Counselling for People Pleasing

The Need to Please

People-pleasing is not just being a good person, it’s not about just being kind. People-pleasing is sacrificing you and your happiness in order to please others. It is prioritising everyone else’s needs and ignoring your own.

Often, I see clients that say that if they can make sure others are happy, they will be happy too. Yet this never works for 2 reasons – you can’t control others or their lives; even if others are happy this isn’t enough to create your happiness.

What Are the Signs of People-pleasing?

Those who tend to excessively people-please often feel an exaggerated perception of their responsibility for others happiness. This typically shows up as saying yes, volunteering unnecessarily, bowing to other’s desires and wishes, spending money/purchasing gifts disproportionately and trying to fix other’s problems for them amongst other examples.

Not doing these things will often result in feelings of guilt; thoughts of being a bad, selfish, or inconsiderate person; and unnecessary apologising or taking steps to ‘make it up’.

It’s also common for people pleasers to down-play what they have done “oh it’s nothing really”, or to hide the impact pleasing them has e.g., had to cancel your own plans.

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The Nature of People-Pleasing

Having relationships with others will involve considering other people’s wants, needs and feelings. However, your wants, needs and feelings are just as important, and ignoring those in order to please others can have a huge impact on your emotional wellbeing and happiness.

Over time, doing everything for everyone else, particularly if there’s little appreciation, can easily lead to resentment. It’s common to start getting annoyed at yourself for saying yes for something you know you don’t want to do.

Overcoming Fears

The fear of saying “no” to somebody can be a trigger for people-pleasers, overcoming that fear may take time, and it’s a process that may need professional support. Overcoming people-pleasing isn’t just about learning to say no, it’s also learning how to face your fear of speaking up for yourself, of distancing yourself from those who are toxic for you, of doing what you want and much more.

Seeking Professional Help

If people-pleasing has been impacting your quality of life, this is an area that we can work through. I can help you understand and examine why you feel an excessive need to make others happy, recognise the ways that you think and act that are not in your own best interests and give you practical ways to move your life in the direction that makes you happy.
So often clients tell me that they don’t even know what makes them happy, they are so used to doing what others want. Discovering this is another important aspect of the work in therapy.

At Hannah Paskin Therapy, I can help you set boundaries and allow you to become more attuned to your own needs. With therapy sessions, you will be able to take care of the things in your life that really matter, recognise which relationships to focus your energy on, and learn how to balance your own needs with that of others in a healthy way.

Are you ready to move forward?

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