Shehnaj Parveen Sarma

PEOPLE  PLEASING BEHAVIOUR is when you constantly agree with people because you want to earn their admiration and not because you believe what you’re saying. Apologizing for things that aren’t your fault. People pleasers often make themselves responsible for the emotional responses of others.
A people pleaser is typically someone everyone considers helpful and kind. When you need help with a project or someone to help you study for an exam, they are more than willing to step up.

If you recognize yourself in the above description, you may be a people pleaser. But at some point, constantly making yourself available to others can take an emotional toll. You may find that you neglect your own needs because you fear disappointing others when they ask for your help.

What Are the Signs of a People Pleaser ?
So how do you know whether you’re a nice person or someone who fits the profile of a people pleaser? It’s one thing to want to help others because it’s part of your nature. But people pleasers often end up being taken advantage of by others. Signs you may be a people pleaser can include:
*Agreeing with whoever is in front of you.*
*Apologising for faults that aren’t yours .
*Not being able to say no.
*Changing of personality depending who is around.
*Your worth depends on how others see you.
*You have a low opinion of yourself.
*You want others to like you by all means.
*You want to be wanted and popular *
*You find it hard to say no.
*You’re quick to agree, even when you don’t really agree.

People pleasers often deal with low self-esteem and draw their self-worth from the approval of others.

Effects of Being a People-Pleaser

If you are in a constant people pleaser mode, you can lose sight of who you are. You may have no idea of what truly makes you happy. People pleasers may spend so much time trying to please others that they don’t know what to do with themselves if there is no one asking them for something. Constant people-pleasing behavior can lead to:

Lack of self-care.
Constantly devoting yourself to meeting the needs of others can cause you to neglect your own. You may find yourself getting sick or mentally burned out from the pressure of trying to please everyone.

*Built-up resentment. You may find yourself bottling up anger because you feel that people take advantage of you. That can lead you to make passive-aggressive comments and show other signs of your frustration. You may start pulling away from people instead of letting them know what’s going on and working to improve the situation.

*Inability to enjoy yourself.

The stress from constant people pleasing can make it hard to enjoy simple pleasures like going out for ice cream or watching your favorite TV show. Committing yourself to a lot of different things can make it hard for you to wind down and relax because of the constant stress.

Where does it come from?

“We people-please for many reasons,” Myers says.

There’s no single underlying cause of people-pleasing tendencies. Instead, they tend to develop from a combination of factors, including the following.

Past trauma
Self esteem issues
Fear of rejection

How to overcome it?

If you want to break the pattern of people-pleasing, recognizing how these behaviors show up in your life is a good first step. Increasing awareness around the ways you tend to people-please can help you start making changes like –
Show kindness when you mean it .
It’s okay to say NO.
Practice putting yourself first and believe that it’s not mean to do so .
Wait until you are asked for .for e.g help

Learn to set boundaries

According to Myers, developing healthy boundaries is an important step in overcoming people-pleasing behaviors.

The next time someone asks for help or your tempted to intervene, consider:

How you feel about the action. Is it something you want to do, or are you dreading it?
Whether you have time to see to your own needs first. Will you have to sacrifice limited free time or skip out on a necessary chore?
How helping will make you feel. Will it make you feel happy or resentful ?

People-pleasing might sound like a nice thing, but it doesn’t do you or your loved ones any favors. If you feel exhausted from trying to keep everyone happy, consider talking to a therapist about how you can make yourself happy first.

Shehnaj Parveen Sarma from Guwahati practicing NLP counsellor and Life Coach and has a Facebook Page called Mind Triggers related to counselling.