As you read this, keep in mind that we have to first please ourselves in order to have a genuinely positive influence on someone else.
Satisfaction will always flow outward, not inward, and the more prominent feelings and effects cultivated by a true sense of satisfaction are contagious. It’s okay to want the people around you to feel good, and it’s incredibly important that we are willing to help others. And being kind that doesn’t mean we are acting a people pleaser but constantly serving others can make any helpful experience feel unnatural both ways. It’s easy for others to fall into needing “the pleaser” too much and too often, and for “the pleaser” to transform into more of a useful tool rather than a real person.
Living as a people pleaser can leave us eventually feeling disrespected, dismissed, and disconnected — not only from other people, but from our daily lives and from ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with doing good deeds for others. It’s a huge part of being a decent human, and it’s huge part of what we do for the people we love and those who love and need us. Dishing out valuable energy, time, effort, and even money is how most people contribute to society as a whole — how we often give back to our community.
But losing perspective about how much and how often we give ourselves may take us into a space where the balance of what is healthy and what is being done for the wrong reasons is totally shifted.
- Do you always say yes?
And only say it because you don’t want to offend anyone and you’re afraid they might in turn think badly of you if you’re refusing to help or not offering before they ask for help. You are literally sacrificing your own happiness just to please someone else and win their approval. Are you trying to get a compliment from them? What good is doing something for someone if you know it’s not serving your best interest? Naturally, most people do not enjoy confrontation. But if you end up with countless sleepless nights over unimportant hiccups with a new friend or colleague. And you do whatever it takes to make up for it, you only end up wasting your time and energy on something insignificant.
- Are you always tired?
That is a generalization, for sure, but one people pleasing theme that consistently stands out is when people are only focusing on others, they in turn forget about themselves. This means they try to schedule and squeeze and shift way more into their day than what is even humanly possible, and as a direct consequence, can completely burn themselves out.
- What about feeling anxious?
There are always too many people you have to think about, and trying to keep them all happy is an impossible task. You know when you should be excited, but you don’t feel it inside, you’re not excited, you’re anxious. You don’t feel the true emotion, because you’re too focused on what everyone else is feeling, and doing, and making sure they’re having a blast instead of actually having a good time with them.
If the items above resonate with you, even a little, you may be on your way to feeling emotionally burned out because you’re trying way too hard to please others.
Being a people pleaser may feel great because it makes you feel appreciated and loved. And as long as you’re receiving those compliments and gratification, you may not even think twice about going out of your way for people. Read more about striking a balance between being kind and developing a care taker role here.
But when you’re a people pleaser, you’re not really developing any true relationships.
Start believing in yourself more, take baby steps to gain traction in your self motivation. And most importantly, understand that you are an individual and sometimes, that’s best described as simply as, you are who you are. Remember, you do not need approval or compliments to embrace, embody, and exude your self worth.
Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.