The Dangers of People Pleasing: How To Stop Doing It
People-pleasing can be a recipe for disaster. People-pleasing is when people try to win the approval and affection of others by altering their behavior, opinions, or emotions to fit into what the people-pleaser thinks other people want and expect from them to be liked, etc.
It could be anything from saying you like a restaurant when you don't (and agreeing to eat there), avoiding conflict at all costs, hiding certain things about yourself, and pretending to be someone you are not so that others will like you.
A desire to please seems harmless at first (if not loving on the surface) but wow the long-term effects of people-pleasing can be disastrous for both mental and physical health. Here are some of the dangers of people-pleasing:
- Loss of authenticity: It is lying. When people-pleasing becomes a habit, losing touch with your true self is easy. You start expressing and living according to what others expect of you or want from you, rather than following your values and beliefs. This garbage can spiral into a loss of identity and unhappiness.
- Increased stress: Trying to constantly meet others’ expectations can be emotionally and mentally exhausting = stress. The pressure to always please everyone can launch you into anxiety and burnout.
- Diminished self-esteem: People pleasers often equate their worth with the approval of others, leading to low self-esteem. When a people-pleaser does not receive the validation they seek, it can lead to feelings of rejection and worthlessness...covert contracts, and resentment.
- Damaged relationships: People-pleasing can also lead to toxic, unhealthy relationships because you feel resentful towards people whom you feel are taking advantage of you. Often, the people benefitting from your people-pleasing might start to take your willingness to please for granted and this is a slippery slope into the breakdown of the relationship.
- Health problems: Chronic stress can lead to physical health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, and a weakened immune system. People-pleasing can also lead to neglecting one’s own needs, leading to sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. None of the above makes for a happy, good life.
You have to be aware when people-pleasing is becoming a problem and take steps to curb and ultimately break this habit. How to stop doing it:
- Set and maintain boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with others, communicating what is and is not acceptable behavior to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and resentful.
- Hello, self-care: Take time for yourself and recharge for a damn minute. Focus on your own needs - like exercise, reading, or taking a bath...whatever "me time" means to you.
- For the love of all that is good, start saying NO: It is okay and encouraged to decline requests that do not align with your vibe or that will leave you feeling overburdened. Saying no is an important step towards taking control of your life.
- You must embrace self-acceptance: Instead of seeking validation from others, focus on accepting and loving yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments, and practice self-compassion. You are it for you. Have your own back.
People-pleasing can be a dangerous habit that and lead to a loss of authenticity, increased stress levels, decreased self-esteem, damaged relationships, and physical health problems. It needs to end. You can do this.
- About the author: Elle Russ is a #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid health expert, and master coach. People pleasers lack confidence and self-esteem.
- Take her FREE Confidence Masterclass HERE
- Listen to the author's podcast interview with Dr. Robert Glover, a people-pleasing expert and the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy. LISTEN HERE
Here are some books on the topic of people-pleasing.
- “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover
- "The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome" by Harriet B. Braiker
- "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
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