Most people enjoy being useful and pleasing others.
However, in a small but significant proportion, selfless behavior is taken to the extreme, with the risk of serious illness. mental health problems.
Psychologists have coined the phenomenon of people-pleasing, which is said to describe those who never saying no and always doing everything you can for others at the expense of your own mental well-being.
According to studies, about 14 percent of people who engage in this behavior are more likely to develop serious mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress and depression.
One high-profile people pleaser is Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lawrence, who, in 2021, admitted that she had been a “people pleaser” for most of her life.
Jennifer Lawrence temporarily stepped away from the spotlight in 2018 because she was struggling with anxiety stemming from her people-pleasing behavior, she previously admitted.
“Working made me feel like no one could be mad at me,” he said. Vanity Fair.
‘And then I felt like I had reached a point where people weren’t happy with just my existence. So that made me stop thinking that work or career can bring any kind of peace to your soul.’
But how do you know if you’re a perpetual people pleaser or just a nice person?
Dr. Juli Fraga, a San Francisco-based psychologist, has revealed the five signs of chronic people pleasing that you should watch out for.
The first clue is usually an underlying feeling of being out of control, he says.
When people perceive us in a way that we don’t like and can’t control, for example after a relationship breakup, there is a temptation to overcompensate in other areas of life, in order to please people.
Pleasers go to great lengths to make other people’s lives easier at their own expense. This often leads to feelings of inadequacy, friction, and stress.
Dr. Juli Fraga said that when it comes to behavior, the first red flag is apologizing too much, especially for things that are not your fault.
“For example, one of my former patients said he apologized every time he asked his boss a question,” he told the newspaper. Washington Post.
‘Because he ‘didn’t want to make them angry.’
It’s another to take responsibility for someone else’s sadness, anger, or disappointment.
The people pleaser will assume that they did something that caused the negative emotion and will try to fix it. even if it’s on your own.
The next sign is to agree when you don’t, to avoid tensions.
Dr. Fraga said, “Years ago, I worked with a patient who defended her father’s political views, even though she couldn’t stand them.”
Then there’s being a person who says “yes” when you want to say no.
You may take on a larger workload that you can’t handle or agree to pay for things you can’t afford.
The final sign is to lull yourself into the false belief that your feelings and needs don’t matter as much as other people’s.
Dr. Fraga said, “You often have the false belief that expressing (feelings) will be a burden or cause someone to abandon you.”
A people pleaser often puts aside his or her own needs for the benefit of others. For example, running errands for hours for someone else or covering for a coworker during the workday, leaving little time for calm moments or a nutritious lunch.
Psychologists have long debated the root cause of people-pleasing, but it is believed to be associated with a personality trait known as sociotropy, an unusually strong characteristic. desire for approval and social acceptance.
People with this trait rely heavily on the quality of their relationships with other people to inform their own sense of self-worth and well-being.
People with sociotropic traits are more likely to hold harmful beliefs about themselves, such as “I am unlovable” and “I am helpless,” according to one study. study 2018.
The behavior may also be the result of aggressive parenting, Dr. Fraga said.
‘I once worked with a patient whose father embarrassed him every time he expressed sadness. “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about,” they told him.
‘At other times his father would say, “I’m not in the mood to listen to your stupid complaints.” As a result, my patient worked hard to be “good” at doing what he was told. “If people like you, they leave you alone,” he told me.
This is a trauma response known as “flattery,” or pleasing others to avoid conflict and establish a sense of security.
Dr Fraga He advises patients to work on self-compassion and forgiveness of both themselves and other people.
She said: ‘Start by asking yourself, ‘What will help me feel calm?’ It could be taking a walk or having a cup of tea. Or it could be calling a friend or spending time with your beloved pet.’
It also encourages people to practice saying no and setting boundaries.
5 SIGNS THAT YOU ARE PEOPLE PLEASE
San Francisco-based psychologisthologist has revealed how to know if you are a personle pleaser – and at risk of stress, depression and anxiety
- An underlying feeling of loss of control.
- Apologize for things that are not your fault
- Assuming you are the cause of someone else’s bad mood
- Agree with opinions, despite having the opposite opinion.
- Acting as if other people’s needs matter more than your own