I’m a people pleaser.
I lick people’s boots. On the outside, I’m a very nice, giving dude. But on the inside, I’m a raving lunatic mad for approval. Okay, maybe not raving anymore. Just a lunatic.
A lot of people tell you that the most fulfilling thing you can do in life is to be giving to others. That is, if you ask for nothing in return. But me? Every little interaction is a secret contract. I may appear to be selfless, but she better give me that approval in return! I need my fix!
In my 15+ years of experience with it, here is how People Pleasing Syndrome works:
I am unlovable as I am. It’s not okay to be me. => Because I want to be loved and not abandoned, I must be a different ‘me’ that is nice to everyone.
People Pleasing Syndrome holds the premise that love is conditional, which turns life into an endless struggle for external approval. You want everyone to love you, so you have to suck up to them.
Through my own attempts at healing, I think I stumbled upon a cure. As new agey as this sounds, here goes: Realize that all the love you need is unconditionally within you. You never needed love from others. Therefore, it’s okay to be you, even if people think otherwise.
Getting to that point is easier said than done.