Women with ADHD may have a tendency to please others a lot. This is because of societal pressure, past experiences, and their own emotions.
Girls with ADHD, especially those who feel judged or inferior to other girls, may also try to please others to be accepted. They learn that pleasing others is a good way to get approval and avoid criticism.
However, this behavior can become too much and even harmful as they grow older. It can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and resentment.
ADHD women may have a tendency to prioritize others’ needs. As a result, they may frequently and habitually agree to take on tasks or commitments in order to please others. While this approach might seem helpful at the time, it can lead to long-term stress, overextension, and feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, it might be a way of managing anxiety, especially if this behavior was learned early on.
For some women issues with impulse control may also play a role with people pleasing, as it can be hard to stop and make a change in behavior like this.
Additionally, avoiding rejection sensitivity can be a part of people pleasing. Rejection sensitivity refers to the heightened sensitivity and fear of rejection or criticism. Women with ADHD often experience rejection sensitivity, which can drive their people-pleasing behavior. They may go to great lengths to avoid conflict, criticism, or rejection, even if it means sacrificing their own needs and well-being.
Women with ADHD often feel the need to prioritize the needs of others over their own due to societal pressure. This can lead to the development of people-pleasing behaviors as a way to cope with these expectations.
Women with ADHD may also feel like they have shortcomings, which can lead to the need to seek approval from others. People-pleasing behaviors can help them feel more accepted, but it can be harmful in the long run.
The downside of people-pleasing for ADHD women is significant. Continually prioritizing others’ needs over their own can lead to difficulty setting boundaries, neglect of self-care and mental well-being, and struggles with time and commitment management.
When your own needs aren’t met, you might feel anger and resentment in relationships and emotional and physical burnout.
The constant need to please others can create a disconnect between external behaviors and internal feelings, resulting in a lack of authenticity.
Breaking the habit of always trying to please others is crucial for the well-being and empowerment of women with ADHD. It begins with recognizing the behavior patterns and understanding the reasons behind them. By acknowledging and accepting that people-pleasing behavior may have served a purpose in the past, it becomes easier to let go of it.
Learning to say no is a fundamental step in breaking the cycle of people-pleasing. Setting boundaries and prioritizing one’s own needs is essential for maintaining balance and overall well-being. It may feel uncomfortable or even scary at first, but with practice, it becomes easier to assert oneself and make choices that align with personal values
It can be difficult to let go of people-pleasing behavior because the people pleaser part kept you safe and still does in certain settings.
People-pleasing behaviors in women with ADHD are often deeply ingrained coping mechanisms developed over many years.
Be patient with yourself if you decide to work on these behaviors. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of self-compassion and trial and error.
The risks associated with people-pleasing are far-reaching.
These risks include burnout, neglecting one’s own needs, and being vulnerable to abuse by harmful individuals. It is not uncommon for women who engage in people-pleasing behaviors to find themselves in relationships where they are gaslit or taken advantage of, whether they are friendships or romantic partnerships.
Here are some empowering strategies to support yourself in overcoming people-pleasing:
1. Gain Understanding: Begin by acknowledging and understanding that people pleasing involves prioritizing others’ needs at the expense of your own well-being in order to seek acceptance and approval. Recognize that this behavior can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and resentment.
2. Identify Your Patterns: Take time for introspection and identify specific behaviors associated with people pleasing. Reflect on instances where saying no is challenging, feeling responsible for others’ happiness, or consistently prioritizing others’ comfort over your own.
3. Discern Helping from People Pleasing: Develop awareness about the distinction between genuinely helping others and falling into people pleasing due to fear or the need for validation. Reflect on whether you are sacrificing your own well-being to please others.
4. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to bodily signals that indicate people pleasing behavior. Notice any discomfort or physical sensations such as a sinking feeling in your stomach or tension in your fists. These are clues that you are engaging in people-pleasing behaviors.
5. Practice Assertiveness: Cultivate the ability to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs openly and honestly, while respecting the rights of others. This skill can aid in setting boundaries and reducing people-pleasing tendencies.
6. Establish Healthy Boundaries: Learn to confidently say “no” without allowing guilt to overpower you. Prioritizing your own needs and desires is essential. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can help prevent burnout and resentment.
7. Seek Professional Support: If people-pleasing behaviors significantly impact your well-being or interfere with your daily life, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional.
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