What is people pleasing?

Intolerance and outrage are rife in the times we live in. We see, day in day out how weirdly people express their opinions and pent – up frustrations and how much it ends up distressing others.

In the midst of all this chaos and hurt emotions, sometimes people decide that it might be better not to actually express their emotions or opinion and just let people around them be. While there might be a variety of reasons for this, there is a name that has been given to this behavior: People Pleasing.

Main problems of people pleasing

At the offset and in the beginning, it may sound appealing. You give others what they want, you don’t say no to others, you tell people exactly what they want to hear and everything is hunky dory. But, the stark truth is that it is a disturbing issue that people suffer with.

This tactic is not a wise one in the long run. Sometimes, just sometimes, taking the high road and not saying anything is a wise choice. But, suppressing your emotions and opinions is not a viable option for the long run. Not only does this harbour resentment, it also can be seen as lying: especially in close relationships and friendships wherein you are expected to be brutally honest about your wants and needs, essentially to make the relationship work.

In such a scenario, the people pleaser might not be totally honest about what is troubling them and they might try to find an easy way out by not giving an honest feedback. This will most definitely cause problems.

Causes

This kind of behaviour stems from a lot of things. Primarily though, it might come from growing up with a strict parent around whom one had to walk on eggshells. Or for some it might be the case that they will go to any extent to avoid ill feelings in others or to escape from confrontations. It might be a manifestation of an escapism mentality.

We could also be doing it because we do not want to burden others with our problems. We know for a fact that people have a lot of problems of their to deal with, so it is better to keep our opinions and feelings to ourselves rather than be a liability to someone. Such a behavior might also be linked to low self – worth.

How to correct such behavior?

I would like to reiterate that in some situations, this behaviour maybe considered ideal. It saves us a lot of time from confrontations, disputes and explanations but in the long run, our suppressed emotions will eat us up and we might end up harbouring resentments which cause grievous harm to us and our relationships.

A wholesome and a healthy way to correct this behavior is to firstly, recognize its presence. To confront a problem, the first step is awareness: this can be brought upon by self – realization and introspection or by taking the help of family and friends. Next, we need to make a conscious choice to out forth our opinions where it matters the most: in our personal relationships.

End Note

People Pleasing, while beneficial in the short term can prove to be very harmful for us. Let us understand why it happens and try to correct it.

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