Have you ever been called a people pleaser? While it can seem like a compliment, it can be a concern for your mental health. Here’s why.
What Is a People Pleaser?
A people pleaser is someone who trends toward insecure or unhealthy relationships — to the point where they put other people’s needs above their own. They may apologize when there is no need for them to, or even when someone harms them. They may struggle to say “no” to work and personal requests.
While being a people pleaser is sometimes known as “good girl syndrome,” it can affect people of any gender and all ages. However, some research suggests women may be more prone to this behavior, partly due to stereotypes.
What’s Wrong With Being a People Pleaser?
Being a people pleaser differs from being generous. People pleasers may have low self-esteem, and their actions may stem from a need for validation. They may also fear the impact of saying “no” or asking for their own needs to be met.
How Does People Pleasing Affect Your Mental Health?
For a people pleaser, their mental health can be negatively impacted by their actions. In many cases, their happiness and sense of self are affected by what others think. This characteristic means people pleasers can be disproportionately upset if someone is unhappy with them.
Unscrupulous people can take advantage of people pleasers. People pleasers may be overworked or become part of abusive relationships. They may have a hard time developing good confidence and a strong sense of self.
How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
People pleasers can start asserting themselves in a few ways:
- Set some boundaries: It can be helpful to create rules, which help you set reasonable boundaries. For example, you may set rules to not work on weekends or after a certain hour.
- Get in touch with your own needs: If you are putting other people’s needs ahead of yourself, you may want to define your own. What would you like from your work and personal relationships? Consider journaling about this topic or making a list you can refer to. Remind yourself you are allowed to ask for what you want and are permitted to have needs.
- Try self-care: People pleasers sometimes have a hard time caring for themselves. Set aside time each week to do something you enjoy. Make a list of ways you can care for yourself and practice these activities.
- Practice saying no: It can feel uncomfortable at first to stand up for yourself and risk disappointing others. It can get easier with practice. Start by practicing something small, such as not saying “sorry” when someone bumps into you. Move up to new forms of self-assertiveness as your comfort level increases.
- Seek therapy: In some cases, people pleasers develop their behaviors and responses because of past trauma or abuse. Whether this is the case for you or you simply have a hard time standing up for yourself, a therapist or counselor can help you learn new skills for healthy relationships.
Create Boundaries and Boost Your Self-Esteem With Therapy
If you’d like to speak to a counselor about overcoming people pleasing tendencies, contact Taylor Counseling Group to learn more about how our services can help. Our trained counselors can assist you in building strong relationships and renewed self-esteem.