those we are trying to please

Ways to start combating your people pleasing:

  • Assess your priorities

  • Explore what self care looks like for you

  • Learn ways to handle and cope with criticism

  • Remember that its ok to disagree

  • Practice saying No

  • Say no efficiently; swap ‘can’t’s for don’t’s’ for example I can’t come to the party becomes I don’t want to go to the party

  • Set time limits

  • Create boundaries at work, with friends and family and in romantic relationships

  • Learn to compromise as a way to get your voice heard

  • Seek therapy or help from others

Therapy can be very useful in helping you to explore why you have adopted people pleasing behaviours and recognise how people pleasing could be having a negative impact on your mental health. Your people pleasing could be leading you to stay in an unhappy working environment, toxic relationship or simply leaving you with little time for yourself; to recharge and care for you. Through identifying where your people pleasing began, it can lead to you discovering the impact it is having on your day to day life and mental health and help you to find strategies to change tactic, leading to a greater degree of autonomy and happiness.

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