How do I heal myself?

Perhaps you are someone who tries to make everyone around you happy while ignoring the fact you also have needs and issues. In response to your efforts, people say “Oh, that’s so sweet of you!” or “You are being so generous and thoughtful!” Meanwhile, your inner self is being ignored – by yourself and others. When you find yourself in need, you somehow find yourself alone. It feels like everyone has forgotten about you. 


Does the following sound familiar to you?

  • You spend time, money and energy trying to make others happy, trying to stop them feeling sad, upset, disappointed or angry.
  • If you fail to make the other person happy, you blame yourself, perhaps labelling yourself a failure or even hating yourself.
  • All of this effort leaves you physically exhausted and lacking in energy.
  • Meanwhile, you hide your true feelings by swallowing, denying or minimising them.
  • You take little time or no time to care for yourself.

Take a moment to reflect on this list. Does it feel familiar? What springs to mind for you?

If this is you, then it seems you are trapped in a cycle of people-pleasing behaviour: trying to make the other happy, then beating yourself up when it doesn’t work, feeling anxious, depressed, burnout and in despair. 

If you’d like to break this cycle, the first step is to understand what’s going on for you and what leads you to people please.

What are you hoping to receive from the other person? The answer to this question will reveal what is missing in your life – it will reveal your unmet needs.

There is an emptiness inside that you are trying to fill. But your strategy of pleasing others will never work because it is a strategy that involves ignoring your own needs. Instead, it’s time to focus on your inner void – because this is where healing is needed.

When you start acknowledging and attending to your own needs – instead of the needs of others – you will start to have a more authentic and fulfilling life. 

It is human nature to want to be liked. We want to belong. But let’s evaluate how much control you have over other people’s opinions of you. You will never be able to please everyone, no matter how hard you try. There will always be someone who sees life differently from you. So, it’s important that your self-esteem, confidence, happiness and satisfaction are not dependent on other people’s opinions. When you are dependent on how others see you, what happens to your true self?  

Changing the pattern isn’t easy, but it is possible. Thinking about our lives in different ways can empower us to see ourselves and our relationships differently. You don’t need to embark on this journey alone. Professional support can help you to build confidence to speak up and prioritise your feelings, thoughts and desires without feeling selfish or guilty. And this can lead to joy and more fulfilling relationships. I would be happy to accompany you on this journey. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, Greater London, N2
Written by Inese Vorobjova, Children and adults
London, Greater London, N2

Inese is London based, a professionally qualified psychotherapist, offering one-to-one confidential, compassionate and at your own pace counselling online. She works with wide range, but is particularly interested in relationship issues, early life trauma, boundaries, assertiveness and people pleasing.

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