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People pleasing comes from several different places. When I found out why I was a people pleaser, it helped me be more compassionate for myself. It also gave me the power to choose new ways. If you have the “disease” to please like I do, here are 5 reasons you people please.
To start off, there are a few reasons you might be a people pleaser. And it’s important to understand where your people pleasing tendencies might come from.
Why? So that you can understand your own psychology better.
When you’re self-aware, then you can start figuring out strategies to make the changes you want.
Try this exercise to help you get to know yourself better.
Personally, understanding why I tend to people please has helped me a lot. First, it’s helped me understand my own motives better. Second, it’s helped me be compassionate toward myself as I tend to beat myself up.
If you can relate, here are 5 possible reasons you people please.
First of all, when you’re naturally sensitive, it makes you more vulnerable to being a people pleaser.
Since sensitive and/or empathic people can sense other’s emotional discomfort more, they’re more likely to try and help them resolve it. That way, the tension goes away!
I’m highly sensitive, so I know this one’s definitely true for me. When someone is in need near me, it’s hard for me to NOT help them out – simply because I sense they could use a hand.
So, if you’re naturally sensitive like me, it might make you more vulnerable to being a people pleaser.
Next, some people are more prone to being pleasers because of their personality type.
When you’re a helper or a giver by nature, it makes people pleasing feel normal to you. You feel it’s what you’re here to do. So, of course you want to help people out!
I, too, fall into this category. I tend to want to help a lot. Giving feels natural for me.
If you relate to that, your personality type might condition you toward people pleasing more than others.
Another reason you might people please is because of your conditioning.
Were you taught to put your needs last? If so, you might be more vulnerable to people pleasing.
Personally, I was taught to put everyone’s needs ahead of my own, that my needs weren’t important.
As an adult, I find it very difficult to prioritize my own needs. It’s something I constantly have to work on!
So, if you were raised in a codependent home like me, it puts you more at risk of being a people pleaser.
Yet another reason you might be a people pleaser is because of your past experiences.
Were you rejected a lot in your childhood? If so, that might make you more of a people pleaser.
For instance, some caregivers dangle the carrot of acceptance in front a child so that they can maintain control in the relationship. Then, once the child finally reaches the caregiver’s expectations, they dangle the carrot further away, changing expectations or making them more difficult to reach.
This was definitely the case for me. My dad was always raising the bar of his expectations. I was constantly chasing his approval, yet I never felt accepted by him.
Nowadays, I find that has stayed in my psyche and makes me more want to please those around me.
Was this the case for you? If so, it might have turned you into a people pleaser.
When sharing difficult emotions as a child, you might have been shamed, dismissed or mistreated.
Because of this, it may have turned you into a people pleaser.
This is another point that I can relate to. I was constantly told, “I’ll give you something to cry about!” whenever I was sad. Also, I wasn’t allowed to show anger. When I did, I was quickly punished.
Reflect on how your parents handled your negative emotions when you were a child. If you experienced something similar, it might give you a tendency toward people pleasing.
As a recovering people pleaser, I fall into all the categories above. I’m mega sensitive, I’m a helper and I was taught being myself and having my emotions wasn’t ok. Yet, understanding this helps me understand WHY I please, have compassion on myself and gives me the knowledge I need to make different choices.
I hope this helps you understand yourself better so you can make the changes you want as well.