People Pleasing and Fear of Rejection


I have a huge tendency to be nice to everyone. I am always willing to give my advice and tell people if they thought differently and acted differently they would have a better outcome. I have made several friends this way that come to me for advice. I am overly nice to people and always show them that I truly care for their well-being and give all my attention to helping them solve their problems. They call and talk to me for hours about the problems in their life and ask me what I think and what I would do in this situation. I willingly give them my perspective and think that this will definitely help them. I am so eager to please that I will answer their calls within a few rings and talk for hours. I have a hard time ending the conversation and wait till they say they need to go. I’m also not good at setting boundaries in my life and I am friendly towards everyone.

I am beginning to feel like I am being used and I don’t like giving my opinion anymore. I also noticed that these friends don’t really ask me how my life is going nor do they show interest in spending time with me. I don’t think they like me as a person but instead are just using me to help them solve their problems. I no longer want friends like this in my life. I want to create better relationships where it feels we both care about each other and enjoy spending time together.

My dilemma is that I am afraid to not answer the calls of current friends. I don’t want to let them go because I think if I made a choice and started cutting back the amount of time I talk with them, I would be a bad person for rejecting them. I don’t like how rejection feels and I don’t want them to experience that. So I pretend that I want to keep talking about them all the time and this is leading to a lot of inner turmoil. I think when I reject them I will feel guilty for doing something wrong. It is the guilt I don’t want to feel. So in order to avoid the guilt, I keep people-pleasing. Essentially I people please so much I am rejecting myself.

Part of me truly believes that others should not experience negative emotions from my words and actions. I think my words and actions can affect them negatively. I’m always trying to figure out the right words and actions to keep everyone happy. I need help in understanding that my thoughts and actions are only circumstances in their model and I can not make them think or feel a certain way. Intellectually I get it but I don’t believe it. How do I begin to start believing this?