I never thought I was a people pleaser. I just thought I was a good friend, a generous partner and a kind family member. I believe you should treat others like you want to be treated yourself.
It wasn’t until I finally put all the pieces together that I was nurturing everyone around me more than I was nurturing myself. I was looking at the schedule for my upcoming event and working out who would speak where and it hit me that I had totally not left any space for me to showcase who I am. There wasn’t even a 30 min spot left after I scheduled all the other speakers in first.
That moment was when I realised that I wasn’t looking out for me. I was more concerned about making others happy and their needs than my own.
Let me tell you it was a bittersweet moment.
Since then I went on to explore all the ways I was people pleasing and seeking approval I ended up writing an ebook – Free Your Soul: 30 day detox from the need of approval. It covers just about all the ways in which you can people please.
So how do you know if you are a people pleaser?
Well, there are many signs that you may very well be stuck in this behavior pattern. It’s not to say you will have all the signs but more than likely you will have a few of them under your belt.
9 Signs you are a People Pleaser
You take on the responsibility of keeping the peace and making sure everyone around you is happy.
You often find yourself busy darting across the room to save a child from falling off a chair to making sure your guest’s teacup is full at all times. You are continuously over-giving and thinking ahead of how to comfort other’s needs. It’s exhausting.
You’re crushed when someone doesn’t like you
You feel that it is important to be friends with everyone or at least get along with everyone. Making enemies is not okay in your book and to discover someone doesn’t like you is soul crushing.
You go to great lengths to avoid conflict.
You like to avoid those uncomfortable feelings that happen when having an argument or being confronted. Your need to make sure these events dont play out will see you do everything and anything to avoid them.
You mirror the people around you.
You love your friends so much that you will do anything to fit in and if that means the latest trend is to get your belly button pierced, a hideous tattoo or Friday night drinks at the seedy pub is now your new reg. Well, you will probably follow suit even when you know you don’t want any of those things.
You hate saying NO
The thought of letting someone down and saying no just makes your stomach turn in knots. You might be able to do it in some situations but often get caught out saying YES when you really just wanted to say no.
You apologise way too much
You say sorry if you have to go to work, you say sorry for not passing over someone’s cup when they reach out for it, you say sorry for being 1 minute late, you apologise for things that don’t need an apology.
You Don’t Share When someone has Hurt Your Feelings
You brush off your feelings as less important than others. You don’t want to upset the person who has hurt you by sharing your feelings with them, that wouldn’t be nice to make them feel bad, would it? Keeping your emotions in and past hurt boasts resentment of others and yourself.
You Need Others to Acknowledge You
The only way you feel validated as a human being is that you have been witnessed as an amazing person who does things. You love praise for getting it right. This keeps you in the people pleasing cycle because the more you aim to please others the more acknowledgment you get right?
You struggle with authenticity
Deep down you know that everyone is different but you don’t see how you are unique and what makes you so special. For months and years you have been suppressing who you really are and have lost touch with yourself all through people pleasing.
People pleasers come in all different shapes and sizes and while some of us can do some of the signs above there are others that trigger us in to disbelief. People pleasing is not something to be pushed to the side, it needs to be addressed and worked on. It takes time to correct these behavious and habits that have been created.