When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.
It sounds so harmless. Even pleasant.
After all, where’s the danger in prioritizing the needs of others?
Turns out, this pattern of behavior is often rooted in past experience of trauma or manipulation. And, left unchecked, it can get in the way of living the healthy, fulfilling life you deserve.
Today we’re highlighting 5 signs that your people-pleasing habits might be hurting more than they’re helping:
1. You’re constantly apologizing
If you’ve made a choice or a comment you regret, taking ownership of your role is a healthy and emotionally mature thing to do.
But, if you find yourself on an endless apology tour, it’s worth a closer look.
A common trait of people-pleasing is the impulse to apologize, even when you’re not at fault. If you recognize this in yourself, you could benefit from a supportive space to examine where this impulse is coming from.
- Save your “sorries” for when you truly mean it. (This guide to offering a genuine apology can help.)
2. You feel responsible for the feelings of others
Emotions can be intimidating, even overwhelming at times. And for many of us, “negative” emotions (like anger or sadness) can be especially challenging to witness.
But, much like the weather, emotions come and go naturally. In many cases, there’s nothing you need to do about them.
- Check out our series on emotional intelligence to learn more about navigating your own emotions (and allowing others to navigate theirs).
3. You find conflict intolerable
Let’s be real: Most of us dislike arguments. And the process of disagreeing with someone we’re close to can be uncomfortable.
If you find yourself going to great lengths to avoid conflict, however, it might be a sign that you’re prioritizing the needs of others above your own.
- Review our primers on healthy communication and conflict resolution for tips on managing everyday tensions and disagreements.
4. You need praise to feel contented
Compliments feel great, no question.
In fact, for many of us, words of affirmation are how we prefer to give and receive love!
But, if you notice that you’re entirely dependent on external feedback in order to feel worthy or content, you might benefit from a supportive space to process this further.
- Practice some simple mindfulness strategies to create your own internal sense of peace.
- Check out our contentment guide to feeling “enough” all on your own.
5. You struggle to form (or express) your own opinion
One of the joys of human relationships is that we can form meaningful connections with one another, all while maintaining our own individuality.
For those of us who struggle with people-pleasing, though, maintaining that individuality can feel tricky or even threatening.
- Take an honest inventory of your relationships: Do they allow you to freely share your own opinion, even when it might be unpopular?
- Review some characteristics of healthy relationships here.
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Is people-pleasing getting in the way of living your life? We’re here to help.