I’ve been toying with writing about this for a while because I struggle with it all the time, but I still don’t have all the answers. “People pleaser” is a term that’s thrown around a lot. It can be a natural posture or learned. For me, I think it was learned. But I have been practicing the pursuit of not needing to make everyone else comfortable and happy, and it’s been really freeing. And really, really hard.
I’ve always needed everyone around me to feel at ease. If a friend was mad at me in high school, I would be devastated. My mind would implode as I tried to make things right and just be on their good side again. I’d apologize and then tiptoe around their feelings to make sure I never made anyone mad again. (Which, obviously with friendships amongst adolescence and puberty and SO MANY FEELINGS, did not last.)