Have you ever got lost in people pleasing trying to keep everyone else happy, do the right thing for everybody else, but also sometimes recognise that the right thing for them is hindering you?
There’s an element of self satisfaction in the process of pleasing others. Knowing that we are helping, and doing good, it’s good for the soul, but are you doing it for the right reasons?
Helping others is all part of life, its a way we prove to the world that we are good people and have kind hearts and its human nature. We are raised to help and support everyone and anyone we can, to show we have humanity. Some more kindness from others in the world shows that we are compassionate and loving creatures, but we can over do this kindness and hinder our own lives.
When we want to help but we have our own things to do to we can feel stressed that we are helping out and not doing our own tasks.
People pleasing also comes with a self- sabotage, we may lose our freedom of speech out of fear we may upset someone for how we feel.
How do we recognise we are people pleasing? Here’s some traits you may be able to resonate with:
- You don’t admit when your feelings are hurt
- You need praise to feel good
- You apologise often
- You can’t say no
- You feel responsible for how others feel
- You pretend to agree with everyone
- You avoid conflict
- You act like the people around you
- You feel burdened by the things you have to do
- You feel uncomfortable when people are angry with you
How many of the above traits can you relate to?
What can you do to help yourself in the future? To be true to who you really are? In an ideal world it would be great if we could say… Stop! I’m just going to stop all of this right now. I’m no longer going to be a people pleaser. If only it was that easy, right?
In relationships, friends, family, partners etc… we all love them so much that we just want them to be happy and the reality is we fear being true to ourselves out of fear we are going to push them away, upset them or worse, cause an argument. Nobody likes dealing with conflict and many of us in the world fear it, so to make life easier we simply avoid speaking our truths to the ones we love.
Speaking our truth may be hard, but realistically when we hold back our own thoughts, feelings and words we are holding on to the fear. This is turn makes it difficult to be who we are. Fearing other peoples judgments, reactions and so much more.
Being a good hearted, kind person has nothing to do with breaking your own back, it’s about doing what you can without putting yourself on the line ALL THE TIME. Remaining focused on our own lives but helping and assisting where we can.
A little bit like a child, who cannot voice what they want, as an adult around that child we help that child find their voice, but what we forget as adults is we also need to speak up and let our voices be heard. It really does make all the difference, to our own inner peace.
Things to try when you can’t voice your truth:
- Start a journal, write how you are feeling and establish what you are afraid of. Putting pen to paper really can help you speak without you having to face possible conflict
- Speak to a friend or peer who is non-judgmental and able to help you work out what you believe to be true
- Learn to say NO, we don’t have to be abrupt or rude, but a ‘no thank you’ or ‘not today, but thank you’ is sometimes all we need to do to stay in our power.
- Find your boundaries, yes even relationships need boundaries. You cannot be in demand to all your relationships and still achieve your own goals and dreams, sometimes we have to have boundaries so we can still be ourselves.
- Take time for you. Give yourself time to be YOU!
- Be honest with yourself, if you don’t want to do something say NO
Sometimes people pleasing can come from deeper or darker days depending on how you look at it, people pleasing is a way for us humans to ‘keep the peace’, which is a trait we may have carried with us from childhood. Take a moment to think back to when you fist displayed any of the people pleasing signs, were you a child trying to ‘do as you are told’, ‘avoid reprisal’ or ‘make the parents happy’.