The Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser

Being thoughtful and caring are two qualities that can make you more attractive in any relationship, but if you’re someone who goes out of their way to get people to like you, you could be a people-pleaser, with some unfortunate consequences for your own well-being.

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If you’re always saying yes to others, you’re likely giving up precious time that could be spent on things that really matter to you. If you’re always acting in a way that makes others happy, but not doing the same for yourself, you may not be living according to your own values. Bending over backwards to please other people can quickly escalate into unhealthy behavior. If your conversations with others are based on what you think they want to hear, you may start telling little white lies, a habit that becomes easier and easier, according to a study in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Worst of all, what starts out as telling small fibs can develop into fabricating big lies.

When you get caught up trying to please someone else, you get caught up in guessing how they want you to be. You might begin to change your natural behavior in hopes of getting them to like you. Experts say that’s actually an example of both poor communication and you manipulating the other person, even though you might not be completely aware of what you’re doing. People-pleasing can erode your sense of integrity – and you can start feeling bad about yourself. Experts say that being yourself and risking people not liking you is better than experiencing the stress and tension that results from bending over backwards to please others.

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Professional environments (such as those at work) are often full of people trying to please others. From boss to top management executives and even colleagues. People-pleasers in the workplace are always dictated by people and circumstances instead of being the one to take charge. This can hurt your professional career because doing something like comparing professional achievements with those of your peers and significant others can leave you feeling less-than should their achievements be more prodigious than yours. It also prevents you from getting the room you need to improve yourself and continue to grow.

Whether it be at home, around friends or in the office – Always be your own person rather than a people-pleaser. Next time you find yourself sacrificing being true to yourself to please others, ask yourself if it’s really worth it. If not, realize it, take note of it, and do what the “real” you would do. Trying to be please everyone is a disease and learning to be the real you, to stand up for yourself, to say no, is the only cure. Not everyone will like or love the real you, and that’s okay. You can cope; you are stronger than you think!