The Problem of Being a People Pleaser with Social Anxiety
Being a people pleaser with social anxiety causes problems for me. Social anxiety can pressure us to make other people happy, rather than ourselves. I have spent my life molding myself into a person that I hope other people will like. I adapt my actions, words, and sometimes even beliefs, to make people feel that I’m agreeing with them.
Of course, it's important to bring happiness to other people's lives and to respect how they feel and what they believe. But it's not good to create a personality based on what others think of me. I shouldn't be constantly trying to impress people.
Why Is Being a People Pleaser Unhealthy?
Anxiety Causes Me to Change My Beliefs and Views for Others
It’s hard for me to disagree with people because I don’t want to hurt their feelings or, even worse, cause them to think I’m stupid for not agreeing with them. That’s one of my greatest fears; believing that someone thinks I’m incompetent or ignorant.
There’s obviously nothing wrong with not knowing or agreeing with everything. But in my mind, I have to be correct in others’ eyes in order to feel okay with myself. When I mess up or am wrong about something, I may not show it on the outside, but inside, I am burning with shame.
Irrational Thinking Makes Me Believe People Don’t Like Me
If I perceive that someone doesn't like me or that someone is mad at me, it drives me into a panic. I’ll stress about it until I feel sick. Usually, I’ll beg for forgiveness and tell them how horrible I feel. They can reassure me multiple times that everything is fine and that they’re not upset. It takes a long time for me to finally calm down and see that I’m being irrational.
I crave others approval. I feel so good when others compliment me. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. The thing that's unhealthy is I’m basing my self-acceptance off of what others think and say. It’s hard to let myself do anything without getting the permission of someone else, even if it’s something that should only matter to me.
Finding Happiness in Self-Approval over People Pleasing
I need to be happy with what I am doing and not care about how others see me. I should want to do a good job for me. I need to just know that I am doing the best I can and be fulfilled by that.
It’s hard to disregard what others think. But I am working on strategies to stand strong in what I believe and feel, rather than changing into someone else to make people happy.
It’s not going to be easy. But as I grow more confident in who I am, I will find more happiness and fulfillment than I ever could living for other people.
Capper, J. (2018, March 21). The Problem of Being a People Pleaser with Social Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthforthedigitalgeneration/2018/03/anxiety-and-being-a-people-pleaser
Author: Jenny Capper
I’ve heard it said before that if you are constantly taking personal inventory, you are suffering from guilt. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are suffering from shame. If we view ourselves through the eyeglasses of shame, we’ll come to the belief that we only deserve the leftovers of love from others. We believe that, somehow, we should cast ourselves headlong into loving others in hopes that some of that love bounces back and hits us. If you are ashamed of yourself, you may not love yourself and all that loving energy can only go out from you and into others. The problem is the core belief about one’s self. In pure reality, there is nothing “wrong” with you at all. If we seek pity from others...what we will obtain is just that...pity...and not love. Love is built upon reciprocity and if you are loving others and they’re not giving back...you are not in a loving relationship at all...for whatever reason. From there, you move along to find those who are willing and capable of loving you. Stop wasting your time trying to fill someone else’s vacuum. There are plenty of bottomless pits out there. Know what you have to offer, in the way of love, is just as worthy as anyone else’s.