There’s a fine line between helping others and being a people pleaser, and mistaking one for the other can be hugely detrimental. When we put others’ needs before our own, we deplete our energy, which can lead to depression, physical illness, and overwhelm.
People-pleasing can also become so ingrained that it creates a victim mentality: People who give too much are susceptible to being taken advantage of, and then resentment sets in.
If you’ve felt that resentment, you might think it’s directed at others. Yet underneath, it is resentment toward yourself for giving away your power. If you’re a people pleaser, chances are good that that behavior stems from your own insecurities. We can seek completion and a sense of self-worth in our ability to take care of others.
Becoming aware of this behavior is the first step to healing it. If you think you’re someone who overly people pleases, ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I trying to get by overly giving?
- What would happen if I stopped putting others first?
Answer these questions honestly and fearlessly and see what feelings come up for you. As you review your answers, you’ll come to find that hidden beneath your desire to serve others is a deep desire to feel good enough. Getting truthful with yourself about your need to people please will help you begin the process of changing the behavior.
Next, become conscious of putting yourself first.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, a contemporary wellness pioneer, says, “If you don’t fill up your own cup first, you’ll have nothing to give.”