Who doesn’t want to be liked and accepted by their peers? I understand why you try to please others, but if you’re bending over backwards in a Herculean effort to make every single person happy, you need to knock it off. People-pleasing is an exhausting (and dishonest) activity that is stressing you out. If you suffer from approval addiction, I invite you to click ahead to discover why you should stop pleasing others but yourself.

Loss of Identity

If you are putting on a different show for every audience you come across during the day, it’s easy to lose track of who you really are. Ponder the personality and attitude you reflect with your friends, family, and co-workers. If you notice a stark contrast in how you behave in each social scenario, you are being untrue to yourself. I know there are certain things about you that you might want to avoid talking about with specific people and I get that, so please understand that I am not saying you should talk about your sex life with your parents or co-workers, but if you’re changing your personality and behavior wildly throughout the day, you are being dishonest, and phoniness can be detected from miles away. Be true to who you are, no matter who you are with. Don’t feel like you have to hide the quirky (interesting), strange (unique), or awkward (special) things about yourself, because this is precisely what makes you the wonderful individual you are.

Wasted Time and Energy

Have you ever made plans that you really weren’t at all interested in, dreaded it all day, but then at the last second the person (who you didn’t want to hang out with at all) canceled and you felt so relieved? I know it’s difficult to say “no”, but life is too short to spend it doing things you don’t like to do. Be more mindful of how you spend your day and you’ll have more time for new hobbies, self-development, relaxation, and activities that make you truly happy.

Sky-High Swagger and Confidence

Shape-shifting your personality to fit who other people think you should be is a sure-fire way to wreck your self-esteem. How could you be confident in who you really are when you’re making such a supreme effort to hide your genuine self from the world? When you learn to be comfortable with the fact that some people will disapprove of you no matter what you do (and stand firm despite that reality!), you will walk with swagger unlike ever before. There will always be people who don’t like you no matter what you do, so you might as well embrace the authentic (and wonderful) person you are without apology.

More Fulfilling Relationships

If a person likes you for a complete fabrication of a personality you have invented, what’s the point? I would rather have a few friends who love and accept me as I am than a lot of friends who like a phony. Embrace your true self and share it with the world. It is true that some people won’t be fans of your authentic self, but it’s also true that the ones who matter will stand by your side no matter what. The quantity of your relationships is meaningless, so shift your focus to the quality relationships that make you happy and fulfilled. If you’d like to step up the quality of your romantic relationship, check out these 15 rules that will help you deepen your relationship.

I Dare You to Tell Me Something Quirky, Strange, or Unique about Yourself (Confession Time!)

You don’t need to change yourself to please others (and you do need to be true to you for your mental health and happiness!). The world needs the special gift that only you can bring to the table. What’s something interesting about yourself that makes you the unique individual you are?

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Featured photo credit: Kitt Foovia Flickr

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