Trying to please everyone is a sure way to lose energy and feel drained quickly. It can be exhausting trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations often at the expense of our own.
Helping others isn’t necessarily an issue, in or of itself. It means we’re empathetic and it helps us remain socially connected. However, a constant need to people please can be a symptom of a deeper emotional ailment. Feeling the need to fulfill the expectations of others in order to feel worthy could be a sign of an unresolved issue inside.
It is important to understand we will never be able to fill an internal void by purchasing material things. We cannot fill this void by buying ways to make ourselves look good on the outside. The only way to feel true happiness is by filling up our cup inside with love, support, and acceptance.
In the same way, we cannot people please our way to happiness. This is just another way of trying to fill the cup externally rather than internally. If we continually concentrate on what everyone else wants from us, we lose our sense of what we want – and need. When we suppress this internal voice long enough, we become completely depleted.
The people pleasing problem could be rooted somewhere within, or it could be a sign of a toxic relationship with an individual who is an energy taker. Often, emotional abusers zap our energy by taking all of the “good stuff” and replacing it with projected feelings of incompleteness they would otherwise carry with them.
If you are always giving everything you have to a partnership and, yet, feel it’s not enough or you’re actually being told it’s not enough, this is a problem. If you are in a partnership in which you are constantly giving, and your partner doesn’t seem to appreciate your efforts, something is wrong.
By the same token, if you are constantly giving yourself to someone or to a certain situation without being asked to do so and the recipient is telling you enough is enough, you will need to take a long hard look at yourself to figure out why you have an inherent need for self-sacrifice. We may do this for some time before enough energy is zapped from us that we begin to realize it can’t continue. At this point, we have to try to figure out why we’re constantly giving and how we can change this behavior.
Sometimes early trauma is the cause. We all carry the weight of our past into the present whether we choose to or not. If the past was unpleasant and we felt we were in a situation in which we couldn’t save ourselves or another person, this weight may have caused us to be burdened with a continual desire to help. It may have ingrained in us a need to come to the rescue.
A need to please can be a result of the way we were raised as well. Maybe we’re mirroring behaviors we watched when we were younger. We tend to emulate the actions of those who raised us if the experience was positive. We want to give back, and this is healthy as long as it doesn’t get to a point where we’re giving far too much.
Balance is key. Knowing when to cut back a bit and concentrate our energy internally is important. We have to understand when we’re too readily depleting the positive, so we can pause for a refill.
There are numerous signs to look out for that could indicate we’re giving too much of ourselves. You may feel overburdened with responsibilities and feel you have to accomplish things that others could easily have taken off your shoulders. You may find yourself unable to say ‘no’ even when your plate is far too full. You may find yourself absorbing the traits of others even if they are counterintuitive to how you self-identify and who you are.
If you feel a constant need for others to recognize your efforts and find yourself seeking approval on social media or in your social circles, you may be overextending. You may be looking for the attention and approval of others in order to feel okay inside. Remember, true happiness cannot come from external resources. It can only come from within.
If you feel like you’re exhausted and completely depleted, take some time to really review your circumstances and consider making some changes wherever necessary. You don’t need to continue to self-sacrifice. When you’re okay, everyone else around you will be, too.