[Request for advice] Issues with people pleasing and self worth

Oaktree

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TLDR is below if not interested in reading everything 😅

Hey folks,
I could use some advice and wisdom from the various people here in regards to a particular issue I've been having. I'm going to be as honest as I can so bare with me. You know that nice and cozy feeling you have when someone thanks you for your help? I think I've twisted that in an unhealthy way. I believe I may have gotten addicted to that feeling. I've come to realize over these past few years that I have tied my self worth and value to my ability to help others. What I mean by that is I've noticed myself asking people for ways I can help them and when they would say 'no thanks' for whatever reason, I would feel hurt and rejected. I would get angry that someone didn't want my help or refused the chance for me to feel appreciated. I understand how bizarre of a reaction that is and I've come to learn that it stems from a place of insecurity regarding my self-worth and feeling valued. It's as if I can only feel good about myself if I feel I'm wanted or appreciated by others and I don't like that at all. I've already noticed it coming out in this very community and I don't want that to be me. The difficult part about this is it is very hard to know the difference between wanting to help out of generosity and sincere care or doing so because my value/worth depends on it. I've gotten mixed messages about it in the past when I've asked. I've been told that it's not really an issue because I'm still helping people, assuming I don't put my health in harms away to do so. I personally don't believe that's a healthy way to look at it but I could be wrong.

I'd like some advice if anyone has any. I don't know what to do to be honest. I have a therapist and I'll likely bring it up to them soon but I wanted to ask here as well. I'd be very appreciative for any insight. Thank you.

TLDR: I have tied my value and self worth to my ability to help people. I can't tell when I genuinely want to help people vs helping people for the sake of feeling good about myself.
 

SparkyDog

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If someone asks for help are you able to say no?
Or limit help so you are not taken advantage of?
If you're always helping people for the feeling of thank you (which I've done) suddenly you realize you are spending good money to get that feeling.
Saying no for me is very hard
 
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Oaktree

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SparkyDog said:
If someone asks for help are you able to say no?
Or limit help so you are not taken advantage of?
If you're always helping people for the feeling of thank you (which I've done) suddenly you realize you are spending good money to get that feeling.
Saying no for me is very hard
I can't recall a time recently I said no, but to be fair it's not like I'm keeping track. My natural tendency is to say yes. I think it's less about people approaching me for help but more so me approaching others / seeking ways to help so that I can feel appreciated.
 
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SparkyDog

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Oaktree said:
I can't recall a time recently I said no, but to be fair it's not like I'm keeping track. My natural tendency is to say yes. I think it's less about people approaching me for help but more so me approaching others / seeking ways to help so that I can feel appreciated.
How do you feel if you help out and don't get a thank you or thanked in the way you expected / needed?
 

dogboy

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My brother-in-law is like that and I'm sure it's because he's searching for acceptance and feelings of self worth. It can be annoying because he'll often ask to help with things that one normally takes care of themselves without much thought.

I think you've analyzed yourself accurately so then it becomes, what do you do now? Since you have a therapist (I have one too) you should bring it up because they can assess whether, by what you tell them, if you're going overboard or just empathetic to others' needs. I'm HSP, highly sensitive person and our personality types like to please others and also tend to avoid conflict. Eventually, things need to be in some normal balance.

Look for cues from people if they want help with a project. If someone says they're having problems with getting something accomplished and you feel you could help, that should be fine. If something is said just in general conversation like, I have to hang some blinds today, they probably don't need help.
 
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Oaktree

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SparkyDog said:
How do you feel if you help out and don't get a thank you or thanked in the way you expected / needed?
I think if I don't get any feedback or appreciation, even if it's at a later point, I would start to feel disappointed or longing for something.
 

SparkyDog

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Oaktree said:
I think if I don't get any feedback or appreciation, even if it's at a later point, I would start to feel disappointed or longing for something.
well tbh I don't think helping people out and being friendly is a bad thing. As long as you don't pester people (force help) or can accept it when people decline help.
We need more people willing to help others.
I assume you do a good job helping
 

Oaktree

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SparkyDog said:
well tbh I don't think helping people out and being friendly is a bad thing. As long as you don't pester people (force help) or can accept it when people decline help.
We need more people willing to help others.
I assume you do a good job helping
I agree for the most part but I believe helping folks because I want to feel good about myself seems misaligned and portrays an unhealthy view of myself. External validation and what not.
 
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SparkyDog

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Oaktree said:
I agree for the most part but I believe helping folks because I want to feel good about myself seems misaligned and portrays an unhealthy view of myself. External validation and what not.
TBH everyone likes praise for a job well done
Long a you're not being underhanded or deceitful to get the praise I don't see it as a bad thing

others may have different opinions
 

dogboy

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My father-in-law helped hundreds if not thousands of people. He was a jack of all trades and could repair almost anything as well as build a house. He was old school and he did it because it's what people used to do for each other. It's all a matter of perspective.
 

Oaktree

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I found an article from psychology today that helps explains it better I believe: How people pleasing damages self worth. These are the issues I'm facing. Hoping to learn from others who may have had experienced it before and get any insight if possible.
 
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