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When Putting Others' Needs Before Your Own Becomes Harmful: The Self-Sabotaging People Pleaser

Many people are culturally praised for tending to others' needs before their own. And while there may be a time and place for tending to others in an urgent manner, when this happens frequently or intensely it is sure to develop a cascade of blame, resentment, and regret. People-pleasing behaviour can be self-sabotaging in several ways:

  1. Neglecting personal needs: People who constantly aim to please others often prioritize others' needs and desires above their own. They may suppress their own wants, preferences, and boundaries to ensure the happiness and approval of others. This can lead to neglecting their own well-being and personal growth.

  2. Resentment and burnout: Constantly putting others' needs before their own can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout. People-pleasers may feel overwhelmed and exhausted by the demands they place on themselves to meet everyone else's expectations. Over time, this can erode their mental and emotional well-being.

  3. Lack of authenticity: People-pleasers mold their behaviour and opinions to align with what they perceive others want or expect from them. This can result in a loss of authenticity and a diminished sense of self. They may struggle to express their true thoughts, feelings, and desires, leading to a sense of disconnection from their own identity.

  4. Difficulty setting boundaries: People-pleasers often have difficulty establishing and maintaining boundaries. They may fear disappointing others or be seen as selfish if they assert their needs. This can lead to being taken advantage of, as others may learn to exploit their willingness always to say "yes." It can also contribute to a lack of self-respect and self-esteem.

  5. Impaired decision-making: Constantly seeking external validation and approval can impair a person's ability to make decisions based on their own values and goals. People-pleasers may become overly reliant on others' opinions, leading to indecisiveness or making choices that don't align with their true desires. This can hinder personal growth and fulfillment.

  6. Stifled personal and professional growth: When individuals prioritize pleasing others, they may avoid taking risks or pursuing opportunities that could benefit their personal or professional development. Fear of failure or disappointing others can prevent them from stepping out of their comfort zone and reaching their full potential.

To overcome self-sabotaging people-pleasing behaviour, individuals can focus on developing self-awareness, practicing self-care, setting healthy boundaries, and cultivating authentic self-expression. It's important to recognize that true relationships and personal satisfaction come from being true to oneself rather than constantly seeking external validation.


If you are struggling with people-pleasing behaviours or any of the previously listed side effects from self-sabotage book a free consult to start prioritizing your needs. I provide guidance, support, and advice for your health, personal goals, and wellness. Book now!



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