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people pleasing

People-pleasing is one of the ways that we put on a front of happiness and balance. If you find yourself saying yes to every request or favor, agreeing with the ideas of others even if you truly don’t, or spreading yourself too thin in helping the people around you, you may be guilty of people-pleasing.

In the recovery process, this can be confused with faking it until you make it. It becomes dangerous when you aren’t honoring your own healing process due to the time and energy you are putting into others.

There is a large difference between being a good friend, and people-pleasing. Taking a further look into why these behaviors form and how they are enabled may help you to break the pattern and practice more self-love, giving more attention to your own recovery or healing. 

Fear of Rejection and Abandonment

The fear of being rejected or abandoned are strong components of people-pleasing. The underlying idea is that you might just want everyone to like you and not leave you.

Putting others’ needs before your own can be very noble and selfless. Problems arise when we aren’t taking the time to tend to our own needs as well.

If we are constantly sacrificing our own wishes and changing our ideals to match others, just make them happy, there are consequences we may face. Resentments build, as we begin to harbor grudges against those who aren’t returning our efforts and accommodations.

We may find ourselves getting angry at our friends or loved ones, but unable to express it in a healthy way as it feeds into our fears of rejection or abandonment. Frustration appears when we don’t leave sufficient time to help ourselves, or if we are pretending to agree with someone even if we do not.

You may feel as though others are taking advantage of you. It takes a toll on your mental and emotional health. Healing happens when we are able to have the time, support, and space we need. In these situations, you must prioritize yourself. The truth is, you will not be able to help others if you cannot take care of yourself first!


Fear of Failure

Another aspect of people-pleasing is found in the fear of failure. If you find yourself agreeing to tasks that you aren’t sure you are capable of completing, and this is happening consistently, it can cause a lot of stress.

Saying yes to requests even if you don’t have the time, energy, or ability to do them can be unfair to others. Perhaps you are simply trying to prove that you can accomplish anything.

The issue lies in the effect it has on your own well-being. Stress is a proven factor in poor health, and if you feel you are unable to accomplish these tasks, depression and anger are secondary results.

Constantly pushing yourself to perform well to please or win the approval of others can take the enjoyment out of activities. The focus is no longer on the actual task and doing it well. More often, we are working with incessant anxiety to get everything right on the first try.

Instead of feeling proud of our accomplishments, we find that they cause more anguish than pride. It’s okay to say no or ask for help if you feel like you can’t take on a request. This doesn’t make you a bad friend, employee, or family member. Instead, when you are able to do someone a favor or take on a challenge, you will feel a truer sense of accomplishment and enjoyment in taking on the task. 


The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Clinical expertise, a compassionate team, and outstanding attention to detail ensures each guest’s experience will be customized to their needs. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 855-483-7800