How do you know if you are a people pleaser?
People pleasers are all around us. Being a people pleaser sounds wonderful and kind –right? Someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good is doing great things. Not so fast.
Being a People Pleaser
Being a people pleaser is fine so long as it is not self-destructive behavior. Some people pleasers are a danger to themselves, and on some rare occasions, they are a hazard to others.
Being an all-around nice person who is well-liked is not a bad thing as the world needs more good people in it. However, some people pleasers are at significant risk for inflicting of self-harm if they are always prioritizing everyone else’s needs above their own.
Being a people pleaser does have some advantages. For example, people pleasers are extraordinary amateur counselors. They are excellent listeners who open themselves up to hearing what others have to say. They are the easy-going beings of any group who help infuse a bit of balance during times of chaos.
You generally won’t catch these folks bucking the trend or instigating arguments.
People Pleaser Personality
Why are some of us people pleasers? What causes us to venture into the abyss of trying to please everyone?
As young children, we taught the difference between being good and being bad. Good behavior helps to keep the peace. It is rewarded. Bad behavior and behavior that perhaps bucks the trend of what is considered to be proper behavior is penalized.
Fear of Rejection
Some of us merely want to be liked. We are slow to say ‘NO’ or share our true opinions about things. We fear it might trigger rejection from co-workers or friends if they learn who we really are as individuals.
Fear of Constructive Feedback
Some of us don’t receive criticism well. People pleasers do not like to feel as though they are under attack for being their authentic selves. They do not wish to receive constructive feedback for their decisions or actions.
Fear of Failure
Some individuals are afraid that if they do not spend their need complying with what others expect of them, they will fail. Everything they need to succeed will crumble, and they will have nothing.
Fear of Being Alone
Some people do not want to be alone. They do what they deem is necessary to please others.
Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
Another reason that some people tend to become people pleasers has to do with low-self-esteem. People with low self-esteem have an inherent need to prove their worth. They do it by being excessively kind or helpful to people who do not appreciate it.
How Do You Know If You Are a People Pleaser?
Still not sure if you are a people pleaser? The signs are probably there, but you are missing them. Here are a few common characteristics for you to consider.
You Easily Back-down During an Argument
One sign that you may be a people pleaser is the fact that you agree with everyone about everything –even when you don’t. How many arguments do you lose in which you come out of the discussion with minimal gain?
People pleasers are rarely ever able to argue in their favor. Often, they will back down during an argument and give in to what the other person wants.
You Keep Your Opinions to Yourself
People pleasers are not stupid people. They have feelings, ideas, and experiences that can impart wisdom under some of the worst circumstances. But when acting the role of a people pleaser, they are not very likely to share any information that might contradict someone else.
If you find yourself burying your opinion or ideas during a conversation it is possible that you are a people pleaser. You are concerned that someone may not agree with what you have to offer.
You Rarely Put Your Needs above Others
People pleasers are not the greatest at prioritizing their needs ahead of others. This quest for approval from their users often triggers them to sacrifice themselves and potentially their family members.
You Never Make Time for Yourself
Self-prioritization is not the practice of a people pleaser. They will sacrifice their time and space for the object of their people-pleasing behaviors. They will miss out a good night’s rest, skip meals and family time to meet the needs of others.
You Give No Voice to Your Feelings
You are not likely to tell folks what you feel including when you are angry, sad, happy or disappointed. Any emotion you might exhibit is often false.
You Sacrifice Your Financial Stability for Others
Some people pleasers will give their rent money to someone asking, just to please them. Have you ever given someone your last $40 even though it was supposed to last you for a full week until the next payday?
Your Relationships are not Mutually Beneficial
As a people pleaser, you are often involved in one-way relationships. You give everything of themselves –time, money, support, love, and friendship without receiving the same in return.
You often do not even realize you are doing it. May find yourself taking on the role of a rescuer who is there to fix whatever may be broken.
You are Always Apologizing
People pleasers are willing to take the blame for things which are not their fault.
You Feel Overwhelmed Because You Can’t Say ‘NO’
If you feel like you are always carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, chances are you might be doing just that as a people pleaser.
People pleasers take on a lot of extra work. People pleasers are not good at saying ‘NO’ –even to the most outlandish of requests that may come from family, friends, co-workers or strangers.
Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For You
Your argument for people pleasing probably centers around the idea that it is far easier to keep people happy by giving in to what it is they want than flat out denying them. However, what consequences are you creating for yourself by merely giving in without little regard for your needs? According to Psychology Today, acting as a people pleaser has many, negative implications for your emotional, mental and physical well-being. (Source)
Being Taken for Granted
As a people pleaser, the world naturally takes you for granted with time. People lose all respect for your personal needs. They expect you to prioritize their needs over everything else.
People pleasers are notorious for not paying attention to their own basic needs. A people pleaser might put their safety at risk if they are not careful. They often minimize the need to take good care of themselves.
Loss of Identity
You lose your identity because you are so worried about what others need or what that other person or group of people might think. Often, being a people pleaser requires you not to share what you are feeling or what your knowledge and experience tells you about a situation. Being a people pleaser requires you to act at the behest of others. (Source)
Resentment of Others
People pleasing can become a heavy weight of responsibility as time passes. Despite your people-pleasing ways, you may find that you often lash out at others. Giving so much of yourself to others is an exhausting and overwhelming effort, and it can make you physically and mentally ill with time.
It’s no wonder that if you do not take care of yourself or you spend an excessive amount of time helping others with no real reward that you might begin to unravel and resent those around you at some point.
Depression and Anxiety
Your altruistic nature as a people pleaser can get you into a little bit of trouble with your mental health if you are not careful.
People pleasers are not the best at making decisions. Again, the easier answer for them might be to please a single individual but at what peril to the group or their self-worth for that matter might decision create?
People pleasing is stressful. Trying to be everything for everybody to meet their needs over your own is a taxing job. You have to endure a fair amount of emotional turmoil to give others what they want from you. (Source)
Health Side Effects of Being a People Pleaser
As a people pleaser, you can trigger some nasty physical responses in your body that materialize by way of a few symptoms including:
- Digestion problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Neck and shoulder problems
- Heart palpitations
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