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People-pleaser: How being a people-pleaser hurts you and what to do about it - Live A Worthy Life

People-pleaser: How being a people-pleaser hurts you and what to do about it

You did it again.

You rushed to go to some places to meet your friend, who just called you couple minutes ago.

“Hey, do you want to have dinner with me?”

You thought he was lonely, and he wanted to be with you. You were happy because he needed you.

There you were. Ditching your work and schedule just to be a supportive friend for him. Because that’s what friends are for.

You thought if you could do this for him, he would do it for you when you needed him.

But not exactly.

Every time you asked him for a favor, he always came up with some excuses for not helping out. And you believed in him. You convinced yourself that he had more important things and you were not that close to him.

But if you were not closed to him, why on earth did he call you for?

Apparently, he didn’t have anyone to hang out with, and he called you because he didn’t want to be alone. He knew you would come to be with him and you would never say no.

That was when you realized it wasn’t right.

You as a people-pleaser

The reason you could not say no to your friend is not that he is your best friend. Indeed, you could never say no to anyone. You had a tendency to please people. You thought it would do good for you. But only it wasn’t.

Your effort to fit in

You may enjoy being alone, maybe because you are an introvert or maybe you just like the way you feel when you are alone. But you don’t want people to see you being by yourself.

“Look at her. Eat by herself. So sad. So pathetic.”

“She never comes and join us. She is an outcast.”

You don’t want them to think of you that way. You want to be like them because you will have a sense of belonging. You want to be people’s favorite to earn their affection.

Losing yourself

In the effort of fitting in, you start acting the way people will like.

You stay up late at work to help out some colleagues, who have to go because of some “emergency”. They come to ask for your help at the last minute because they know you will not turn them down.

You show up on the weekend to help them move, clean and drive them around. Because that will build up the relationship you have.

Even though sometimes you are not very comfortable with your strategy, you still stick with it. You try to blend in as much as possible. You talk like them, you laugh when they tell jokes, you pretend to listen to their gossip even though you just want to tell them to shut up.

You give them as much as you can, and you hope they will do the same thing for you. Only that they don’t.

When you really need help and you ask them to do you a favor, they throw at you a bunch of excuses. After couple minutes, it is your fault to ask them a favor on that specific day.

Low self-esteem

Let’s dig a little bit deeper here. Why do you need to win people’s affection?

Is that because you like them? No, indeed you prefer to be alone.

Is that because they do you something good? No, they ask for your help without returning it.

The real reason is painful.

You don’t love yourself. That’s right. You are not comfortable with yourself being alone because it means being with someone you don’t like.

You are scared that people will think of you as an outcast, a pathetic loner because you are not confident with your true self. You lose yourself in the progress to become everyone’s favorite. And one day you realize it is not worth it.

Turning your life around

You need to love yourself before hoping people to love you

Constantly seeking out for people’s affection doesn’t fill up the hole you have in your heart. That hole can only be filled with your love. 

Imagine you are desperate to find someone to love you, you can easily jump on the first person comes in your life. You are so needed of love and you expect that person can give you enough love you need.

When they cannot, you become wild and you start questioning yourself, themselves and your relationships.

Truth is?

True friendship and relationship occur between people who are comfortable with themselves. Love only develops after you make happiness as your top priority. And your happiness starts with you.

You have to be your authentic self to be happy

You cannot win people’s heart by pretending to be someone else. You cannot be two-faced if you want to be happy and comfortable with yourself.

If you are not being your authentic self, you will never know if there is anyone who loves you for yourself. You cannot know what you can do if you don’t put yourself out of the comfort zone.

Don’t rush into a relationship because you already have a best friend - yourself

Yes, you read it right. You are the best friend of yourself. You know your weaknesses and strengths. You know what you like, what you hate and you do not hide anything from yourself. Isn’t that the definition of best friends?

No, it is not pathetic. It is not sad.

Indeed, it means confidence and peace. You finally stop hating yourself, you finally give yourself a chance to become your own favorite.

You don’t need anyone’s validation of your worth. Because you are worth.

When you truly love yourself, you know you deserve best things, you know you deserve love, affection, appreciation, and respect. And you will walk away without hesitation from people who try to invade your happiness zone.

So, be open in this relationship. Give yourself some space. Give it a chance to thrive.

Love starts with you

Think about it for a moment.

Why even jump into a relationship if they do not appreciate you and they take you for granted?

Your love is gold. Your affection is precious. And they need to earn it.

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You are one of a kind. You are worthy of love. And you are loved.

That is your job to remember that.

So next time when your friends call you at the last minute, tell them:

“Sorry, I am not your backup plan”.

Originally published on Finer Minds.

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Mai Pham

Mai Pham is the founder of Live a Worthy Life. She believes we can recreate our lives. Her mission is to help you to ditch your stress, anxiety, and worries to enjoy life again.