The dangers of people pleasing


Have you ever felt overburdened by taking on all the problems of the people you love? Not being able to say no to others or speaking how you feel? Having to change yourself to feel like others enjoy having you around? These are some of the many things that people pleasers struggle with day-to-day. People pleasing can be seen as something good to those seeing it from an outside perspective, but realistically it is an immense struggle and takes a big toll on people’s mental health. 

Being a people pleaser involves having a lot of empathy, maybe too much. However, it does not only include being nice all the time: It also includes feeling the need to prioritize your loved ones’ feelings and needs before your own, avoiding disagreements with people, avoiding stating an opinion, not being able to express your true self, overcommitting to projects/plans, and feeling pressured to be nice, cheerful, or in a good mood all the time. It mainly stems from past or present trauma, but also with the reasoning of reducing the fears of abandonment, rejection, addictions, bullying, and even the fear of loneliness. 

It takes a long time to come recover, but there are many ways to escape the struggles of pleasing people when it is mainly forcing yourself to take baby steps. Being able to set boundaries, being comfortable saying no, doing things for yourself, being able to ask for stuff you are desiring, keep reminding yourself that all relationships are mutual and two sided, and instead of saying “I’m sorry,” start practicing “thank you.” People pleasing is not considered a mental illness, but does not exclude the dangers of it.