Are You A People Pleaser?

It’s incredibly unhealthy as adults to require the approval of others in order to feel fulfilled in our own lives. Regardless of this fact, there are an incredible amount of people who feel the need to please, even when this behaviour can cause more harm than good.

But why? Surely if we’re pleasing people then our lives will be easier, more manageable? When we want to please our friends, family or coworkers doesn’t making them happy just make sense?

Well, in short, no. Spending time making others happy is prioritising their emotions over our own for starters which in turn causes us to doubt our self worth. Suddenly other people’s thoughts and opinions are more valid than ours because we have conditioned ourselves to think this way.

With the fluctuating moods of people, we also can’t control someone else’s happiness. Some days they are just destined for a low mood. It is not up to us to make them feel better. Sure be a good friend and be on hand but don’t make their happiness your number 1 priority above your own.

Have you noticed this sort of behaviour in yourself? Have you noticed that when your friend is sad that you almost absorb their sadness with them? Do you feel as if it’s your duty to try and control the situation? Do you feel like sometimes you’ll agree to something even when you don’t want to? As if by saying no you’ll rock the boat?

If you answered yes to any of the above then, like me, you have reached the first level of self improvement: awareness.

When we’re aware of what makes us tick and how we act in situations, we can adapt and improve with time and become better, more well rounded and happier individuals.

I’ve learnt to look at my own behaviours in life and try to better myself for my own happiness. I have looked at who I am, flaws and all, and accept myself for who I am and you should do the same. Without criticism, look inside yourself and all your behaviours, both good and bad and accept yourself for who you are. It’s important to note that at this stage acceptance is not complacency, and it is simply a stage we must meet before we can move forward and begin our adjustments.

Much like when we’re told to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before helping someone else in an airplane, we need to look after ourselves before we can offer assistance to others. It’s that age old saying of trying to fill up someone’s cup with an empty jug.

In order to build upon what we’ve already developed, we need to learn to speak up when we feel wronged without the fear of judgement, say no once in a while and tolerate when someone criticises us without taking it to heart. Not everyone can like you, it would be unfair to put that much pressure on yourself to think that way.

Once we learn how to deal with the fact that we are not mind readers and cannot possibly get everyone to like us, we can move onto building a more positive community around us. Of people who aren’t afraid to criticise us and help us to grow. These relationships we choose to have around us give us strength to be vulnerable around people and speak our mind more freely. I have a few select friends who give me love and support when I need it but also take no shit. If they don’t agree with me then they’re going to say so. It’s not because they’re trying to be mean but they want the best for me without seeking my approval.

In the same way we develop physical relationships, our online relationships should also reflect these ideologies. We often spend too long on social media chasing that dopamine high from likes on our photos or comments which is another form of validation we think we don’t need but can’t help but want.

In this case, I’m trialing a separation between myself and Facebook. We’ve been together since 2007 and I have grown up with it close to my heart ever since. I was part of a generation that could reach out to friends after school or college through social media but some of those so called friends were influencers on my behaviour today. I was the less listened to person in the group, the one with the loud laugh because I knew it caught their attention, I was not validated by these people and it made me feel rubbish. Now I have taken this trait forward and I don’t much like it. I no longer have the loud laugh and I’m getting better but I can tell the background noise is still there, still impacting me to this day.

As I’ve hit more and more milestones, I’ve witnessed these so called friends hit more and they seem happy, as if life has handed them lemons and they’ve built a lemonade empire. But this is the impact of social media. No one posts about their bad days, only their good ones. There are no unedited photos on their featured sections, no unemployed statuses or mental health posts. We see what they want us to see and what we see we compare ourselves to. It’s simply not real and validation from these types of platforms are superficial and cause fake highs.

I think we need to adjust our perspective.

We need to learn to not be so selfish in thinking that everyone will love us. We need to accept that everyone we meet is different and like a joke, we’re going to meet people who find it funny and those who don’t. We need to learn that criticism mostly comes from a place of love, our friends and family want to see us succeed and help us to grow.

We need to learn to love ourselves, take care of ourselves and let our self esteem expand.

Ultimately, if we can let go of our anxieties and go with the flow a bit more, we should end up living happier and more well rounded lives.

Until next time.



Published by Kirsty Allen

Kirsty Allen is a writer who specializes in lifestyle blogging & fiction writing. 'The Ramblings of a Madwoman' can be found at her website theroamblogger.com

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