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June 10, 2020

How to avoid becoming a people-pleaser

There is a fine line between caring and pleasing people. Depending on our culture, people and the environment we were raised in, we can unconsciously become people-pleaser and think we are caring for people. We assume our loved ones or others need us even if they have not made such suggestions. When we organise events, we often stress ourselves ensuring guests are happy. We do our best to be nice, agreeable and put our needs and desires last. Our primary focus becomes others with the thought of what would make other people happy or comfortable, when we ourselves could be anything but comfortable or content.

People-pleasing does not help anyone. At times it can even result in attracting someone or people who are selfish and unforgiving, who instead of appreciating that you’ve put their needs first, still treat you unfairly. If you are coming across people like this, they are just projecting an unconscious part of you, which Carl Jung calls our shadow parts. It is through making this conscious that we can free our mind from it.

Why do we fall into the habit of people pleasing?

Like many other traits, people-pleasing could be cultural influence, in the sense that acts of selflessness is praised. We may have also picked it from our parents. We therefore grow up with the misinterpretation that by meeting others’ needs and ensuring they are happy is a priority regardless of how we are feeling ourselves and as Carl Jung says ‘until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our lives’.

Here are some ways we can avoid being a people-pleaser:

– Self – awareness

  • Observe when you are moving from caring to pleasing people.
  • Do Shadow work

. Value yourself more

– Know what you want

– Learn the art of saying ‘no’

– Communicate how you feel and set boundaries

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