August 23


How People-Pleasing Behavior Affects Self-Worth

By Peter Julian

People pleasing adults become easy targets for narcissistic partners. The need to please starts young, often when raised in a home that valued external validation and the need to behave perfectly. There was little emotional connection. Children learned what behaviors pleased, and which ones did not. As children, they turn to the adults in their life for validation. Self-advocacy is an important part to self-identity and kids who do not get that are unsure who they are. Not being validated turns into self-doubt and has an effect of not being able to trust ourselves. Stopping the need to be reaffirmed by others requires work and self discovery. It also requires you to look at the motivation to please another. If it is authentic, or a fear of rejection.

Key Takeaways:

  • Children who experience abuse or an unsupportive home environment often grow up without a solid self identity and are prone to become people pleasers as adults.
  • Adults who exhibit people-pleasing behavior are more vulnerable to being manipulated by a narcissistic partner.
  • Solutions to stopping a pattern of seeking external validation include working with a therapist to increase your sense of self-worth.

“These micro-behaviors become the gauge for how people-pleasing is learned.”

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