Reflecting on the Habit of People Pleasing

So, I decided to make this post due to a habit I have that I want to address. I seek to please others; often disregarding my own health.

I anxiously avoid disappointing anyone, constantly.

I feel extreme shame and guilt for being absent from an event I’ve been invited to. I hate to say no. I like helping and supporting people (I always will) but I can’t do everything. I really should be admitting to that instead of guilt tripping myself for not being there for everyone.

Shame is a very strong feeling and I feel it way too much.

I feel it most when:

  • I let someone down because I don’t attend something they think I should go to.
  • Someone is disappointed in me because I don’t do what they want me to do.

That’s when it comes shooting in, right through my body and soul.
I start thinking: “I should feel horrible because I let down their expectations”.

Truly though, just because someone has expectations for me doesn’t mean I should reach them. I’m not condemning people who do this. I want to say: it hurts us both. Let go. My life is not your life. I understand the empathy and I thank you for that but don’t make me feel bad for ignoring what you want me to do.

There’s a line that people cross alot: the line of Care vs Manipulation.

Caring is a great thing but when you cross that line and it morphs into manipulation? Stop. They can make mistakes and you can watch. That’s healthy. Judging everything someone does and meanly inserting your own strategy into the situation? That’s abuse. You may know the best course of action if it was you, but you aren’t living their life; how can you sit there and act like you know what living their life is like?

What is freedom if we cannot make our own choices without feeling awful about it? Constantly afraid of the expectations of others? We tend to judge people all the time and I’m not saying that you’ve to be perfect or never judge again. I’m saying: Don’t let it cross that line.

Thank you for reading! Have a nice afternoon!



Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash