Being a people pleaser, someone who constantly seeks approval and strives to meet the needs of others, may seem like a positive trait. However, it can come with its own set of challenges and negative consequences. In this blog post, we will explore the problems associated with being a people pleaser, the impact it can have on mental and emotional well-being, and strategies for finding a healthier balance.
The Struggles of People-Pleasing:
Neglecting personal needs:
People pleasers often prioritise the needs of others above their own. They may find it difficult to set boundaries, leading to neglect of their own well-being, goals, and desires.
Increased stress and anxiety:
Constantly striving to please others can lead to heightened stress and anxiety. The fear of disappointing or being judged by others can be overwhelming and take a toll on mental health.
Lack of authenticity:
People pleasers may struggle to express their true thoughts, feelings, and opinions. They may suppress their own identity to avoid conflict or maintain harmony, resulting in a lack of genuine connections and personal fulfilment.
Resentment and burnout:
Continuously meeting the demands of others without considering personal limits can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout. Over time, the imbalance between giving and receiving can deplete energy and emotional resources.
Finding Balance and Self-Care:
Here are some tips:
Self-reflection and awareness:
Start by reflecting on your patterns of people-pleasing. Become aware of situations where you prioritize others over yourself and examine the underlying reasons behind your behaviour. The staff at Unmasked Mental Health would be delighted to talk this through with you.
Reach out to trusted friends, family, or a therapist to explore and address the underlying causes of people-pleasing tendencies. They can offer guidance, perspective, and support on your journey towards finding balance.
Establishing healthy boundaries:
Set clear boundaries and communicate them assertively. Understand that saying “no” does not make you selfish or unkind. It allows you to protect your well-being and prioritise self-care.
Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Engage in activities that bring you joy, relaxation, and renewal. Remember that taking care of yourself enables you to better support others in a healthy way.
Developing assertiveness skills:
Practice expressing your needs, opinions, and boundaries assertively and respectfully. Effective communication can foster healthy relationships built on mutual respect and understanding.
Be kind to yourself and recognise that you are not responsible for meeting everyone’s expectations. Embrace imperfections, celebrate your strengths, and cultivate self-acceptance.
While the intention to please others may arise from a place of kindness and empathy, being a people pleaser can take a toll on your well-being and hinder personal growth. Recognising the challenges associated with people-pleasing is the first step towards finding a healthier balance. By prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, and nurturing authentic connections, you can cultivate a more fulfilling and balanced life. Remember, your worth does not solely depend on meeting the expectations of others, but on embracing your authentic self.
This blog is written by Dr Phil Wheeliker MBA MA, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Unmaksed Mental Health. Phil is a qualified Psychotherapist, Business Psychologist and Mental Health Trainer.
Unmasked Mental Health provide free peer hubs and low cost counselling services for people who may need to take about any issues they have. For more information on how we can support your organisation, call us on 01422 356945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org