How People Pleasing Steals Your PowerJul 02, 2021
Do you suffer from constant mental fatigue and exhaustion? Do you always feel the need to appear your best self even if you feel down at times? Do you often find yourself wondering what it means to love and accept yourself?
If you relate to any one of the above-mentioned situations, there is a high chance you are a people pleaser. Somewhere along the way, people pleasers decide that everyone else’s needs are more important than their own. Unfortunately, they put themselves on the back burner in their own lives, and then end up feeling resentful, unsatisfied, and unhappy.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE PLEASERS:
People pleasing comes in numerous forms. Here we will go through a few to get an idea of the most common types.
- Merger: A merger is a type of person who goes out of her way to appear similar to their partner. They force themselves to have the same interests, hobbies, and lifestyle even if it doesn't suit them.
- Conformer: A person who expresses a “herd mentality” or in common words a “crowd follower”. They go along with what other people think and feel and never share an opinion of their own.
- Active Pleasers: This type of pleaser spends a majority of their time observing the people around them, inspecting their interests, things that make them happy, and giving that to them.
HOW PEOPLE PLEASING AFFECTS YOU:
Now that we have identified some common types of people-pleasing, let’s try and understand how this personality style affects you and your life.
When one's lifestyle revolves around methods of seeking validation from those around them, the element of independence seems to vanish from their life. The person becomes solely dependent on others, the image they perceive of them, and their opinion about them. Not only does this forsake personal authenticity, it leads to a lack of self-confidence and belief in one's self.
This takes us to our next point; which is low self-esteem. When someone seeks attention from their acquaintances they develop this concept that one is worthy of love only if they give everything in return. This attitude makes their self-confidence dwell in low grades, only boosting it when someone else appreciates them. If you don’t keep this in check, it can easily turn into codependency.
Apart from low self-esteem and dependency on others, you begin to lose your originality as well. You identify yourself with who others are and what they like. There is no authenticity left about you. The question, “who am I?” wavers around, making you doubtful of your existence as an individual or just a puppet to what other people demand.
Low self-esteem and insecurity go hand in hand. You may begin to feel that if you do not go above and beyond to make others happy, you won’t be accepted, and begin feeling left out from the rest of the crowd. This can result in detrimental effects on your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Eventually your lack of insecurity will cause other problems as well. It can lead to inability to make your own decisions, you may begin to lack confidence in yourself to think independently, and you may worry about being alone.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
- Learn to say no. It is better to say “no” than to overextend yourself and regret your decision later.
- Set boundaries. Remind yourself that it is okay to not please everyone. In the beginning try using the every other time method where you alternate saying yes and no until you are able to balance the behavior out altogether.
- Seek guidance. A counselor will help you manage your behavior and help prioritize your own needs before others.
If any of the above qualities resonate with you, then people-pleasing is indeed a problem. You are basically handing over your power and minimizing your happiness. You can be friendly, help others, and compromise at times without losing yourself in the process. Try balancing out your needs and the needs of others- you’re worth it just as much as they are!