If you’ve found yourself battling with anxiety or chronic pain, you’re not alone. Many of my clients share a common thread beyond their specific struggles – they’re self-professed people-pleasers.

In this week’s blog post, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of people-pleasing and how it intertwines with anxiety and chronic pain. So, sit back, relax, and let’s explore this intricate connection together.


The People-Pleasing Predicament

Imagine this: You’re at a gathering, a friend asks for a favour, and you immediately say yes, despite feeling overwhelmed with other commitments. Or perhaps you find yourself constantly prioritizing others’ needs over your own, even to your detriment. If these scenarios sound all too familiar, you might be a people-pleaser.

People-pleasers have an insatiable desire to make others happy, often at the expense of their well-being. While this may seem admirable on the surface, it can be a double-edged sword. Let’s delve into the reasons why people-pleasing has become a preferred strategy for many.


The Safety Net of People Pleasing

  1. Social Acceptance and Safety: Human beings are wired for connection, and throughout history, being part of a tribe meant safety. People pleasing triggers positive responses from others, increasing your chances of being liked and accepted, thus ensuring your safety within the group.
  2. Feeling of Importance: When you meet others’ needs, you feel valued and significant. This boosts your self-esteem and contributes to a sense of belonging, reducing the fear of being cast aside from the social circle.
  3. Distraction from Inner Turmoil: The constant act of catering to others’ desires can keep you preoccupied, leaving less mental space for negative self-talk and physical discomfort, which often accompany anxiety and chronic pain.


While these benefits may offer a temporary reprieve, they can also become a tangled web that exacerbates the very issues you’re trying to escape.


The People-Pleasing Puzzle and Your Health

Here’s where the plot thickens: If you’re battling anxiety or chronic pain, your people-pleasing tendencies might be playing a larger role than you realize. Research suggests that chronic stress, a common byproduct of people-pleasing, can amplify physical discomfort and worsen pain perception. So, that back pain you’ve been experiencing might have more to do with your people-pleasing habits than you initially thought.


Rewriting the Script: Strategies for Overcoming People Pleasing

Recognizing your people-pleasing tendencies is the first step towards reclaiming your well-being. Here are some strategies to help you break free from this pattern:

  1. Awareness is Key: Start by identifying moments when you prioritize others over yourself. Who are you with? What activity is taking place? Acknowledge the emotions that surface – resentment, anger, frustration.
  2. Connect Emotions and Physical Sensations: Pay attention to where you feel these emotions in your body. The mind-body connection is powerful, and understanding how emotions manifest physically can lead to profound insights.
  3. Embrace Self-Care: Shift your focus towards self-care and setting healthy boundaries. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s a vital step towards lasting well-being.
  4. Seek Professional Guidance: If you find that your people-pleasing tendencies are deeply ingrained, consider seeking the guidance of a professional, such as an executive coach, who specializes in anxiety and chronic pain.


Conclusion: Putting Yourself First

As we wrap up this exploration into the world of people pleasing, remember that prioritizing your well-being doesn’t make you selfish; it makes you resilient. Breaking free from the people-pleasing cycle might be the missing piece in your journey towards conquering anxiety and chronic pain. So, the next time you catch yourself saying “yes” when you mean “no,” pause and consider the impact on your well-being. You are worthy of care, and embracing your own needs is a powerful step towards a healthier, happier you.


Do you recognize people-pleasing tendencies in yourself?

Until next time, Gemma ?


Gemma is an Executive Coach specializing in Anxiety & Chronic Pain. Gemma believes that nothing is more important than your health. If anxiety or chronic pain is a hurdle you’re facing, consider Gemma as your guide towards lasting well-being. Click here to schedule a free discovery call