From childhood, we are taught to go out of our way to please others and are rewarded for doing so. And while attempting to help others is honorable and generous, it should not come at the cost of our physical or mental health.
People pleasing is characterized by difficulty saying no and always doing for others while neglecting the self. This can lead to feelings of anger against those helped, decline of health due to lack of self-care, and lessened enjoyment out of activities done for others.
The biggest trouble with people pleasing is that it is an attempt to receive validation from outside sources rather than from within. When we cannot validate ourselves and rely on others to do so for us, we suffer from anxiety and lowered self-esteem. We fail to pay attention to ourselves and our own happiness and fail to pursue what we want out of life because we are so busy taking care of the needs of others.
It is imperative that we stop always taking care of others and neglecting ourselves. In taking care of ourselves, we deliver better quality work, are happier, and take better care of others.
There is no need to find validation from the outside. The outside cannot change who we are; the approval of others cannot increase our self-worth. We are all self-deserving, remarkable individuals; neglecting ourselves in order to hear it from others changes nothing. We have such a variety of unique qualities to offer that it is no terrible thing to stop and take time to take care of ourselves in order to better bring them into the world.
Because it starts in early childhood, it is only with much hard work that people pleasing can be overcome. A person must come to the understanding that they are self-deserving and worthy even without the approval of others.
If you feel that you succumb to people pleasing behavior, examine what triggers it: is it born out of a fear of losing someone, or because you genuinely care and want to help? If we commit to being our true selves by not doing things out of anxiety or a desire for approval, we will find happiness from within rather than without. And that is a lasting happiness that cannot be taken away.