Tag: boundaries

Are you a people pleaser?

A people pleaser is an individual that has developed a learnt behaviour of pleasing others in exchange for love, acceptance or approval. This learnt behaviour stems from childhood experiences, particularly if you didn’t receive the love that you deserved from your parent(s). As a result of this, you develop a strong desire to be loved.

This could leave you feeling empty, unloved, lonely or feeling like you are not good enough. The truth is that you can’t blame your parents for what they did or didn’t do. They may have tried to give you the best they could emotionally or, may have repeated what they knew. Whatever the case may be, the past is the past and there is nothing that you can do to change the past. The most important thing is what you do within the present moment.

People pleasers often have low self-esteem, codependency traits and often feel that they are not good enough. Consequently, they seek approval and acceptance from others. They give so much to others and very little to themselves. When a child’s emotional needs have been disregarded, they subconsciously repeat the cycle of being second best. Since they have not experienced being or made to feel special.

These individuals love others so much but, struggle to understand how to apply the same love that they give to others to themselves. It seems like everyone matters, never themselves. After all, you can’t give what you don’t know, which is self-love, approval and although you think that you are being overly loving or giving to another person, there is always an ulterior motive. You give because you need or want something back in return; “love and acceptance” consequently, a secret exchange takes place within these types of relationships.

A people pleaser struggles to say no to others, as they don’t want to let people down. The strangest thing is that these individuals must surely let themselves down by allowing people to use them.

Consequently, they are often left feeling highly resentful and dissatisfied.

It’s healthy to want to please others however, it can become highly unhealthy if your esteem is dependent on making people happy, including doing things so people like/love you. This behaviour can be highly addictive and difficult to break and you’re often left feeling like you have given so much but get very little back.

How to stop pleasing:

  • Give from your heart. When you do things for others, be sincere and ensure that it’s from the heart and expect nothing back. At least that way, you don’t feel let down when others don’t appreciate your gesture.
  • Learn to say no. If you are asked to do something that you know that could cause difficulties for you and know that you sincerely cannot commit to what is required, it’s best to say no. When you agree to do everything that other people want, then they always expect you to say yes. Then you became a “yes person”. The danger with being labelled is that when others get used to you always saying yes to their demands, they always find ways to manipulate you to have their own way. Remember, you have a choice.
  • Have clear boundaries. Having boundaries, helps people to understand what is acceptable and what isn’t. If you keep bottling up negative behaviour, you may become quite bitter and highly resentful. Which could cause suppressed anger. If you’re not happy about the way others treat you, then speak up.
  • Learn to be assertive. Being assertive helps you to have a “win win” outcome, when you don’t speak up and behave passive aggressively, you become the victim and people may not be able to meet your physical or emotional needs.
  • Begin to meet your emotional needs. If you are overly giving because you want other people to like or love you. It’s important to begin to love yourself. It’s worth asking yourself where that need to be loved stems from.
  • Recognise that you can’t make everyone happy.

No matter what you do to please others. They can never be always happy, and you could end up losing yourself in the process.

Low self esteem and relationships – Part 2

A disabled person often is described as someone who is physically restricted and may have challenges carrying out day to day tasks such as, walking, exercising and not having the ability to do things that most of us may take for granted. However, a person with low esteem could emotionally restrict themselves in many ways within personal/professional relationships, career choices, or not having the courage to pursue desired goals. 

Low self-esteem is often a root cause of unresolved issues from childhood, where one or both parents didn’t love, nurture or speak highly of a child when they were growing up. These unresolved issues could also be a manifestation of childhood issues that a parent may have unconsciously transferred onto their children. Since when babies are born they have no self-identity or awareness of themselves. Consequently, they look up to their parents and mirror what they sense, see or hear. So if their environment is negative, child would often have a negative reflection of themselves. 

Unfortunately, when these emotions are not dealt with, it can have a negative impact on personal relationships. For instance, people with low self-esteem often look outwardly for love, approval, happiness and acceptance rather than within themselves. This process can be deflating as you are allowing another person to dictate your whole existence, including your happiness, emotional well-being and the choices that you make.     

People with low self-esteem, have a very strong desire to be loved, and can often demonstrate this by working too hard for love and giving too much of themselves to others. Although low esteem is a learnt behaviour from childhood or past experiences, I can reassure you that you can overcome it with the right support, patience and a positive mindset. 

Here are some useful tips: 

Avoid giving the best of yourself to others but not yourself. 

It is good to be giving and supportive but it can be unbalanced if you’re giving the best of yourself to everyone one else, but not yourself. When you put others before yourself too often, you’re unconsciously sending a message that you don’t deserve the best and you are content with being secondary. If you want the very best from your relationships, you must learn to give yourself that too. If you are struggling with this approach then imagine investing the same time and energy that you give to others. 

Never settle for less in a relationship. 

If you settle for less within a relationship, then you cannot get upset when you get less. People treat you based on how you treat yourself. If you have a desire to be in a relationship, take your time and get to know if  the other person is right for you, instead of dating men/women that are married or emotionally unavailable to you. 

Find out what you want from a relationship before pursuing one. 

When you have a low self concept, you can get so consumed with not wanting to be on your own and overlook the characteristic of your new mate by unconsciously trying to seek approval or being overly focused on the relationship. Hence not taking time to evaluate if the person is able and will to meet your emotional needs. Consequently, you could discover the true characteristics of your mate later on, which you may not have been aware of initially. 

Never make your spouse more important than yourself. 

Two people are equal within a relationship. When you are always focused mainly on your mate, by doing too much to make him/her happy, including spending all your time thinking or talking about him/her even when you’re away from them is not good. Consequently, you’re making your partner too important and unconsciously distracting yourself from your our personal growth. When you make your partner more important than yourself, you are making them the main focus within the relationship and this will be the dynamic of relationship.

Set clear boundaries and maintain them.

Having boundaries within a relationship, helps a person to understand what is expectable and what isn’t. Always speak up if someone crosses the boundaries, if you don’t it will only get worse. 

Have time for your friends and family and avoid neglecting them because you are in a relationship.