People pleasing is different from acts of kindness. The motive behind people pleasing is to get attention. When someone performs an act of kindness, they aren’t looking for feedback or praise. People pleasers have a motive. They want to be loved.
People pleasers most always put others before themselves. In particular, they do not want to appear lazy. They say yes to making the brownies for the fundraiser, and yes to making door prizes for the dance. Yes is their word, and the can do anything.
Trouble for people pleasers comes in the form of pressure and stress. They will try to keep on a happy face, no matter how much they have on their plate. Sooner or later the pressure will get to them followed by burst of angry. This will be followed by a shame attack and more people pleasing, to try and make themselves feel better. People pleasing can be a vicious cycle.
Part of people pleasing is trying to fix everything. If you have a problem, they will wrack their brains for a solution. Their solutions may be welcome in moderation, but can soon become annoying. People pleasers can have poor boundaries. They may not realize their help is not always welcome.
The psychology of people pleasers is built on low self-esteem and fear. If a people pleaser grew up in an alcoholic household, they may have taken on a role in order to deal with overwhelming dysfunction. The renegade, wildly runs about, and causes trouble because this is the only way they can cope. Another person isolates themselves from the family in order to save themselves. A third is the people pleaser.
The people pleaser is afraid of: rejection, disappointing others, criticism, loneliness, and guilt. In childhood, they didn’t have a role model for an integrated self. This required them to scramble and find ways to elicit the loving feedback they so desperately needed.
If you’re a people pleaser, there’s a lot compassion available for you. Your life as a people pleaser has been full of angst, fear and worry. Compassion begins with you. You can begin putting a halt on people pleasing by witnessing your actions. Each time you find yourself wanting to please someone, ask yourself: How did this mess up my day? What did I get out of it? Establish your own priorities for the day. Tell yourself you have a choice and you don’t have to make up excuses. Keep practicing and feel your shoulders relax.
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