We all have anxiety sometimes, about some things. Anxiety can distort thoughts. And this is just as true for people pleasers as anyone. In fact, buying into the lies anxiety tells people pleasers is what often keeps them stuck in self-defeating behaviors.
By the way, a people pleaser is someone who tends to go along with what others want, even at the cost of their own well-being.
So without further ado, here are 5 lies anxiety tells people pleasers… and the TRUTH.
Lie #1: People are judging you.
Anxiety: People are judging you and thinking that you’re a terrible person, or that you’re making bad decisions.
Truth: Everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to spend much time on you. And even if they are, who cares? They don’t know you as well as your supportive friends and family, who know you’re a good person.
Lie #2: No one can be mad at you.
Anxiety: You can’t do anything that might make someone mad at you. If someone gets mad at you, they will abandon you.
Truth: You cannot control whether other people get mad at you, no matter how hard you might try. Every relationship has conflict sometimes. Not every relationship works out, but the ones that do are the ones in which both parties are able to talk through inevitable problems.
Lie #3: You’re a doormat.
Anxiety: You don’t stand up for yourself because you’re a doormat.
Truth: Sometimes there are really good reasons why you didn’t confront someone at a particular time. And actually, there have probably been more times than you think when you have stood up for yourself. They may just not be at the forefront of your mind, especially when your already feeling bad about yourself.
Lie #4: You deserve to be treated badly.
Anxiety: If someone treats you poorly or talks negatively about you, it’s because you did something wrong, or there’s something wrong with you.
Truth: Nobody deserves to be treated badly, no matter what they have or haven’t done. The way other people treat you does not reflect on who you are as a person, or even your behaviors. It is out of your control and sometimes totally unrelated. Sometimes people are projecting or responding to their own baggage.
Lie #5: You have to be what others expect.
Anxiety: If you disagree with someone or express your real opinions, no one will like you. So you can’t be your true self – you have to go along with others.
Truth: Believe it or not, people actually like people who disagree with them. It shows that they are trustworthy. You can absolutely be yourself and have people like you. Try it and see the results!
What lies would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Rebecca Ogle is a licensed therapist who practices teletherapy in Illinois. Rebecca empowers therapy clients to cope with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and burnout using their natural strengths and inner wisdom.