Psychologist reveals how being a people pleaser affects relationships

Are YOU a people pleaser? Expert reveals five ways doing what others want can impact your relationships – from making you resentful to burn out

  • Dr. Lalitaa Suglani is a Chartered Psychologist who is based in Birmingham 
  • In a recent post, she revealed five ways people pleasing can affect relationships
  • Among them are that people can take advantage of you, and feeling frustrated

A psychologist has revealed five different ways people pleasing can affect your relationships – from making you frustrated with others to letting people take advantage of you.  

Dr Lalitaa Suglani, who is a chartered psychologist based in Birmingham, has 106,000 followers on Instagram, where she regularly posts about mental health and psychology topics.

In a recent post, she discussed what people pleasing is, and some of the unintended consequences it can have on your relationships.

According to chartered psychologist Dr Lalitaa Suglani, people pleasing can affect your relationships, leading to frustration and resentment (stock image)

According to Dr Lalitaa Suglani, people pleasers do ‘what [they] think people want so they like [them]’. 

The psychologist defined people pleasing as behaviours people undertake in an effort to feel a sense of worth by meeting the needs of others so that others like us, and that makes us feel good.

She noted that it often emerges as a result of people not feeling good enough within themselves, and so seeking validation from others. 

She explained: ‘Part of having relationships with others involves taking their wants, needs, and feelings into account.

‘But trying to earn the regard of others usually means you neglect your own needs and feelings because your priority is to gain acceptance from another, which can mean you put your own needs to the bottom of the list.

Dr Lalitaa Suglani: 5 ways people pleasing can affect relationships

1. You feel frustrated and resentful

2. People can take advantage of you

3. Your relationships don’t satisfy you

4. Stress and burnout

5. Partners and friends can become frustrated with you

‘Basically you’re doing what you think people want so they like you.

‘Over time, people-pleasing can hurt you and your relationships and the intention of this post is to show how this happens.’

Among the five potential negative consequences of people pleasing, she said you may become frustrated and resentful.

In addition, Dr Lalitaa noted, if you are people pleasing, you may find that your relationships don’t satisfy you.

Furthermore, people pleasing in relationships can lead to stress and burnout.

When it comes to the other party in a relationship, she said partners and friends can become frustrated with people pleasers.

And she added that if you are a people pleaser, people can take advantage of you. 

The psychologist has tackled this topic in a number of her previous posts, explaining in one video that there are several reasons why people may become people pleasers.

Dr Lalitaa listed four factors that may lead someone to engage in such behaviours, including being parts of ourselves being unwelcome or criticised in past relationships, and learning as a child that love is conditional.

She also cited learning as a child that approval from others is really important, and being given praise and attention when doing things for others as reasons that someone could become a people pleaser.

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