There you are an outstanding person, a friend of the community, loved by your family, an excellent employee, appreciated highly by your coworkers and superiors. Yet, somehow, someway, you don’t understand why you feel so lonely and empty inside.
You like to help, at times will bend over backwards to make everyone feel welcome and happy, but why is it that no one really seems to care how you feel. “They do nothing for me, I’m the only one who’s constantly extending my help, yet no one returns the favor.”
This is common when it comes to wanting to feel safe, secure, and loved in our relationships, that the natural instinct is to stop focusing on our own needs and what you want.
Instead, you focus your energy towards accommodating everyone else around you. This behavior will then often backfire, and can at times become detrimental.
Will You Like Me More
Doing so makes sense, as once you show others that you’re willing to make them a priority, then they’ll return the favor. We’re hoping they’ll appreciate our efforts, that they would give back the love that we’re giving them.
This thinking stems from childhood specifically infants, as they quickly learn that to survive, they’ll do whatever they can to comply and become a favorite to their providers.
Children realize that they can’t fend for themselves, so they need to oblige to their guardians to take good care of them.
What’s instinctively learned as babies is that to get fed, get cleaned and loved, get what they want, is by manipulating the moods of their parents, that certain activities such as crying or laughing will be rewarded.
Babies quickly learn that smiling, by being adorable, what they receive is food, praise, attention, and cuddling. What they learn is recognizing emotional states and then acting on them, far sooner than their ability to use language and speak.
So this is what’s ingrained in our minds as we grow older and develop, are these same core emotions, to laugh or to cry to get what we want, to receive love is to give out our love first.
Wow You’re So Generous
We all instinctively do this, as it’s the most healthiest and sane solution, that we need to give out and help to receive the same back.
This is the foundation of rewarding, mutual relationships which are typically comprised of spontaneous gestures of love, kindness, support, and acts of sacrifice or service.
When things begin to go off balance is when the giving person starts to realize that they’re giving out more than they receive.
This pattern unfolds in all types of relationships, and not just exclusive to family or friends, but to coworkers and romantic partners as well.
We Form Behavioral Patterns
What we tend is to act in a particular way, form a pattern on how we should act in all our relationships, this instead of choosing how to react differently with others, which will work best to our benefit.
This is known as procedural memory, similar to once you learn how to ride a bike you’ll never forget. So we form these basic beliefs on our particular understanding of how the world and all of our relationships work.
What we did for survival was to secure love, attention, and help when we were children, and then those lessons stick with us as we grow older, such as in school, even if doing so is no longer in our best interest, as they become lifelong habits.
This is the reason why certain people will claim that their “stuck” in their lives, that they can’t get out of a rut, that they’re spinning their wheels, that they can’t rid of certain life habits when it comes to feeling or relating.
Even once they know and come to realize that it’s their old ways, what worked for them in the past no longer works, what they can’t quite articulate and get over is how they can make changes in their lives.
When Insecurity Becomes Annoying
What most kids in school despise is the classical “brown noser” in class, who’ll attempt to please the teacher so they’ll stand out. Most adults don’t enjoy being around those who are too nice to the point that they’re pushovers.
Although it’s pleasant to be showered with “niceness” from someone initially, those who goes out of their way for you too often, it doesn’t feel genuine, or it creates feelings of guilt because it feels like you’re taking advantage of them.
Others will begin to feel angry or paranoid because they think something’s expected of them in return, as they would just rather be around someone who’s more secure in themselves.
Stop Being Such A Pushover
What’s known is that most who act this way doesn’t even realize that they’re behaving in this pattern, this even once they’re disappointed, while they also wouldn’t want to know others who act this way either.
It takes time, but what’s needed is tracing back to where this people-pleasing behavior began, know that exact point in time where you felt it was the best strategy. Then stop it, and find other ways to feel secure about yourself.
So just let go of the need to please others, which should become easier over time. Then your relationships will begin to feel more genuine and mutual. You’ll begin to feel more assertive when voicing your needs to others.
Then attempting to please others begins to feel more like a choice rather than a necessary chore. Ultimately, you’ll begin to feel like you’re living your life more independently and on your own terms.