Category Archives: boundaries

The Downside of People Pleasing

The Downside of People Pleasing

My clients often struggle to grasp how their desire to please others at the expense of themselves keeps them stuck. Many of these individuals grew up in families where it was unsafe to share their emotions or opinions. Others received the most love and praise when they were “helping” or “being a good kid”. Regardless of where this behavior originated, it is important to acknowledge the downside of people pleasing. Here are some insights that may inspire you to take steps towards healing and changing your behavior in interpersonal relationships.

 It’s not as selfless as you think!

People pleasers often think that their behaviors are selfless, which is not always the case. In exchange for their sacrifice and tireless efforts, people pleasers will often expect others to respond with praise and appreciation. This gets problematic when their self-worth becomes dependent on other’s opinions of them. When their actions are not met with the praise and appreciation they think they deserve, it causes frustration and resentment. This resentment damages relationships and can lead to tension and disconnection over time.

You don’t have control over other people’s emotions 

People pleasers often falsely believe that they can control other people’s emotions. It can be uncomfortable for them to sit with the negative emotions of coworkers, friends, or family members. Instead of letting others manage their own chaos, people pleasers will often try to “fix it” or offer unsolicited advice. Furthermore, people pleasers will often take other’s emotions personally, assuming that they are the result of something that they did. Because we can never truly control the behaviors of another person, attempting to can lead to frustration and hopelessness.

 Others take advantage of you

In my experience, people pleasers often earn a reputation for themselves in the workplace and in their social circles. When a shift needs to be covered or a friend needs help moving, they are often the first ones called upon because it is hard for them to say “no”. The requestor must look no further, as they already have a guaranteed “yes”. This cycle, often leaves people pleasers feel unconsidered and overburdened because they are taking on more despite their lack of time and energy. However, what is seen as the worse of two evils is the potential of facing a negative reaction or rejection. Taking on tasks beyond their capacity leaves little time for self-care and the opportunity to recharge.

You are giving people the opportunity to love you for who you are

This is perhaps the most upsetting aspect of people pleasing. People pleasers often hide their own emotions, needs, opinions, and preferences to ensure that others are comfortable and to avoid conflict. If this pattern has occurred for long enough, they often become out of touch with their emotions, needs, and preferences altogether. However, by showing up as the person that they think other people want them to be, they are not allowing others the opportunity to truly know and love them. This can limit the depth of relationships, causing them to remain superficial.

Online counseling for betrayal

 

About the Author: Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy and betrayal trauma. Michaela stays sane while practicing social distancing by reminding herself how happy her dog is.

Finding Alone Time During COVID

Finding Alone Time During COVID

Finding alone time is important.  But that can be really difficult in the age of social distancing where you work, relax, and hangout all in the same spot with your family or roommates.  While some people are struggling with isolation, it can be hard to find time alone if you live with family or a significant other.  So here are a… Continue Reading

Self-Love: It’s More than You Think!

Self-Love: It’s More than You Think!

When I ask my clients what self-love means to them, they often respond with the words selfishness, arrogance, and self-absorption. With Valentine’s Day approaching, decided to take some time to define this term and give readers the opportunity to look honestly at themselves and their behaviors. Below are some suggestions for how you can start… Continue Reading

How to Maintain Balance During the Holiday Season

How to Maintain Balance During the Holiday Season

A pattern that I have observed within my clients and myself is using the holidays as an excuse for overindulgence. However, behaviors such as overeating, binge drinking, excessive spending, and failing to maintain interpersonal boundaries can lead to us feeling fatigued and out of balance as we enter the new year. Here are some self-care… Continue Reading

Key Tips To Setting Boundaries with Others

Key Tips To Setting Boundaries with Others

At some point or another, you have likely set a boundary, tried to set a boundary that was not respected, or have heard from someone that you should be setting boundaries. Boundaries are essential for your self-care, self-value, and overall health. As a therapist, I frequently see individuals and relationships struggle due to the lack… Continue Reading

Nothing I Do is Good Enough For my Partner

Nothing I Do is Good Enough For my Partner

Relationships often start with plenty of demonstrations of affection and appreciation for one another. There is a sense of “this person gets me and accepts me for who I am”. The infatuation makes you want to attend to even the silliest requests from your partner. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, your partners… Continue Reading

Healthy Boundaries = Healthy Marriages; How to set Boundaries with Parents and In-Laws

Healthy Boundaries = Healthy Marriages; How to set Boundaries with Parents and In-Laws

Hollywood is great about making “crazy family” movies where family members interfere in each other’s lives. It is funny to watch – if you are not in their shoes. But if your first thought when you see these movies is “Oh, I feel your pain”, then this article is for you. From career choices to… Continue Reading

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