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Are You a People Pleaser? Here Are the Signs to Look Out For

Do you find yourself always putting other people’s needs and wants before your own? This might be a sign of people pleasing. While it can be a challenging pattern to break, recognizing the signs and seeking help is the first step towards living a happier, more fulfilling life.

Sign #1: Difficulty Saying “No”

“People pleasing is a habit, a behavioral pattern that can be difficult to break,” says Dr. Suzanne Lachmann, a licensed clinical psychologist. “People pleasers tend to have difficulty saying ‘no’ to others, even when they should.”

This is supported by the American Psychological Association, which states that “people who have trouble saying no often experience undue stress because they may feel they are being taken advantage of or mistreated.”

Sign #2: Prioritizing Others Over Yourself

People pleasing can also lead individuals to prioritize others’ needs over their own and this can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration.

Prioritizing others’ needs over your own often leads to ignoring your own emotions and intuition, which can create inner turmoil and a lack of self-trust.

Sign #3: Seeking Validation and Approval

“People pleasing often stems from a need for validation and approval,” says psychotherapist Esther Perel. “People pleasers tend to have low self-esteem and lack self-confidence.”

People who are overly concerned with pleasing others may overvalue others’ opinions of them and undervalue their own opinions.

Sign #4: Avoiding Conflict

People pleasers tend to avoid conflict at all costs, even when it means suppressing their own thoughts, feelings, and needs. They may fear confrontation and worry about the negative impact it will have on their relationships with others.

The Negative Impact of People Pleasing on Mental Health

The need to constantly please others can have a negative impact on your mental health. People pleasing can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout, as it often means neglecting your own self-care and needs.

It’s never too late to break the pattern of people-pleasing and learn to prioritize your own needs and desires.

How to Start Putting Yourself First

Breaking the habit of people-pleasing can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to start putting yourself first.

  1. Practice saying “no”: It can be hard to say “no” to others, but it’s an important step towards prioritizing your own needs. Start small by saying “no” to small requests and work your way up.
  2. Set boundaries: Boundaries are essential for taking care of your own needs. Be clear with others about what you are and are not comfortable with.
  3. Identify your own needs and wants: Make a list of your own goals, wants, and needs, and start prioritizing them over others’.
  4. Practice self-care: Take time to do things that make you happy and relaxed, whether that’s taking a bubble bath or going for a walk in nature.

Final Thoughts

Being a people pleaser can be a tough pattern to break, but it’s essential for your own mental health and well-being. Remember, it’s never too late to start putting yourself first and prioritizing your own needs and desires.

Many clients find that once they start taking small risks around changing their people-pleasing ways, their relationships stregthen.

If you’re struggling with people pleasing, can spot it in yourself, but struggle to make new choices- you’re not alone. Maybe somatic coaching would be a great fit. Get in touch to book a call so we can talk more.

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