According to Erika Myers, a therapist in Bend, Oregon, people-pleasing generally goes beyond simple kindness. It involves editing or altering words and behaviour for the sake of another person’s feelings or reactions.
At some point in our lives we have submitted to pleasing people for our own personal gain but as you already know, it probably did not end well. The impression you tried to make may not have worked out, or worse, it might have alianated loved ones if they felt that you did not come off as authentic.
To avoid getting back on the same train, here are tips to handle the people-pleaser monster when it attacks.
Show kindness, when you meant it.
Kindness should not come from the desire to earn approval, consider your intentions and make sure there isn’t a selfish motive behind your kindness.
Practice putting yourself first.
Realize you have a choice and values, it’s okay to honour your emotional energy and say no to helping others.
Talk to a therapist.
Lifelong patterns that often form due to childhood trauma can be hard to break. A therapist can help offer guidance on how to live an emotionally healthier life.
Have you felt like you were doing things to please others? How did you deal with the behaviour? Share your thoughts with us here.
Compiled by: Futhi Masilela
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