Table of Contents
12 Signs You’re a People Pleaser Intro
One of the things I’ve noticed about myself and coming from a background of abuse is that I am a chronic people pleaser. My self-worth used to be completely tied to that, and my inability to say no.
This was detrimental to both my physical health and my mental health. But that’s where I thought I was valuable to people.
12 Signs You’re a People Pleaser
- You constantly apologize.
- You are always trying to make others happy.
- You feel a sense of responsibility or guilt for others emotions.
- Saying no feels impossible, and you’ll say yes, no matter what it does to you.
- You can’t handle others being upset with you.
- You go along with things you don’t agree with based on a fear of negative reactions or what others will think.
- Rejection feels like death.
- You feel like you don’t measure up, and you’re constantly trying to earn the approval of others.
- You beat yourself up when you feel like you’ve failed someone, and you completely lack self-compassion.
- Accepting criticism, constructive or not, is a serious struggle. It feels like a personal attack every time.
- You overthink interactions with people because you’re worried about coming across as rude or strange.
- You have low self-worth, and always put others before yourself.
Why Being a People Pleaser Isn’t Healthy
You allow yourself to be taken advantage of
Because people pleasers fear letting others down, this results in accepting tasks or responsibilities you may not have time for or are simply not comfortable doing. Avoiding conflict at any cost, you agree to just about anything. People have learned they can depend on you, because you never say no.
The feeling of approval and making others happy is what motivates your choice to say yes and inhibits your ability to say no.
The problem here is that constantly being there for everyone else can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. Plus, it becomes really easy to start neglecting your own needs because you simply don’t have the time or energy to care for yourself properly.
Your Self-Worth Decreases
People pleaser often find themselves in one-way friendships. You’re there for everyone else, but who is actually there for you when you need someone?
It’s easy to start feeling like you’re the listening ear, pack mule, or should to lean on, and nothing more. You’ll likely wind up with very low self-esteem because people with healthy levels of self-respect don’t allow themselves to be treated like a doormat.
When you know and value your own self-worth, it is impossible to tolerate anyone else who doesn’t show you that same respect. But when you don’t don’t know your own worth, you become a doormat for others, and that is emotionally taxing.
You Repress True Feelings
Since you’re constantly trying to earn the approval of everyone around you, you’re more likely to smile and agree with things you wouldn’t normally agree on. Because no one agrees on everything all the time. It just isn’t possible. But people pleasers will do so, and repress their true feelings just because it is much easier than rocking the boat and risking the disapproval of others.
This type of repression can slowly hack away at your identity and lead to intense feelings of resentment toward yourself.
You Lack Self-Identity
When your sense of worth stems from the opinions and happiness of others, your identity will start to slip through the cracks and disappear. It becomes really easy to lose sight of who you really are.
When my best friend died, I made the choice to cut out toxic family members. It took a lot of strength and courage, and it still takes it to tell my story. But once they were gone, the question became, who am I? Who is Erica? I didn’t know, because my entire identity had been wrapped up in taking care of my mother, and being a people pleaser. I was lost trying to figure out who I was and what I was supposed to do.
Others take up your valuable time
Your time is so rarely your own when you’re a people pleaser. Even when you know you need time to yourself to relax, you’ll sacrifice it when asked, without hesitation.
Time is a valuable thing, and life is already too short. You show people you don’t value your own time when you’re always there for them. When you don’t allow enough time for yourself, you’re going to end up feeling stressed and emotionally drained.
Building authentic relationships is difficult
It is next to impossible to build an authentic relationship with anyone because you are too busy being a people pleaser to simply be yourself. Your true amazing and authentic self never sees the light of day to shine through.
Do people actually like you for who you are, or do they like you because you’re always agreeing with them? It can be difficult to stand up for your thoughts, beliefs, and desires, because of the paralyzing fear of what other people think of you and a potentially negative reaction.
It is harder to reach your own goals
It isn’t just harder to reach your own goals, it’s damn near impossible when you don’t make yourself a priority. My question is, do you even know what your own goals are?
If you’re forever putting your life on hold for other people, you’ll end up dissatisfied, bitter, and resentful. I know, because I’ve experienced it.
Before my best friend died and I decided to become a blogger, I was that person who was forever putting my life on hold for others, especially my mother. She was an attention seeking narcissist, and I bought into it all, hook, line, and sinker. Because I was a people pleaser.
The pressure of trying to please everyone is suffocating
You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try! Seriously, stop trying right now. Because if you’re still trying, you’re going to wear yourself out completely. The burden of attempting to please everyone weighs heavy, and it feels like a complete failure when you can’t do it.
This is when anxiety and depression take over. I’ve found myself feeling very apathetic about myself when this happens. Despite the fact I’ve worked my ass off to please everyone around me, and completely sacrificed myself and my time, it still feels like a complete and catastrophic failure because I couldn’t do it all. I should have been able to do it all.
Your emotional, mental, and physical health can and will suffer
People pleasing should literally come with a warning label that it is hazardous to your health! I’m not even kidding when I say that either. Trying to please everyone is impossible, and trying to live up to something that is impossible is exhausting and stressful.
The list of both short and long-term side effects and repercussions is both insane and terrifying. These can include, but are not limited to, muscle tightness, headaches, fatigue, heart problems, obesity, and much more. It really is scary!
How Can You Stop?
Saying no the first few times is both awkward and terrifying. Trust me, I get that one. I always felt like such a selfish bitch when I first started saying no. I really did, and it wasn’t fun. How do you get over that? Practice. Practice, practice, and practice some more. As with most things in life, practice makes perfect.
I promise that the world will not come to a crashing halt if you say no. Remember that saying no does not make you selfish. Say it with me, saying no does not make me selfish! If the person you’re saying no to is anything but understanding and respectful, I encourage you to reconsider that relationship, and ask yourself how healthy it is for you.
You may lose relationships simply by saying no too. Be prepared for that. Because when people cease having a use for you, they’ll go away. This isn’t a bad thing! Let them naturally drop out of your life, and count that as a blessing.
Check in with yourself
Before you agree to anything, ask yourself how you’ll feel if you say yes. Do you have time? Is it something you even want to do? Is saying yes going to make you happy? Is there another option?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then your answer should be no as well. It’s literally that simple. If you don’t have time, you don’t want to do it, it isn’t going to make you happy, it’s time to say no.
Stop caring what other people think
I know this one is much easier said than done, trust me. I get it completely. But when you start saying no, and you understand your self-worth and start really building your confidence, the opinions of others will cease to matter.
It is a process, don’t get me wrong. But it gets easier as time goes on, and once it is, you’ll start to see how much healthier and happier you are. You deserve to be healthy and happy!
Love yourself completely
When you fall in love with yourself, and you know exactly why you love yourself, you will not allow yourself to be treated like a doormat. You are in charge of your happiness. No one but you, and you alone. If you aren’t happy, it is time to make changes.
12 Signs You’re a People Pleaser Discussion
I really hope this has helped you start breaking the cycle of pleasing people and start the process of taking back your life and being happy.
Have these signs and tips helped you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!