As people pleasers, our appearance to the outside world, or to those who know us will be seen as considerate and courteous.
We act like a team player, someone who is supportive and helpful in times of need. We’re usually happy to go along with other people’s request, partly because we care and partly because we don’t want to let anyone down.
Outwardly, I believe we are all these things, but inwardly our lives tell a different story. People pleasers tend to have little self-confidence with no personal identity. We let go of our identity when we start to please others. We may feel inferior and consequently may choose to avoid opportunities to socialise.
As a pleasing child and as I continued to people please, I began to feel bad when I turned anyone down. It’s a habit that if not addressed can spiral into a lifetime of regrets, never having thought about or achieving anything for ourselves.
Now as an adult, I continue to please other people, but I never lose sight or do it at the cost of my own needs or life. As the child, I gave up everything because I pleased others and in the process gave up on myself, so consequently never really knew what it meant or what it was like being me.
I’ve learned through painful experiences how people pleasing goes. I have learned, albeit to my cost, now when it’s time to please myself and when it’s time to please others.