I used to be a huge people-pleaser. I did it for most of my life and I was always worried about what other people would think if I stood up for myself. I always felt guilty for not doing what other people wanted. I also hated conflict and did anything that I could to avoid it. I was always about not rocking the boat and keeping other people happy.
Trying to keep everyone happy and please everybody is what really kicked off burnout for me. It impacted me in a huge way and I was just so focused on doing what everyone else wanted that I wasn’t doing anything good for me. This came from my desire to help people but I was doing it in a way that just didn’t serve me at all and because I was so focused on everybody else, I got burnt out.
It’s something that still creeps in for me and I still have to keep myself in check when it comes to pleasing other people, but it doesn’t come up as often as it used to anymore. Now that I’m more aware, it’s easier for me to recognise it and change my behaviour.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind if you’re like me and have people-pleasing tendencies.
1 – The other person you’re trying to please is never going to be happy anyway.
This might be really hard to hear if you’ve been a people-pleaser for a long time. But here is the thing is with relationships or when you’re connecting with someone else – you can bring joy and happiness to the relationship, but you cannot fill someone else’s cup or bring them deep contentment. That is something that they’ve got to do themselves and if they’re relying on you for it, that’s going to burn you out.
2 – You will be filled with resentment.
Now, resentment is quite a dangerous emotion to keep bottled up and leave unchecked. I believe that if we don’t address emotions and clear them out, eventually they come out somewhere. So whether that’s through an emotional outburst or whether it’s through some kind of physical illness or disease, emotions do eventually come to the surface. Resentment will eat away at you and it doesn’t really affect the other person. In your heart you know you’ve done the right thing for them or the thing to keep them happy and they just move on. In the meantime you’re filled with resentment it’s just a really horrible feeling
3 -People-pleasing is getting in the way of what YOU want.
If you’ve been a people-pleaser for a long time, it can be really hard to get used to thinking about what you want. Most likely you won’t have thought about it for a long time and you don’t even know what you want at all. This behavior of people pleasing comes from a desire to help people. So generally those of us who do all the things to keep other people happy, like to be of service to people. We like to do things to help other people which is a really good thing, but you need to find a way to do it so that it serves you. Not serving other people and burning yourself out. The important thing here is to work out what you want and get clear on what’s important to you. Focus on yourself, stop focusing on everyone else and making everyone else happy. They will get over it (or not) and they’ll find a way to fill their own cup because they’ll realize they can’t get that from you.