Every individual is unique. It’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to be someone else. You have preconceived notions about how to act and behave toward people. Other folks may not share your viewpoint. This can take us by surprise at times.
Maybe you never thought that you were a people pleaser. But if you always seem to be giving more than you are getting, it may mean that your set of personal standards is different from the majority.
You likely permit others to make demands on you, yet you don’t hold them to the same expectation. This can cause you to attract takers in your life and can create one-sided relationships where you are the one putting in all the effort.
Are you a people pleaser?
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re giving away too much of yourself without receiving much if anything from others in return.
1. Do others follow the same rules of conduct in their own lives that you have applied to yourself in your own head?
2. Do you welcome opportunities for your kind gestures to be reciprocated?
3. Once you have completed an act of giving to/for another, do you get an opportunity to switch roles and be the recipient of another’s gifts?
Think about the rules, expectations, and standards that you hold yourself to. Then think about whether you apply those same rules for the people with whom you choose to have relationships.
What are your expectations?
You might have set a certain standard for keeping in touch with friends. Maybe if a month goes by without a phone conversation or a visit with people that you’re close to, you feel guilty. You tell yourself that you are not living up to your expectation as far as nurturing closeness in your relationships.
Another rule of conduct or standard you might set for yourself could be how readily available you make yourself when others are in need of assistance or a favor.
If you are looking at a busy Saturday of doing work at home but a friend calls you needing help with a project, do you stop what you’re doing to help the friend?
If the situation were reversed, and it was your turn to ask the same friend for assistance of some kind, would you be likely to follow through and make the request? Would the friend be likely to honor it?
How do you feel when you must lean on a friend for something extra? Do you feel guilty and as though you are undeserving? Does it make you feel bad to have to ask a friend to go out of their way for you?
Who put those guilty feelings in your head? Who made you feel that you are undeserving of help and support, especially from those to whom you have helped and supported?
These are good questions to ask as you explore your tendency of being a people pleaser and really become aware of those times when you are likely to let others take advantage. This post is part of the series, People Pleasers Who Want Stronger Boundaries.