Are You A People Pleaser?

Are you a people pleaser? Do you put everyone else’s needs before your own? Do you have a hard time finding support when you are the one in need? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you are in luck because there is a way to make this stop. The first step to changing these patterns is to recognize that we play a direct role in how we are treated by others. If that statement upsets you, then it is possible that you are one of the many people who have a tremendous amount of difficulty understanding how a lack of healthy self-focus can be detrimental to our well-being and our relationships.
The most common question I hear is, “Why am I always getting the crappy end of the stick? I go out of my way for everyone. I do and do and do and never even get a thank you. I would do anything for anyone and this is how I get treated? My answer is, “Of course it is!” Think about it. How often do you minimize your own needs by saying; “It’s OK,” “I’ll be alright,” “Nope, I’m good,” “I don’t need a thing,” “There’s no need to thank me.”? By minimizing your needs and self-worth through statements such as these, you’re basically teaching people that it is acceptable to take and take and take. Believe it or not, people will begin to believe that you have an unlimited amount of resources, time, energy and emotion to handle anything. In severe circumstances, this can lead to a lost sense of self, co-dependency, and even abuse. By the time we burn out from this behavior, everyone around us begins to appear selfish because we have attracted only “takers” into our lives.
So, although we may have established some or many unhealthy relationships, the question is not what is wrong with everyone else? Rather, the question should be what is wrong with what I am doing? How can I change my interactions with others so that I may receive the support and respect that I deserve? Start by exploring your own sense of self-worth and ask yourself; What do I deserve? What is the cost of my current, “helping” behaviors? What needs to change? From there we then explore the implementation of boundary setting. Where do you need to start drawing the lines and with whom? Answers to these questions can be difficult to answer, so it helps to have the guidance of an objective professional when uncertain of where to start.
The process of change can be uncomfortable and painful, but the payouts and benefits outweigh the cost of continuing to engage in self-defeating behaviors that brings pain, anxiety and anger into our lives.


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