“People pleasers” are often wonderfully kind, empathic and attuned human beings. However, when we overuse these skills, we can often feel lost, stretched thin, and anxious.

Some key characteristics of “people pleasing” include:

-Apologizing frequently or for things you are not responsible for
-Being preoccupied with what other people think of you
-Becoming unhappy when your partner/child/co-worker etc isn’t happy
-Feeling worried or fretful so often, it seems normal
-Often not knowing what you want
-Constantly second-guessing yourself*

(*”Anxious to Please”, by Rapson & English)

When we engage in “people pleasing” we merge with the needs/wishes/desires of others at the cost of our own well being, in order to feel safer. These skills helped us survive in our most important relationships, and are often rooted in our cultural conditioning as women, as well as our attachment history. Below is a specially selected list of resources to help you untangle the feelings associated with “people pleasing” and begin to develop a sense of confidence and security when relating to others.

  • Articles: Understand the nervous system roots of people pleasing patterns.

People pleasing can be a result of trauma-Here’s how to recognize it

Fawning: the fourth trauma response

  • Book: “Anxious to Please” by Rapson & English

Chronic Niceness affects multitudes, causing severe anxiety and depression, crippling self-esteem, and undermining and destroying relationships

Anxious to Please reveals the primary psychological cause of Chronic Niceness–Anxious Attachment. Anxious Attachment drives the Nice Person to accommodate, acquiesce and avoid conflict. Nice People take what they’re given rather than asking for what they want, often sacrificing relationship, careers and their own integrity.

Anxious to Please presents seven powerful practices designed to bring about: resilient self-esteem; a happier and calmer emotional life; a reality-based optimism for the future; fulfilling sex; and satisfying relationships.

  • Podcast:

Therapist Uncensored:

people pleasing and the fawn response

  • Simple steps  to begin to heal this pattern

People pleaser

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