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When People pleasing tendencies causes Intense self-loathing

What's it like to always feel like you're walking on eggshells, never knowing what others will think of you?

People pleasing is when we try to be someone else just to get approval from others.

We might pretend to be more outgoing, funny, or perfect just to fit in. But the truth is, deep down inside, we're still struggling with self-doubt and low self-esteem.

In these situations, it's like having a constant inner battle between who you want to be and who you think others want you to be. You might feel like you're living a lie, hiding your true thoughts and feelings from the world.

And when no one is looking, the guilt and shame can overwhelm us, leading to intense self-loathing. But here's the thing: seeking external validation will never fill the void inside of us.

In fact, it can make things worse by creating an endless cycle of people pleasing that leaves us feeling exhausted, anxious, and unfulfilled.

Understanding the Psychology Behind People Pleasing

Fear of Disappointment Drives People Pleasing

You've noticed that people often go out of their way to please others, and you wonder what drives them to do so. It's fear.

Plain and simple.

The thought of disappointing someone else is unbearable for many people. Imagine a friend inviting you over for dinner, and instead of cooking something special like they usually do, you end up getting leftovers from the fridge because "it didn't matter" what anyone eats or thinks.

For those who please easily, this kind of scenario sparks anxiety. The idea that their friend might be slightly displeased with the meal is too much to bear.

As such, people pleasing start preparing for any social interaction by planning every detail to ensure others are happy and impressed. This fear of disappointment keeps them on high alert, constantly anticipating potential disapproval and adjusting their actions accordingly.

This behavior also stems from a deep-seated desire for validation and acceptance. People who please easily crave constant reassurance that they're doing the right thing, making the correct choices, or being good enough friends/family members/lovers.

For instance, someone with this tendency might go to great lengths to make sure their partner feels special on their birthday because they're terrified of not meeting expectations. They'll overthink every little detail in an attempt to guarantee a perfect celebration and avoid the risk of feeling like they've failed or fallen short.

In both cases, people pleasing is rooted in a deep-seated fear that drives them to put others' needs before their own and strive for constant approval. This isn't necessarily about being genuinely happy with others; it's often driven by an overwhelming need to feel valued and validated.

Internalized Need for Approval and Validation

You know how it feels when you're trying to please others, constantly seeking approval and validation from the people around you. The need for approval is rooted in your deep desire to belong and be accepted by those close to you.

For instance, as a child, did someone tell you that they loved your drawings or praised every small step towards independence? You started associating good feelings with attention and recognition. And now as an adult, this need for approval is still there, only it's more subtle and often unconscious.

This constant seeking of approval can lead to a vicious cycle where you start pleasing others at the expense of your own needs and desires. For instance, if your partner always gives in when they win an argument but never compromises when they lose.

They may be doing so not because they actually want to listen or understand each other better but simply because it's easier than dealing with conflict. But the truth is that this kind of pleasing can lead nowhere and make relationships toxic and one-sided.

Remember, your worth as a person isn't defined by others' opinions. You are more than just a please-able entity.

Childhood Conditioning Shapes Adult Behavior

You've always found yourself going out of your way to make others happy, and you can't help but wonder: is this just because it's good manners or is there something deeper going on?. As a child, we're taught that being kind and helping others is the right thing to do.

We learn from our parents, teachers, and other role models that pleasing others will bring us love and acceptance. When you were little, your caregivers probably did everything for you - fed you when hungry, bathed you when dirty, put a roof over your head.

You didn't have to lift a finger. And as time went by, this dynamic created an expectation in your young brain: that others should take care of me.

But it's not just about the good vibes; it's also about avoiding punishment and rejection. When we please others, we think they'll like us more and won't get angry or disappointed with us.

Remember how your parents would scold you when you didn't do what they asked? You learned that following instructions quickly avoided the tantrum.

And as an adult, this fear of rejection still lurks beneath the surface - it's just more subtle now. So, by conditioning and a deep-seated need for approval, we develop habits that prioritize pleasing others over our own needs and desires.

But here's the thing: constantly putting others first can lead to exhaustion and resentment.

The Consequences of People Pleasing on Mental Health

Lack of Identity Causes Self-Doubt.

Pleasing others is a subtle yet insidious habit that can creep up on you, making it difficult to establish and maintain your identity. The consequences of people pleasing are far-reaching and detrimental to mental health.

It's often fueled by the need for validation and acceptance from others, which can lead to feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem, and lack of direction. You may find yourself constantly seeking external approval, leading you to prioritize others' opinions over your own desires and needs.

Your sense of purpose might get lost in the process as well.

Overwhelming Guilt from Constant Sacrifice.

You know that feeling all too well: the weight of guilt that comes with constantly sacrificing for others, only to have it leave you exhausted and overwhelmed. The overwhelming guilt from constant sacrifice can be a heavy burden on your mental health.

It's like carrying around a suitcase full of emotional baggage. You're always worried about what others will think if they find out the truth: that you need more than just scraps to sustain yourself.

You try to fill the void with temporary highs, but deep down, you know it won't last.

The guilt starts creeping in when others take advantage of your selflessness and don't appreciate all that you do for them. It's not like anyone forced you into this role; it just happened gradually over time.

You started making small sacrifices, thinking they'd make no difference, but soon found yourself trapped in a cycle of constant pleasing and sacrificing.

Before you knew it, your needs were put on the backburner while everyone else's took center stage. And when the guilt becomes too much to bear alone, that's when it can start affecting your relationships and overall well-being.

Paralyzing Fear of Disapproval Creates Anxiety.

Pleasing others can be a subtle but destructive habit that silently wreaks havoc on your mental health.

At its core, pleasing is rooted in an intense fear of disapproval. The thought of disappointing or upsetting another person creates overwhelming anxiety.

You might find yourself constantly seeking validation from others, trying to be the "good" version of you that everyone likes. Your every move becomes dictated by what others will think, leaving no room for your own desires and needs.

In this constant quest for approval, you start to suffocate under the weight of expectations. But here's the thing: when people-pleasing dominates your life, it can lead to an erosion of self-awareness.

Your sense of identity becomes lost in a sea of conditional love.

You may struggle to set boundaries or say "no" even if it means sacrificing your own happiness. The fear of disapproval makes you feel like you're walking on eggshells, constantly worried about making the wrong move.

This toxic cycle can drain your energy and leave you feeling exhausted, anxious, and unfulfilled. The worst part is that people-pleasing often creates a sense of isolation.

You might find yourself hiding behind a mask of perfection to avoid rejection or judgment. In this state, genuine connections become distant memories.

Your relationships suffer as you prioritize pleasing others over building authentic bonds. You start to feel like an imposter, living someone else's version of reality instead of forging your own path.

The consequences are far-reaching: anxiety, depression, and a deep sense of disconnection from yourself.

It's time to break free from the chains of people-pleasing and forge a life that truly reflects who you are.

The Cycle of Self-Loathing and People Pleasing

People pleasing leads to self-loathing habits.

The primary issue is that people pleasing can create a sense of emptiness within oneself, as one's own needs and desires are constantly being suppressed in favor of others'. This can result in feelings of resentment, anger, and frustration towards those who you feel have taken advantage of your willingness to please them.

For instance, if you're always putting others' needs before yours without receiving anything tangible in return, it's likely that the relationship is one-sided.

You may be left feeling drained and unappreciated, with no sense of fulfillment or satisfaction from engaging in these interactions. To break free from this cycle, it's essential to focus on building self-love and self-acceptance.

This begins by acknowledging your own worthiness, regardless of what others think or do.

Start small by practicing affirmations in front of the mirror, stating positive phrases about yourself, such as "I am worthy," "I am deserving," or "I love myself." Gradually work up to setting healthy boundaries with others and prioritize your own needs and desires. By letting go of people pleasing habits and focusing on building self-love, you'll be better equipped to recognize and appreciate your own worthiness.

This newfound sense of confidence will enable you to form more balanced relationships where mutual respect and understanding prevail.

Constantly seeking validation creates a vicious cycle.

Constantly seeking validation creates a vicious cycle, and it's something you know all too well. : The root cause is often deeply rooted in childhood experiences.

You may have learned to prioritize others' opinions over your own feelings to gain love and acceptance. As a result, you've grown up trying to be the perfect child, friend, partner – always putting others first while sacrificing your own emotional well-being.

: People pleasing becomes an addiction because it provides temporary relief from feelings of low self-worth. You feel valued and heard when people respond positively to your actions.

But this fleeting sense of validation is never enough, leaving you in a perpetual quest for the next fix – which only perpetuates the cycle. : Insecurity and fear of rejection can also fuel constant seeking of validation.

You may worry that if others don't appreciate you, they'll abandon or reject you. Your mind is constantly racing with worst-case scenarios, making it difficult to trust yourself – let alone allow genuine connection with others.

In this vicious cycle, self-loathing creeps in as a way of coping. You may criticize and judge yourself harshly for seeking validation from external sources instead of embracing your own worth.

But here's the thing: until you acknowledge your inherent value – flaws and all – you'll never break free from this toxic cycle. It starts with small steps towards self-compassion, acknowledging that it's okay not to be perfect.

You don't have to prove yourself constantly; instead, focus on being authentic in every moment.

Fear of rejection fuels the need for approval.

Fear drives so many people to seek approval from others, and at the heart of this fear lies a deep-seated anxiety about rejection. This desperate need for validation stems from feeling unloved or unworthy as children.

When our emotional needs weren't met in childhood, we developed an unconscious pattern of seeking external approval to fill that void within us.

As adults, this pattern can manifest in people-pleasing behaviors - constantly trying to read others' moods and adjust their own actions accordingly.

We may give up our interests, hobbies, or even personal space just to avoid conflict or disappointment from others. And when someone rejects our efforts at approval-seeking, it only reinforces the cycle of self-loathing.

Why? Because we're forced to confront the emptiness within ourselves that we've been trying so hard to fill with external validation.

Meanwhile, this fear of rejection keeps us stuck in a never-ending quest for outside validation - a constant tug-of-war between seeking love and avoiding criticism. The more we try to control others' opinions, the more we lose touch with our own needs and desires.

For instance, when someone close to us rejects or criticizes our choices, it's like experiencing a tiny earthquake within - a sudden jolt of uncertainty that sends our self-esteem into free fall.

And in an attempt to calm those feelings, we may once again turn to external sources for comfort. But what if I told you there was another way? What if instead of seeking validation from others, we started embracing and honoring our own unique experiences and emotions?.

By acknowledging our imperfections and the things that make us human - by accepting ourselves just as we are - perhaps we can begin to break free from this endless cycle. Just imagine what doors would open when you stopped seeking approval elsewhere, but instead turned inward for validation.

Alternative Strategies for Breaking Free from Toxic Behaviors

Practice non conforming behavior with confidence

You know that toxic behaviors are everywhere, and sometimes they seem to be a part of our daily lives without even realizing it.

The key is not just recognizing them but also taking action against these destructive patterns. You need confidence in your actions to break free from this toxicity.

To do so, you have to understand the power dynamics at play in toxic relationships and environments.

Let's take a look at what happens when someone constantly criticizes or belittles you.

Criticism can be extremely damaging as it creates feelings of guilt, shame, and helplessness within you. It makes it hard for you to believe that your actions are enough or worthy of recognition.

They often make unfair comparisons between themselves and others: A toxic person might constantly compare their accomplishments with those of someone else. This comparison creates unhealthy competition inside you as well, where nothing seems good enough.

The key is to develop an awareness about how these dynamics function within your personal relationships. You have the power to choose who and what affects you in life.

So remember this: toxic behaviors are like a virus - they spread by infecting those around them, causing harm, and weakening their mental health. You need immunity from negativity to be strong enough against these viruses.

Develop your own language within yourself that will help you protect yourself from the harmful effects of criticism and control. Learn how to communicate assertively without hurting others' feelings.

This can only happen if you understand what it means to respect people's boundaries, including your own.

Boundary Setting and Assertiveness Training

Say No Without Regret, Set Boundaries with Confidence.

When setting boundaries, assertiveness is key.

Saying no without regret requires confidence in your decisions and willingness to communicate them clearly.

To begin, prioritize your needs and desires over others' expectations. You must understand what you want and need from a situation before expressing it to others.

For instance, think about times when someone asks for something that doesn't align with your priorities.

Take note of how you react - are you hesitant or unclear in your response? Practice asserting yourself by responding promptly and directly: "I understand what you're asking, but I'm not comfortable agreeing to that.". The next step is to be prepared for different reactions from others.

Some might become upset or resistant; others may respect your decision. Prepare yourself by acknowledging the possibility of varied responses beforehand.

Think about how you can maintain a calm tone and assertive language in these situations: "I understand that this might not be what you had hoped for, but it's essential to me.". By prioritizing your needs, being prepared for varying reactions, and maintaining assertiveness, saying no without regret becomes second nature.

You'll learn to trust yourself and communicate your boundaries effectively, ultimately improving relationships built on mutual respect and understanding.

Master the Art of Frustrated Non-Compliance.

The art of frustrated non-compliance - a vital skill in today's world. You're probably wondering what I mean by this phrase, but before we dive into the solution, let me paint you a picture.

Imagine someone constantly pushing your boundaries, trying to get under your skin with their demands and expectations. Maybe it's your family member who always knows better or that colleague at work who loves to micromanage.

Whoever they are, dealing with frustrated non-compliance can be draining and exhausting. So, what is the problem here? Well, when you're constantly being pushed around by others' opinions, it erodes your sense of self-worth and confidence.

You start doubting yourself and wondering if anyone really listens to or respects your thoughts. Here's an example that might resonate with you - have you ever been in a situation where someone asked for your opinion, only to dismiss or ignore it completely? It can feel like they're not even pretending to value your input.

And the worst part is, this kind of disrespect can happen at home, school, work.

anywhere!. So how do we tackle frustrated non-compliance and regain our sense of self-worth?.

Here's an example of how this could look like in action: When someone asks you something, take a deep breath, gather your thoughts.

and then say, "You know what? That doesn't sound feasible for me right now. Can we discuss alternatives?" By doing so, you're setting boundaries without being confrontational or aggressive.

As you master the art of frustrated non-compliance by asserting yourself with confidence and kindness, people will start to take your opinions seriously.

You'll find that others are more likely to listen, respect your time and energy.

and value your unique perspective.

So remember - it's okay to set boundaries without apology. Your thoughts matter; don't be afraid to share them with the world!.

Develop a "No" Response to Guard Your Energy.

Setting boundaries is a crucial part of taking care of yourself, especially when dealing with toxic family members.

The first step in setting healthy limits is developing a strong "no" response to guard your energy.

This means learning how you feel about saying no to others - and then doing it anyway. When someone asks for something from you, they often don't care what the answer is as long as they get an answer quickly.

So when someone says "no" to a request, most people just want that person off their back. They may not even think about how saying no affects them.

You know who does need to hear your voice clearly and respectfully? Other family members - especially the toxic ones.

When you learn how to say no without feeling guilty or anxious, you take a huge step in regaining control over your life. To develop a strong "no" response, it helps if people know exactly what they're saying no to.

For instance: What is the request? Why are you refusing this particular ask?. You need to be clear about why you're turning down that invitation or not helping out with that specific task.

This clarity will make your boundaries stronger and less likely for others to cross them.

Remember, when someone gets used to hearing a strong "no" response from you, they begin to understand no is indeed the answer. The more people get comfortable with saying no without feeling guilty or anxious, the more likely they are able to make healthy choices about how much energy they have.

Cultivating Inner Strength and Authenticity

Embracing Authenticity Over Approval.

It's crucial to understand that embracing authenticity over approval is a journey, and it starts with self-awareness.

Firstly, you often seek external validation because you've lost touch with your inner voice. Your true thoughts and feelings have been muted by the constant need for others' approval.

This can stem from past experiences where your emotions were dismissed or suppressed. Think back to when someone praised something about you but not necessarily meant it, like a parent who always had an ulterior motive behind their words of encouragement.

Or maybe there was a time when you felt belittled by another person's criticism. These moments can shape your inner dialogue and make you doubt yourself.

Secondly, people-pleasing is often rooted in fear – the fear of being rejected or not good enough. By constantly trying to be liked, you're opening doors for others' opinions to dictate how you feel about yourself.

Remember when that one person's opinion made all the difference in your self-perception? Their words could make or break your day, week, or even month.

It's like having a constant voice of judgment whispering in your ear.

And yet, these voices are often not genuine; they're based on someone else's insecurities and biases. It becomes essential to confront these fears by recognizing the patterns that lead you astray from authenticity.

You must learn to acknowledge those moments when you let others define how wonderful or worthless you feel about yourself. When you break free from this cycle, it allows for a deeper connection with your true self – one that doesn't need external validation to be worthy.

Building Confidence Through Small Wins.

You've probably heard the saying "fake it till you make it," but when it comes to building confidence, that's not exactly what we're talking about. Instead, let's focus on how small wins can help you develop inner strength and authenticity.

The truth is, building confidence isn't just about pretending to be strong or capable; it's about developing a sense of self-trust over time through small victories. Here are some signs that you're already making progress:.

You start taking on new challenges: One of the most powerful ways to build inner strength is by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.

When you take on new challenges, it sends a message to your brain that says, "Hey, I can handle more than I thought!" This builds confidence in areas beyond just this one challenge. You start saying no: Saying yes to everyone and everything might make people like you more at first, but ultimately it'll leave you drained and resentful.

When you learn to say "no" when necessary, it's a sign that your self-respect is growing. You take care of yourself physically: Exercise releases endorphins, which can give us an energy boost and even help with stress management.

Taking care of our physical health also sends signals to our brain that we're worth taking care of. Remember, building confidence isn't a destination; it's a journey.

Focus on making progress one small win at a time, rather than trying to pretend you've already got it together.

Challenging the Need for External Validation and Approval

Breaking Free from Approval Addiction

You can't seem to shake off the feeling that you need external validation and approval all the time, no matter how hard you try. It's not uncommon for people to crave attention from others due to low self-esteem.

When your sense of identity is closely tied to what others think of you, it's natural that you'll constantly seek their approval. Think back to a time when someone praised or complimented you.

Did the feeling inside make you feel like a million bucks? Or did it make you realize how much better off they are compared to your own accomplishments? That slight rush of adrenaline we get from external validation can be addictive.

The pressure to perform and impress others stems from societal expectations that emphasize competition over collaboration. The more attention-grabbing your achievements, the more likely people will talk about you.

Remember when a friend's kid gets into college or lands their dream job? Everyone talks about it on social media, right? That constant validation and recognition can be intoxicating.

You're not alone in this struggle. The first step is acknowledging the need for external approval.

Once you accept that it's okay to feel this way, you'll start making progress toward breaking free from its grasp. It starts with self-reflection – understanding your motivations behind seeking validation and what makes you tick.

You might find comfort knowing that everyone struggles with these feelings at some point or another. Remember the times when nobody praised you or even acknowledged your efforts? Those were also moments where you found worth in yourself, despite external influences telling a different story.

It's time to focus on internal motivation rather than relying solely on what others think. You're strong enough to take control and create meaning for yourself, not just because of someone else's validation.

Ditching the Need for External Validation

External validation and approval often stem from an unhealthy dependence on others for self-worth.

When you constantly seek external validation, you're telling the world that your worth is not defined by who you are as a person.

It's like saying to yourself: "My value comes from what people think of me." This leads to constant seeking of reassurance and approval because there's always something missing.

For instance, if someone praises your work or achievement, it can give you an instant boost but also creates a dependency. If no one acknowledges it, then the feeling of inadequacy returns.

Your self-worth becomes tied to what others think and not who you truly are as a person.

True validation comes from within yourself. When your sense of self is strong, external validation means little because you know your worth isn't defined by someone else's opinion.

Imagine if a friend or family member stops acknowledging your efforts - it doesn't diminish who you are as a person.

Discovering Your True Worth and Value

External validation and approval can come from many sources - family, friends, partners, even social media followers. But often these external validations feel empty or fleeting because they're not coming from within yourself.

You see, when you constantly seek outside validation to feel worthy, it creates an endless cycle of neediness. You never truly know your own worth and value because you're always looking elsewhere for confirmation.

Imagine getting a like on social media or receiving a compliment from someone else and feeling a temporary rush of happiness.

But then the high wears off, and you're left craving that next validation fix.

Or think about how good it feels when your partner praises you - but what does this do to your self-worth? It makes you believe your worth is tied to their opinion.

What if instead of seeking external validation, you learned to tune into your own inner guidance and wisdom?. You'd begin by identifying the times when you felt proud or accomplished without anyone else's input.

What were those moments? How did they make you feel?. Then, start recognizing your strengths and accomplishments in yourself alone.

As you shift from seeking external validation to self-validation, you'll discover that your true worth and value come not from the outside world but from within yourself. This newfound confidence will attract more positive experiences into your life, making every moment a celebration of who you are.

Building Healthy Relationships Based on Mutual Respect

Respect Others' Boundaries.

When you respect others' boundaries, it's not just about being considerate of their needs; it's also a crucial part of building healthy relationships.

Boundaries define the limits and guidelines for interactions within these connections. When you understand and honor someone else's boundaries, they feel seen, heard, and understood.

For instance, if your friend has mentioned that they don't like talking about a specific topic in public, it doesn't mean you should avoid discussing it altogether. Instead, find another time or place to have this conversation.

When you respect others' boundaries by not pushing them out of their comfort zone, you're showing that their feelings matter and are important to you.

Prioritize Your Own Needs.

Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect, where both parties prioritize their own needs and boundaries. When you prioritize your own needs in a relationship, it shows that you value yourself and your worth.

It also helps to establish healthy communication patterns. You communicate openly about what makes you happy or unhappy, which can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts from arising.

Your partner is more likely to do the same, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect where both parties feel heard and understood.

By recognizing that your needs are valid and important, you can start to express them clearly in the relationship. This might involve setting boundaries around topics like personal space, alone time or intimate relationships.

Prioritizing your own needs also means being willing to compromise and find common ground with your partner. You may need some time apart from each other after a long day of work.

Your partner might also have similar needs, creating an understanding where both parties take breaks separately. By prioritizing your own needs in a relationship, you're not only improving communication and mutual respect but also showing yourself that you are worthy of love and care.

Remember to communicate openly with your partner about what works for you and what doesn't.

By doing so, healthy relationships built on mutual respect can flourish.

Never use the pronoun "I". The constant need for external validation can lead to a never-ending cycle of people pleasing, causing intense self-loathing.

But what if you could break free from this toxic pattern and build lasting confidence instead? Imagine waking up every morning feeling empowered and authentic, without needing permission or approval from others. By recognizing the root cause of your people pleasing tendencies – often rooted in fear, insecurity, or a desire for control – you can begin to work on rebuilding your sense of self-worth.

This involves setting healthy boundaries, practicing assertiveness, and prioritizing self-care. As you do so, you'll start to notice a profound shift in how you show up in the world.

The benefits of breaking free from people pleasing are numerous: increased confidence, reduced anxiety and stress, improved relationships built on mutual respect and trust.

So take control of your narrative today and learn to prioritize your own needs over those of others.

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa


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