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How to Avoid Becoming a People-Pleaser After Trauma

The definition of a people-pleaser is simple — someone who wants to please people. For a variety of reasons, traumatic experiences like abuse can cause you to become a people-pleaser in the future. You may be afraid of what kind of harm they will impose on you if you say no. You may feel that your thoughts and opinions don’t matter.

It may just seem easier to do what others want instead of fighting for what you want for yourself. But the truth is that your opinions and wants are just as important as anyone else’s. By learning the signs that you have become a people-pleaser as a result of trauma, you can learn that you have a right to say no.

Do You Hide Yourself?

If you are a people-pleaser, you make sure that everyone is comfortable around you. This could mean dressing the way others want you to dress or making sure your thoughts match theirs. The biggest problem is that you are hiding who you truly are, and no one will ever be able to know the real you. You may complain that no one seems to really understand you — but the irony here is that the only thing stopping anyone from knowing the real you is you.

Do You Have a Hard Time Saying No?

People-pleasers are always quick to say yes before they even think through what the request is. The word “no” does not come naturally to you and may be avoided at all costs. Usually, it’s because you are afraid of the anger or possible abuse that can come from saying no.

In reality, you are just keeping your worries and fears inside of you, and they will keep getting bigger until you learn to say no. It’s important to realize that you do not have to do everything people expect of you, and you should not always assume that harm will come to you from refusing.

Do You Feel Guilty When You Get Angry?

You may blame yourself for every argument you get into, even though it’s not your fault. People-pleasers often feel like they are not allowed to be upset with anyone. For example, if you get into a car accident, you might decide that you’re to blame no matter what — that way you can avoid getting angry at the other driver, even if they hit you and caused the accident.

Do You Compromise Your Values?

People-pleasers seem easy to get along with because they are so agreeable. But being too agreeable may mean having to agree with things that you don’t really believe in, just because you are afraid of the reaction if you don’t.

If these unhealthy patterns sound familiar, a therapist can teach you how to change your thoughts instead of letting trauma continue to take over your life. The real you deserves to be heard!

People-pleasing is a symptom of trauma that not only perpetuates your experience but can even make it worse. At The Guest House, we provide a variety of therapeutic modalities to help you find the source of your trauma and then overcome it through individualized and group therapy, equine therapy, somatic therapy, cinema therapy, art therapy, and more. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more, call us now at (855) 483-7800.