The people-pleasing predicament

The desire to be liked and accepted is a universal human trait.

It's natural to want to make those around us happy, but there's a fine line between being considerate and becoming a chronic people-pleaser.

Getting what people-pleasing is about: People-pleasing is when you go to great lengths to make others happy while sometimes ignoring what's best for yourself. It's not all bad, but it can get dicey when it brings on stress, and burnout, and makes you lose sight of who you really are.

The uni scene: In college, the pressure to fit in and meet all kinds of expectations is intense. From making new friends to dealing with academic demands and family hopes, it's easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone. But here's the scoop: it's a recipe for feeling totally overwhelmed and worn out.

The deal with people-pleasing:

  • Feeling stressed and anxious: When you're always trying to meet other people's expectations, it can crank up your stress and anxiety levels. The fear of letting others down can really mess with your head.
  • Losing yourself: People-pleasers often lose track of who they really are. They turn into chameleons, changing themselves to make other people happy.
  • Burnout alert: The constant hustle to keep others smiling can lead to burnout, messing with your head and body.
  • Missed opportunities: By focusing solely on pleasing others, you might end up missing out on awesome chances that actually fit your goals and values.

Balancing act: Here's some stuff to help you find that sweet spot between being considerate and staying true to yourself:

  • Self-reflection: Take some time to figure out why you're always trying to make everyone else happy. Knowing yourself is the first step to making changes.
  • Setting boundaries: Learning to say "no" when you need to is pretty darn important. Setting clear boundaries helps you take care of yourself and avoid overloading your plate.
  • Taking care of you: Spend some quality time on self-care activities that look after your mind and body. Remember, taking care of yourself is like filling up your tank so you can be there for others.
  • Talk it out: Open and honest communication is the secret sauce. Express your thoughts, feelings, and worries to others. Don't be afraid to ask for support when you need it.
  • Stick to your values: Figure out what really matters to you and let that be your compass. It'll help you make choices that line up with your true self.

In college and beyond, it's crucial to embrace your true self. Trying to please everyone is like trying to run a marathon with a backpack full of bricks - it's exhausting and won't get you very far. By understanding your people-pleasing habits and learning to set healthy boundaries, you can navigate college and life with authenticity, confidence, and a sense of empowerment. Being true to yourself is the most real way to build deep connections and carve out your unique path to success.

If you feel like you need to talk with someone about anything that comes up, get in touch with Counselling Support.

Tagged in What messes with your head, stress, self-care, anxiety, counselling