If you have a people pleaser personality, you deny yourself from experiencing true freedom that comes from expressing how you truly feel.
You’ve probably heard the saying nice guys finish last but as an ex nice girl, I can confirm that the same applies to girls as well. While I’m in no way implying that you need to be as mean as Regina George from Mean Girls, you do need to boost up your points on the mean-o-meter scale if you want to survive in society.
People-pleasing is a form of self-protection, a defence mechanism coyed to protect you from traumatic events. Being a people pleaser comes from the desire to be rescued, the disease to please is the belief that the more you give others the more others will love you.
I want to challenge you to have the audacity to embrace not being liked.
Disclaimer: There is a big difference between being kind and being nice, one is more authentic and the latter is in fact manipulative.
Signs of a people pleaser
Signs you have the disease to please and need to set boundaries
1. Do you feel like no one respects you?
You don’t stand up for yourself when people violate you. Do you constantly take Ls from others at your expense?
2. Do you take things personally?
You internalise other people’s negative behaviours as if they were a reflection of your worth. Do you blame yourself when people get mad at you or behave badly towards you.
3. Do you avoid confrontation and conflicts?
You want to be agreeable so you don’t speak up.
If a waiter at a restaurant gets your order wrong do you just let it go – You settle for the vanilla ice cream when you really wanted cookie dough. You are constantly settling for what you can get and this slowly impacts every aspect of your life.
4. Do you feel constantly used?
Do you feel that people are always walking all over you. You have become a prime target for manipulators, controllers and narcissists and you wonder if there’s a sign on your head that says USE ME.
5. Do you find yourself focused on making other people happy?
You tend to focus on how other people are doing/feeling versus what you are feeling. You constantly seek other people’s approval. You’re nice to everyone except yourself to the point that you even feel guilty for speaking up and putting your needs first.
6. Your relationships are heavily one-sided
Trying to keep the conversation going for the fear of coming across as boring. Seeking their approval makes the communication imbalanced, while you’re keeping the conversation going they don’t even bother to ask about you or show any investment in you.
7. Fear of judgement/caring what other people think.
You overshare details about your personal life to people who haven’t even earned your trust. Then you beat yourself up about it, wondering if you’ve made the right impression, if you’ve shared too much. You need others to approve of your likeability, your attractiveness, intellectualism, your ability to keep them interested.
8 You don’t want to be mean or bitchy
Are you afraid to say what you really mean so you don’t upset people? You pride yourself on never being angry, which limits you to showing a narrow range of emotions.
Do you walk out of a salon with an ugly hairstyle, shedding tears and feeling extremely unhappy, all for the sake of not being difficult? You have become really good at pretending that everything is okay with a fake smile.
9. You are always tired
Not a single time to yourself. When you do have time you don’t have the energy.
You wonder why you feel under- appreciated but you have no problem sacrificing yourself to please others.
10. Constantly overexplaining yourself
You don’t need to explain why you don’t want to do something. It is incredibly difficult asserting yourself with a simple no.
11. You are constantly apologising even about the little things
Always saying sorry…. FOR EVERYTHING. You take the blame for other people’s mess and you even try to clean it up.
12. You don’t even know what boundaries are
Boundaries?! -What even are they, you’ve never had to use them. Even if you knew what boundaries were, you are not strong in upholding them and the people around you use that against you.
If you relate to all or even some of these then you have the disease to please called the nice girl syndrome. But fear not! There is hope, as an ex chronic people pleaser I feel your pain and I can tell you that it will get better once you implement the two cures mentioned further in this article.
The danger of being a people pleaser
People pleasing comes from a need to feel in control, a strong desire to be liked by others to compensate for low self-esteem and an inferiority complex.
You stop asserting yourself because you learnt that pleasing others and having weak boundaries helps you to avoid facing rejection.
You take this a step further by oversharing, overgiving your time, money and attention because you feel anxious about losing control and hope to feel less invisible.
This behaviour pushes healthy people away, ultimately attracts manipulators and people who are unaccepting towards you (which is what you fear most).
When they don’t match your expectations, you are then left with the same feelings of shame and inferiority wondering why people don’t like you, beating yourself up for being unlovable.
You manage to convince yourself again that you just have to work harder to win acceptance – only to repeat the same cycle again.
I personally have tried being the chatty one, the quiet one, the helpful one, the interesting one, the giving one, the listening one.
Somehow it seems to not matter, you can’t really please everyone. You’re going through hoops of fire to please people but someone is still going to be mad at you.
People-pleasing is a dead end. Fuck people-pleasing! How about deciding to do what you want to do because you genuinely want to do it.
Healing people pleasing
Here are 2 Simple cures on how to stop being a people pleaser. It takes a lot of practice and gets better with time.
We teach people how to treat us.
You are not going to be liked by everybody and that is okay.
Whenever you feel angry, anxious and resentful – set boundaries.
Boundaries give you control over your life. The moment you feel out of control or uncomfortable in any way whether emotionally, financially, physically, mentally that’s a sign you need boundaries
Boundaries protect your energy and give you more time to do the things you actually care about.
If you’re a people pleaser or an empath chances are you anticipate other people’s feelings, you expect other people to be as considerate as you and then you get mad at them when they act with indifference, entitlement or underlying hate towards you.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow but the moment you stop searching for yourself in other people and start being your best friend who sticks up for you is the moment that you stop allowing people to wipe their yucky feet all over you.
How to reframe your view on boundaries
Setting boundaries can be particularly challenging when there’s a voice in your head telling you that you’re being narcissitic, mean, sassy, spoilt, abusive etc. But when you think about how other people feel no type of way when it comes to using you, demanding things from you, you have to second guess the choices you’re making. It’s called self respect. That is how you maintain the power balance in your relationships.
Instead of expecting people to extend the same kindness, why not do yourself a favour and show yourself respect by offering some kindness to yourself. The truth is not everyone has the same heart as you, not everyone is willing to put themselves in your shoes, not everyone is willing to look at how they hurt you and not every one is capable of anticipating your needs because of their selfish interests.
You can stop being a people pleaser and still be ‘nice’. People become too nice when they start being self sacrificial, enabling others and making other people happy at their expense, that is not kindness that is being too nice. You are enabling others and unconsciously trying to manipulate them into liking you.
People don’t read minds you have to remind people of what you need to feel safe.Favour
2. Self acceptance
People pleasing takes away from your authentic self since you’re avoiding stepping on people’s toes in order to be liked and accepted. You end up living in this facade that you want people to see but no one gets to see the real you, which ends up being outright lonely and depressing. Bottling up your emotions will eventually lead to anger and resentment.
You don’t need everyone to like you, because the truth is you don’t like everyone and there will be people who don’t like you too. Even if you were the nicest person on earth, people will still have something negative to say about you.
You can be liked by a few, your authentic people and still feel happiness and most importantly love. Heck, you don’t need anyone to feel happiness and self love.
Give up people pleasing if you want to attract your real tribe.
Just imagine saying exactly what you mean and meaning what you say. You do nobody no favours by silencing your throat chakra, your voice, your essense.Favour