People pleasing can lead to increased risk for all the major diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and all manner of maladies related to chronic inflammation. It also leads to depression, anxiety and a host of psychological issues.
Here’s how: Chronic people pleasing equals chronic stress. As you know, when you live in chronic stress, you put your physiology at risk.
I give myself permission to speak boldly here because I know this applies to me as much as anyone.
Here are seven examples:
1. When you are on autopilot as a people pleaser, interestingly, the people you are pleasing end up taking you for granted. Ultimately, they will take advantage of you by not reciprocating, leaving you with a feeling of chronic resentment.
2. Anxiety. People pleasing goes hand in hand with social anxiety. You please to get approval, which you rarely experience no matter how much you please. Why? Because others do not possess the power to give you the deep approval you seek, ultimately.
3. Going along with the crowd. Anytime you go along with the crowd, you give yourself up to crowd mentality, which is often unhealthy. Overeating and drinking all kinds of unhealthy social behavior are the result.
4. Meets never met. As a people pleaser, you are very likely to neglect your own needs. Taking time for yourself, relaxing, learning and growing as an individual takes a back seat to the demands of others.
5. Lack of support. We all need support from others. People pleasers, sadly, tend to get less support because they do not ask for it or demand it, simply.
6. Loneliness. Connection is a basic human need that when neglected causes stress. People pleasers are often lonely and feel empty inside because nobody sees who they are or what they need.
7. Self-loathing. So many people pleasers hate themselves because they do not speak up or stand up for themselves. In a state of self-loathing, it is so hard to take care of yourself and your health.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Serving others is noble. Chronic people pleasing at the expense of your own needs is self-sabotage.
The real mind blower is that people pleasers often have an unconscious program that is bent toward being controlled by others. They experience the issue passively, as if they had no power to reverse it.
People pleasers put others in charge of them by virtue of their subservient actions and go-along attitude. This is called a control attachment – a pervasive tendency to seek to be controlled by others.
You can reverse your tendency toward people pleasing by learning about the deeper tendencies involved and unraveling them. When you see the issue clearly, you can begin go make other choices that balance your needs with the needs of others.
Please watch the free AHA Solution video that discusses self-sabotage and psychological attachments. It’s a place to begin your journey toward greater independence.
If not now, when?
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Last reviewed: 30 Jul 2013