Many people self-identify as “people-pleasers.” If you relate and wonder why it’s so hard to change, it’s because these relationships were built upon the foundation of you being a people-pleaser. So, anytime you stop, people don’t like it and push back, and you go back to the original way of interacting. It’s as if both parties require each other to be a certain way in order to exist in the dynamic.

Breaking out of this pattern is possible if you accept that some relationships will naturally fall away as you shed who you were to show up as who you are. It takes time, but it can be done. Start small by drawing mini boundaries around your time and energy. Though being a people-pleaser stems from insecurity and low-self esteem, it also tends to enhance resentment with those who take advantage of your kindness and empathy. Ultimately, we all want to be loved for who we are, not for what we do.

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