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By making others more important than you and people-pleasing, you are inadvertently teaching them not to take care of you. Don’t deny your own needs. You’re just as important as anyone else.

 As a people-pleaser, you are very much attuned to the needs, wishes, requests and expectations of others. You may have a hard time saying “no” and setting boundaries. You may believe that being “nice” is the only way to earn the love and acceptance of others. And perhaps, you’ve been taught to believe that taking care of yourself is selfish. Everyone deserves love and affection. Do you agree? Everyone deserves to have someone take care of them sometimes. So how are you different? Why is it then that you think your “job” is to constantly give? Unless you stop and take care of yourself physically and psychologically, you won’t be able to take good care of the important people in your life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make someone you love happy and wanting to please them. However, it’s important that you don’t please them while hurting yourself in the process.

Anxiety and People-Pleasing

Sometimes in our family dynamics growing up we learn that our needs come last, that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to be loved and accepted. We become people-pleasers, we become very good at sensing what others need and giving it to them. We become masters of self-abandonment. We carry this trauma with us into adulthood, and can see how the childhood trauma affects us in every relationship in adulthood. The anxiety of conditional love from caregivers has a profound effect on us. When we think that we deserve to be abandoned, we typically end up abandoning ourselves.

People-Pleasing and Relationships

For many of us, we may have grown up as people-pleasers. We learned to sacrifice our own needs in order to make others happy. Doing so made us feel safe in the anxiety provoking environments we were in, even though our core needs were not being met. But one-sided relationships are not healthy. One-sided relationships are also a problem when it comes to dating. Some people may not like the idea of their partner not having their own needs and only acting to support others. This is unhealthy for your own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of your relationship. 

Knowing yourself and your needs and boundaries will help your inner child feel safe enough. When your inner child feels safe, you will begin to learn more about yourself like how to pay attention to your feelings, new interests, what your dating/relationship needs are, and more. You will begin to live more in the present, and have a healthy balance of attention between yourself and your partner. Having a healthy relationship with yourself sets the stage for a healthy relationship with someone else. 

Healing Traumas

To begin the process of healing and discovering what your needs are, you can ask yourself three questions: 

  1. What are my values? 
  2. What do I need to feel safe and supported in a relationship? 
  3. What needs to happen to make sure that I am not losing myself in this relationship?

Therapists in Los Angeles

After years of people-pleasing, it might be difficult to just turn it off. In order to heal, remember that you are worthy. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of support, and you deserve to have your boundaries respected in all relationships. If you need help implementing your boundaries, or even figuring out what your boundaries are, there are therapists in your area who are ready to assist you on your healing journey. Whether you are in a relationship and need a Gottman Method couples therapist, or single and looking for an attachment or trauma therapist, there is someone for you. Reach out for help today and start your healing journey.