Do you worry about how you are perceived by others?
Do you worry that you will not be accepted by others?
Do you take on too many tasks/favours in order to stay on the “good side” of others?
If so, you are likely to be a people pleaser.
A people pleaser allows others to dictate what they should be doing and when they should do it. People pleasers are more succeptable to being “played” with – manipulated if you like. A people pleaser goes all out even when it is to the detriment of their health and well-being, finances and personal time. Whilst there is nothing wrong with giving your time, money and expertise to others, your reasons for doing so should not be to seek their approval.
If we are honest, we all enjoy being liked. We are human and want to be accepted by our family, friends, peers and acquaintances. How far are we willing to go to be accepted, to gain recognition? What happens in the event that we cannot be there for someone- do we suddenly become redundant?
Looking back at a few friendships I had in my teens/early twenties, I was certainly a people pleaser. I gave far more than I received which was due to my low self-esteem and my need to “keep” the friendship. I felt I always had to be giving in order to be accepted – that me alone was not enough. The danger is friendships can become unbalanced. The other person makes no effort and leaves you to do all the running which of course you do as you are “grateful” for the friendship. You then become resentful and your self esteem takes a knock.
In order to move away from being a people pleaser one must first identify the root of the problem. There will be one, perhaps stemming back to childhood, early adulthood, an unhealthy friendship/relationship.
One can then work on their self-worth in the following number of ways (please note these are only my suggestions);
2. Self-help books
3. Treat yourself once weekly to do an activity you enjoy
4. Spend time with people who encourage and inspire you
5. Let go of unhealthy relationships
Once you move away from being a people pleaser, you are no longer bound by others. You have no need to feel guilty when you cannot commit or fulfil a request. You can be at ease with who you are knowing you are accepted whether you are doing or not doing.
Are you a people pleaser?
Were you a people pleaser? How did you make the break?
What advice would you give others who are struggling in this area?