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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

No, it is a full sentence. A sentence that many people pleasers could do with learning.

Let’s be honest for just a moment: whatever gratification you may receive from the appreciation of those you spend your time pleasing, there is an equally paralleled exhaustion and mental strain as you persevere through actions that actually don’t positively impact your own life. With all the energy you give to others, you must remember that this is energy directed away from yourself, your ambitions, and your desires; your need for others to like you, to see you as a good person or friend, is preventing you from truly pursuing your own happiness.

Empathy is a trait that I personally admire in people. However, it is essential to recognise the difference between someone who can accurately perceive emotions and someone who tries to fix any negative feelings that may be noticed.

It is good that you care about your friends and do not want anybody to experience the pain the world can inflict, but that suffering is essential to growth and development. You can still show up for people and be there for your loved ones through their difficult times without taking their situation into your own hands. It is important to remember that too much empathy can be detrimental to your own health.

It is time to start prioritising yourself. This does not mean abandoning your friendships or never again doing something for the purpose of making another happy but rather putting your mind and body above others.

Are you tired or run down? Take the time to recuperate, opt out of the unimportant and optional responsibilities you volunteered yourself for. Are you in a bad mood or irritable? Take the time to work out why; is it hanger or sleep deprivation, is it that your social battery is running dangerously low, is it that the small things just keep going wrong? If you don’t allow yourself ‘me time’, then you deprive yourself and your loved ones of the person they learned to care for in the first place. Your constant need to make others feel better, to make their lives easier, often makes your own more stressful, tiring and generally harder. Prioritise your time and your needs, and if you have energy left over, then – and only then – should you allow yourself to think about those around you and whether there is something small you can do to make their day that tiny bit better.

Small actions mean just as much as big things. You do not need to over-exert yourself or spend your weekly budget in order to be recognised as a good person. The innate goodness that you possess will be easily identified by those you surround yourself with, regardless of your people-pleasing tendencies. Remember this. Remember your desire to make people happy is not what makes you a good person; remember that you as a person – whatever your vices – are good.

Kindness and love are enough in their natural entity; they do not make you any better just because you take them to the extreme. Goodness is not quantifiable.

What people pleasing tells me is that there is a strong possibility that you are insecure in your relationships. It may be time that you do the work to understand why you feel this way. What has led you to believe that you must go above and beyond in order to deserve love and friendship? If you are willing to accept relationships where people offer you companionship, why is your reaction to reciprocate that with the most?

People pleasing is not healthy, it’s draining both physically and mentally.

It is time to prioritise your own happiness and health. It is time to stop people pleasing.

Lauren Durose

Bristol '24

A Liberal Arts student whose focus is on English Literature. When there's a free moment, I typically pick up a feminist book, a hockey stick or my earphones. I like sports and entertainment mainly – whether that's hockey or rugby, ballet or musical theatre!