A personality trait which can be a way to earn approval and love by feeling overly concerned with pleasing others and earning their approval to maintain social relationships .
If you are the one who is always in a run to please others ,get affected by others judgements and keep thinking ,” What others will think of me ” ? ; It can be a mental health condition which is to be taken care of . It is due to dysfunctional beliefs and thoughts which we are carrying since ages .
Being kind and helpful is a good trait but taking it too far to please others can leave one feeling Emotionally depleted ,stressed and anxious .
In this article , I will try to cover the traits of a People pleaser ,causes of this behaviour and its negative impact on oneself and the treatment plan.
WHAT IS A PEOPLE PLEASER ?
Putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own which in a country like India is very common as we have seen our mothers ,sisters and it is expected especially from the feminine gender to think and behave in this manner .
* How can you eat before your husband ?
* Take care of others more than you !
* Give respect to others by doing all the things which is expected from you
* Take care of your husband needs , in -laws and other important relations which in turn roots the belief that ,” I am worthy of love if I give everything to someone else ” which is not realistic and then you feel the need to praised ,appreciated ,loved in order to feel good about yourself.
If a girl or anyone doesn’t fit in this particular criterion ,she is criticized, judged and often looked as , SELFISH .
Traits of Sociotropy
Fear of Rejection
People pleasers often tend to spend a lot of time worrying or thinking about Rejection ,left alone or getting judged and in return they design their actions in such a way to keep people happy ; keeping their own happiness at stake .
People pleasers often feel a strong desire to be needed ,loved as they feel pleasing others have increased their chances of getting approval , affection from people as they are in their GOOD BOOKS and when this desire is shattered they feel a void , feel hurt and humiliated
Hard to say ” NO “
People pleasers go beyond simple kindness , Its good to be kind ,infact kindness is a great virtue but when it goes beyond a length , it starts affecting one’s peace and day to day life then it’s a matter of concern . One with the attitude of people pleasing might often worry that telling NO to someone will alter their behaviour towards them OR what will they think of me ? OR I don’t care about them ! OR Being saying NO I will not be in their GOOD BOOKS . To avoid the risks or be at a safer page , agreeing is the only thing which comes to their mind even if they are not inclined to agree.
But a repeated pattern like this will create more and more problems for the person as they are putting other’s NEED and WANTS before their own .
Apologize again and again
People who are people pleasers are ready to say SORRY whenever something goes wrong even if they are at fault or not ? “CONFORMITY is the best thing which one can do to avoid the arguments or heated discussion “, according to them . They are ready to take the blame ,they apologize again and again to make the situation normal as they feel that its not good to do mistakes and people will approve of them being at fault .
Don’t voice their Feelings
People pleasers often tend to push their feelings aside or they doesn’t want to feel the way they feel or they take a harder time to recognize their feelings . Pushing it harder and harder makes difficult to acknowledge what’s happening to them and eventually they find difficult to understand and cope with the true version of themselves.
“Putting a MASK for a shorter time is easy but we can be free if we are without a MASK ”
Here MASK is an analogy of our formal behaviour in which we can be for a shorter time but when we come to our true self acknowledging how we feel ,how we think and how we can be . Its a good feeling ,No pressure . People pleasing attitude makes one difficult to voice their feelings even though one is aware of , one wants to speak but repressing and suppressing their feelings continuously makes one suffer in future with severe mental health problems .e.g In some marital relations its often seen that one partner often tends to avoid saying what is right or criticize other even though they know they are wrong as they think they doesn’t want to hurt their partner but on the other hand they are hurting their own feelings which is neither good for them as well as their partner .
Goal of being liked
People pleasers have a main goal LIKED BY EVERYONE . They sacrifice .they always try to do good to others and want to get appreciated and when they are not liked ,appreciated or pleased ,they feel resentful ,irrititated or frustrated . For this attitude ,people might take take advantage of them and then their aggresive behaviour bubbles out . These type of personalities are at risk of mental ,enotional and physical abuse as they find difficult to draw boundaries.
Main belief behind people pleasing attitude is ” I want to get love and approval of everyone and if I don’t get I am not good and worthy enough ”
Cause of Sociotropy
Poor parenting styles ,bullying in childhood ,environment , health issues and irrational belief system puts one self esteem at a lower level. people engage in pleasing behaviour as they want validation from others . They don’t value their own desires and needs and put others always ahead of them .They lack self -confidence in little things ,they have fear of doing wrong or they can’t handle criticism .
Negative impact of Sociotropy
Low self esteem
Low self confidence
Abuse whether physical or Mental
Severe mental health problems like depression ,anxiety ,DPD,SAD BPD etc,
Mood swings, Anger ,frustration ,Irratibility
Low emotional regulation etc.
What to do ??
Start with very small
Nothing can be gained in one step . The beliefs ,the pattern in which you are living is way old back and once you realize ,it needs to be changed ; start with which goal you want to achieve and try taking one step at a time .
Start practicing NO
It’s okay to consider yourself first . BE ASSERTIVE .I know its difficult but as I mentioned start with very small with your family members first .Take time to think , the actions you are taking ,what is the effect of these actions .Are you seriouly want to help or doing this to fit in ??? . Try practicing with friend ,(your likes ,dislikes) ; at work place ,at restaurants ( Ordering of food of your choice ). These small steps will help you gain better confidence and you will start earning control of you life .
Once you know your limits ,you will be in a better mental ,emotional and physical state . You can’t be present everywhere and you can’t make everyone happy. Be clear about your goals ,what you want to achieve and make steps for that . Know your limits and explain to others also . E.g taking phone calls at a certain time ,not working beyond a certain time . Before doing anything or saying yes to someone take a pause and think, what are your priorities ? .Once you start knowing what are your needs ,which things need to be done that you are willing to do ,it will become easier to maintain boundaries and you can effectively communicate these feelings to yourself.
Being Falliable is okay
Perfection is a myth. There is not a single person on this earth who is Perfect . We as humans are allowed to make mistakes. Once One become comfortable with this statement ,life will become easy for all of us . To be fit in the society or be in good books of everyone ,we start judging ourself and think we are constantly being judged by the society . And for this ,we often go beyond our limits and when we are not able to do best ,we think ,We are not good enough or I am not worthy enough
Don’t Apologize if you are not at fault
Often in toxic relationships, it’s seen that people just say Sorry to calm the situation but it builds a lot of resentment towards the person . Try voicing your feelings .Slowly and eventually you feel that your self-confidence is being boosted .
After reading this if you feel that AM I A PEOPLE PLEASER ?? Don’t worry we have brought up Like this, or we have often modeled this behavior when we were growing or one has faced some trauma or abuse . But if this personality trait is draining your energy or limiting your thought process and eventually making you low of will power and self-confidence. You can take professional help . We at Rayofhopecounslingservices.com are there to help you .Taking a step towards your own benefit is a healthy choice, no matter when ,how and what time .
Some powerful Affirmation to be recited daily
MY VOICE MATTERS
I AM LOVEABLE FOR WHO I AM AND NOT FOR MY DOING
I AM ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES
I AM ALLOWED TO SAY NO
I LOVE MY SELF THE WAY I AM