Category Archives: communication

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.

My Partner and I Have Communication Problems

My Partner and I Have Communication Problems

Despite humans being the most communicative species on the planet, our communication is often fraught with misunderstandings. You have experienced this in your relationship when you find yourself in an escalating argument with your partner that started with a question about what to eat for dinner. Sometimes it feels like these escalating arguments just keep… Continue Reading

Complaining Constructively

Complaining Constructively

Communicating needs and complaints with you partner early, can help protect against resentment. However, many of my clients struggle to bring up complaints in a way that their partner can hear and understand. Some “pick their battles” too carefully, because they are afraid that bringing up complaints will lead to conflict. Others are afraid to… Continue Reading

Handling Disagreements When Things get Volatile – a Lesson from the Weekend Race Riots

Handling Disagreements When Things get Volatile – a Lesson from the Weekend Race Riots

As a marriage counselor, I’m pretty much a professional hostile negotiator (ha ha). So when I see rioting going on in the streets like they did this weekend I’m saddened. I’m saddened because the solution is usually so easy. Most conflicts arise because one side (and there are usually many sides) doesn’t feel like their… Continue Reading

Staying Connected with your Partner During COVID-19

Staying Connected with your Partner During COVID-19

In conversations with my clients I have heard one of two things, either COVID-19 has made them feel closer than ever to their partner, or it has put a tremendous strain on their relationship. Maybe you and your partner are learning to balance working from home and homeschooling your children. Perhaps you are an extravert,… Continue Reading

How to Stay Sane While Practicing Social Distancing

How to Stay Sane While Practicing Social Distancing

Thus far, the majority of our conversations about COVID-19 have focused on physical health and how to prevent this disease from spreading. But if you’re like most people, covid-19 has you feeling a little nervous, too. As a therapist, I know that mental health is just as important to consider in these uncertain times. Anxieties… Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

It’s the time of year! A fresh start! A time for you to set new goals and refocus on how you can be the best version of yourself. When we think of New Year’s Resolutions, we often think about creating a gym routine, increasing our emergency fund, or improving our productivity at work. Imagine what… Continue Reading

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