We all want people to like us. But there’s a difference between wanting to be liked and needing people to like you, so you feel good about yourself. In an optimal world, we wouldn’t need the validation of others. But that’s not how things work. It’s natural to want the approval of people that we care about in our lives. However, when we are constantly seeking approval, that is an issue. You might find that you are a people pleaser, so you can gain external validation. There are many reasons that you want to please others, and it’s important to understand what those are so that you can stop engaging in this behavior. The more you people please, the more resentful you will feel in the end. Here are some signs that you could be a people pleaser and what to do about it.
You find yourself not being able to say no
One sign you could be a people pleaser is that you’re not able to say no and draw boundaries. You feel like if somebody asks you to help them, you need to do that. If you have trouble setting boundaries and saying no, it’s time to ask yourself why? Why are you not able to tell somebody that you cannot do something? Perhaps you’re afraid that they will reject you. You may be fearful that the person will abandon you if you say no. You want to be a good friend, and if a friend asks for you to help, you want to support them with their problems. The reality is we cannot be there all the time. The more that you tax yourself emotionally and try to be there every time someone needs you, the worse you’re going to feel. You need to conserve your energy and make sure that you are okay before you care for others.
You’re thinking about how others perceive you
Another sign that you could be a people pleaser is that instead of helping somebody because you feel it’s the right thing to do, you’re doing it to get the other person‘s approval or validation. You want reassurance from your friend, family member, coworker, or even a stranger that what you’re doing measures up. That could be a sign that you have some inner issues with self-worth. The thing that matters the most is how you perceive yourself. You know deep down that you are someone of value. You do not need external validation to feel good about yourself. If you want to be there and help a loved one, that’s a great thing. But don’t do it so that you can look good in their eyes. You cannot control what other people think. You can only control your actions.
Causes of people-pleasing
One reason you could have become a people pleaser is that you were raised in a critical background. Perhaps your parents told you that what you did was not good enough. So you were living your life trying to please others so that you can prove to yourself that you are good enough. The reality is that you’re not going to fix your past. It’s not worth trying to remedy it through others. The best thing you can do is work on your problems in therapy. Try to determine what’s going on with you that you feel you need to please others to feel good about yourself.
Online therapy can help
Online therapy is an excellent place to explore why you want to be a people pleaser. You don’t have to impress your therapist. You can talk about any concerns you have in terms of setting boundaries. You can get to the bottom of why you’re struggling with pleasing others to feel good about yourself. You can reach out for help if you have trouble with boundaries. A therapist is there to listen to you and help you through these issues. You can search for an online counselor with a company like BetterHelp, where mental health professionals care about your well-being. You will learn to have a sense of self-worth. Therapy is a great place to fortify your boundaries and learn to love yourself.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.