People pleasing is hurting your relationships – how RTT can help

When I was younger I took a lot of pride in being a 'good friend', ' a good sister', and a 'good daughter'. I worked extremely hard to make sure that the people in my life were very happy with me. Every time I had a falling out with someone close to me I would obsess over it, question myself, and desperately search for a resolution. Sometimes if this was not immediately forthcoming I would have one of two extreme reactions - I would either work myself up to a terrible temper or become extremely low and despondent. 


When I started therapy at the end of a romantic relationship, I would constantly complain about how my love or friendship wasn't reciprocated and how people were taking advantage of my niceness. I ended a few friendships, blindsiding the other person involved because I spent years seething and growing silent resentment. I had prioritised the needs of other people before myself (most times without them asking or me communicating to them how I was being impacted).  

Reflecting on my behaviour, I now realise how dysfunctional this way of being and thinking was. First and foremost, because I wasn't acknowledging or communicating my own needs, and secondly making myself a victim by making other people responsible for how I was feeling. I needed validation to feel good because I had not learned how to self-soothe.

We live in a society and we survive and thrive because we have interdependent relationships with the people around us. However, consistently and constantly doing things for others at the cost of our own needs is extremely destructive. This pattern causes a lot of pain because:

  • we are learning to get our self-worth from others rather than focusing on learning to love ourselves
  • we are avoiding difficult feelings at the cost of our personal growth that we would gain through leaning into and resolving conflict
  • we are being disingenuous and in many ways deceptive in our relationship by hiding our true selves and feelings from the ones we love

As I started to work on myself to unwind these patterns I learned certain truths that accelerated my healing.

The truths

All human beings are afraid of rejection but this can be overcome by a having healthy self-esteem

Studies monitoring brain activity show that the area of the brain that is stimulated by physical pain is the same area of the brain that is stimulated by the psychological pain of rejection.

When you don’t feel worthy of yourself, it’s easy to feel significant from helping others. To avoid getting burnt out or becoming resentful our self-worth must come from within, not from outside.

We give in to others' needs because we want to avoid conflict, however, this is preventing our growth

Our mind takes us away from pain and towards pleasure - this is why most people would do anything to avoid the negative feelings that come with conflict or having someone upset with you. Even if this comes at a high cost to ourselves.

Reframe conflict as normal and an opportunity for growth. If you can get through a conflict with another person at work, or school, it will make you a stronger and better person.

We often people please with the hope that they mirror our behaviour and reciprocate 

We could be going above and beyond for the people in our lives because we want to receive the same care and attention in return. Not everyone is capable of giving as much time, attention, gifts, or love as another. 

This is why we must learn to prioritise self-care and learn to give ourselves care and attention.

People pleasing comes from subconscious patterns of behaviour from childhood where we learned that to maintain love and connection we had to prioritise other people over ourselves

People pleasers often start as apparent pleasers. Egocentric parents are often consumed with how they feel. Children of such parents learn to please their parents to maintain connection and closeness 

Healing our childhood wounds and understanding our patterns can go a long way toward helping us prioritise ourselves. 

Healthy relationships are formed when we have strong boundaries and can express ourselves honestly

You are constantly people-pleasing could be the very thing creating frustrating situations in your relationships. 

Healthy boundaries are necessary components for self-care. A lack of boundaries can lead you to feel depleted, taken advantage of, taken for granted, or intruded upon. Whether it's in work or our relationships, poor boundaries may lead to resentment, hurt, anger, and burnout...

Healthy boundaries on the other hand will lead people to understand your limits and know what you are and aren't OK with, and they'll adjust their behaviour.

If we are struggling to set boundaries it could be because our identities are often tied up in how much we’re doing for people. This is especially true for women, who have long been in positions where “emotional labour,” the work of nurturing and tending to people’s emotions, is expected and demanded of us.

You will have to enforce your boundaries a few times, it isn't enough to communicate them once

Here’s the thing about boundaries. We have to keep enforcing them. Especially at the start of a relationship. Just because you’ve once said to someone that you don’t like something doesn’t mean they’ll automatically stop. People will test your boundaries. They will rant and rail against them. The real work is to hold that boundary firmly in the face of opposition. Whether that is in the form of anger, tears, emotional blackmail, or threat of losing that person altogether - you have to firmly and unemotionally hold fast.

The secret to being able to do that? Self-esteem. When we value and love ourselves we don’t people to please us at the cost of compromising ourselves. We can balance giving and receiving.

How can Rapid Transformational Therapy help?

The good news is that by using RTT I can easily break help you break through these old patterns.

Underneath every issue is this - we feel disconnected from ourselves. This disconnection comes from a lifetime of ignoring their needs whether that’s physical or emotional. At some point in our lives, we decided to mute that inner voice - and the longer we keep crushing the voice of our intuition the more that discontentment grows.

Once you understand this and learn where this tendency to ignore your own need comes from in your childhood you will begin to experience dramatic shifts.

The longest relationship that you will have is not with work or with any other single person. It is with yourself. Prioritise that. Do anything to keep her/him healthy, happy, and thriving.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, London, EC3N 4AL
Written by Mahima Razdan, Rapid Transformation Practitioner and Hypnotherapist
London, London, EC3N 4AL

I am a Rapid Transformation and Hypnotherapist. 18 months ago, after spending 6 years in technology consulting, I decided to make a career change.

Why? I suddenly started to notice that while I and so many of the women had managed to build successful and financially rewarding careers, inwardly we still deeply suffered.

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