Are you a people pleaser? Do you care what people think about you? Should you care what other people think about you or not? Do you have the “disease to please” people in your life to the point where you feel like you have become someone’s personal doormat to wipe their dirty feet on? Do you have difficulty saying no to requests and then feel angry or resentful because you said yes, again? Who is pulling your strings?
By definition, people pleasers are people who have a disproportionate and unhealthy need in their personality to give in to the wants, whims and desires of others around them, to the point of sacrificing their own wants or needs. People pleasers, pushovers and doormats lack assertiveness skills and hold back from speaking up and saying what they really think or feel, and they hold back from asking for what they need or want because they’re worried someone will get upset about it.
Having a people pleasing personality is great…..until. Being considerate, thoughtful, gracious and willing to help others are admirable traits and characteristics, but suffering from doormat syndrome or being a people pleaser to your own detriment are not so admirable. People pleasers put other people’s needs before their own, rarely doing things for themselves and then feel guilty about it.
People pleasers spend time with difficult people who don’t care about or consider other people’s wants or needs above their own- not even a little bit. People pleasers will jump through hoops, so to speak, to make unhappy, insensitive, selfish, ungrateful, controlling, mentally and emotionally abusive people feel better about themselves, to their own detriment. If you are tolerating problematic family relationships out of a sense of duty, obligation or a sense of Christian responsibility, your personal concept and belief system of what family is or isn’t needs to be reexamined and analyzed closely.
People Pleasers and Doormat Syndrome
Are you dealing with extremely difficult people in your life? What does the term “toxic people” mean to you? Do you find yourself in personal or professional relationships where you feel used, abused, battered and beaten down mentally, emotionally, or perhaps even financially? Do you habitually give in to people because the mere thought of displeasing or upsetting them is too much for you to deal with? Do you spend too much of your time, energies or money trying to keep other people happy because of fear of what they will think of you if you stopped? Why do you care what others think about you?
If you routinely put your own needs aside because of wanting to make other people happy, perhaps discovering that he or she is not the least bit grateful or genuinely appreciative for the things you do, you are a classic people pleaser. Here’s some advice: Stop being a martyr, victim, people pleaser or doormat stressing out and worrying about what other people may or may not think of you.
Stop caring what people think about you and start living your life free of the stress, worry and anxiety about what others think or want from you. The cost of caring what your boss, coworkers, subordinates, friends, family members, spouse, grown adult children, parents, inlaws, siblings or other difficult relatives think about you needs to stop. Allowing the opinions of others in your life to control, manipulate and trample on your self-worth is too high a price to pay to feel accepted, liked, loved or validated.
Who is the puppet master in your life? Can you afford the high cost of people pleasing? If you suffer from people pleaser “excess niceness” syndrome, consider the following list of costs typically associated with being a people pleaser or doormat.
Loss of identity, self-respect, self-esteem and personal integrity. Burnout. Nagging doubt about being “good enough” for others. A debilitating sense of guilt, shame, insecurity and inability creating and maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships. Difficulty or problems managing, leading or supervising others at home and/or work; inability or difficulty trusting others, accepting kindness, positive feedback or heartfelt compliments from others. Difficulty making decisions, sticking with and accomplishing personal goals, because people pleasers inherently make others a priority over themselves.
People pleasing personality types find it virtually impossible to deny any or all requests made upon them even when doing so creates stress, chaos, financial burden, anxiety attacks, depression and even bankruptcy. The need for the approval and acceptance of others becomes debilitating for people pleasers, where fear of saying no and the intense aversion to confrontations or angry reprisals causes people pleasers to give in time after time after time.
Stop caring what people think about you. Relying on the opinions of others for approval, acceptance and validation is a self-sabotaging behavior and is detrimental to your health, happiness and wellbeing. Harriet B. Braikder, Ph.D writes in her book The Disease To Please, “As a people-pleaser, you feel controlled by your need to please others and addicted to their approval. At the same time, you feel out of control over the pressures and demands on your life that these needs have created”. Does that sound rational to you?
Not caring how other people think or feel towards you doesn’t mean that you should become selfish or egotistical, or that you should make your personal wants, preferences and needs the only priority in your life. Not at all. I’m suggesting that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s; that you should avoid seeking acceptance or approval from people who have their own selfish agenda.
Do things for others because you really care about them and want to, rather than out of fear that they won’t like you or will abandon you if you don’t do what they want. Stop allowing other people’s opinions, needs or wants to control or dictate who or what you are as a person.
If someone doesn’t like you or stops liking you because you don’t do what they want, then you’re being used by them and they are not someone you need in your life anyway. Take your power back. Learn to let go of the disease to please other people and remind yourself that you ARE good enough!