Why Being a People Pleaser May Be Damaging to Your Self-Esteem

There are few people who walk into a situation and don’t care whether or not others react positively to them or not. The majority of women enter new situations tentatively, sticking a toe in the water and attempting to determine which of their “public faces” to employ depending on the various factors that are in play. Coming into a new situation at work requires different social skills than those you would utilize heading out for a weekend with new girlfriends.

However, has it ever crossed your mind that none of these social put-ons are improving how you are perceived by others — and more importantly, your self-esteem? Our people pleasing tendencies can not only make us look fake to others, but it can be a self-esteem killer as well. It’s crucial that we stop damaging ourselves and instead learn to respect yourself, so others can respect you as well.

Signs You Might Be a People Pleaser

Are you truly a people pleaser, or are you just pleasant to be around and have a giving nature? Granted, it’s a very fine line and one that we all likely cross from time to time. However, if these signs resonate with you as things that you do on a regular basis it may be time for some internal conversations:

  • You hold concerns to yourself instead of sharing them with others
  • Placing others first puts a strain on your finances
  • Your friends are often the ones who get more out of relationships than you do
  • You quickly concede arguments and apologize — even when you know you are right
  • Your friends or family say people always take advantage of you

While putting others first sometimes is considered a positive character trait, when you make a habit of putting yourself last you’re eventually going to suffer.

Care of Self Doesn’t Equal Selfish

Asserting your thoughts and feelings in a positive and proactive way does not make you a selfish person, it makes you a confident person who understands her needs and looks for ways to fulfill them without harming others. We have been trained since birth to put others first and as women, that provides a level of fulfillment. However, learning to say “no” sometimes provides you with the space that you need for self-care — which is incredibly important, especially if you’re a caregiver for others.

Repairing the Damage

Whether your people pleasing tendencies came from your Mom or other females in your life, or you’ve just developed them as a coping mechanism stepping away from that persona can provide you with the healing that you need to enhance your self-esteem. While some women find that they have a breaking point — a hard-stop point where it feels like enough is enough — for many women it takes a series of smaller steps to redeem your self-confidence.

Breaking the cycle, saying “no” to friends or family members and cutting negative influences out of your life are all steps in the right direction. There’s no reason to feel down, stressed out and discouraged — and there’s also no reason that your happiness should suffer.

Do you see yourself as a people pleaser who would like to learn how to take steps to be assertive?

Counseling can help you learn to set limits, speak up for yourself and experience less stress both at work and at home.

Sources: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15855/1/Disadvantages-of-Being-a-People-Pleaser.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-newton/the-biggest-problem-with-_b_7968128.html

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