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Extreme fear of people’s disapproval

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Hi everyone. I am 30 years old now and I’m starting to see for the first time certain things about my personality that I’d like to improve. I am a people pleaser and it causes much stress and anxiety if I let someone down or if I feel like I’m not doing what someone wants.


For example, I am moving into a new house soon, I have been looking before covid19 lock down and started the process way before lock downs. I am about to close soon and won’t be moving until at least mid June.


I am having anxiety about telling my family I got a house. I am worried they will think I am stupid for buying a house during uncertain times, and I have a family member with a weakened immune system and I feel like she will look at me like I am being an idiot for moving. (My lease is up and I need to move or resign)


I have terrible time saying no to people, I worry constantly what people think of my decisions. Do I maybe need therapy? For the most part I live a normal life, with a good job, friends and family relationships are good. Is this something I can work on by myself (dealing with anxiety, people pleaser, and a bit of ocd)?



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Some online therapy would probably benefit you as your feelings are detrimental to your health. I'd be pleased as can be to buy a house and tell all my friends and family! I dont care what the naysayers would say, they arent going to live there nor pay the mortgage. I admit I dont understand how you feel as I am not a people pleaser at all, but to a degree my husband is. He is concerned about what the other guy thinks, tho it doesnt stop him from doing whatever it is he wants to do.


It doesnt matter if your parents approve or not about you buying a house, it matters what YOU think and nobody else. You must have liked it to buy it, and you must have figured out if you can afford it, so dont let anyone rain on your parade!


Look into online therapy, and get yourself sorted out so you dont dwell on what others may think.

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I think this is a practice kind of thing. Practice acting and speaking in a self-confident way. I had to do that a lot as a new mom. For example one of my friends wanted me to bring my baby to her pool club and I explained I would have to schedule it around his naps. She said that all her friends just let the baby nap in the stroller or wherever. But in our family that wouldn't work for us. So instead of over-explaining I simply said "we don't do things that way". There are so many life decisions you will make some won't approve of. So you have to get used to that by practicing what you say in response and rehearsing -then fake it till you make it. You can't control your feelings but you can control your reactions. Good luck with your new home!

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How about this...tell them nothing. You are an adult, you don't need their approval to do things. When you move in and get settled, have a virtual open house or a real one depending on what's approved of for Covid. Make light of it, and show off proudly your new home with big smiles. If you act worried and weak, people naturally pick on you. If you hold your head up high, walk and talk with an air of confidence, no one will ever challenge you. If they start in with you, just brush it off and don't give them a reaction...carry on, offer them a glass of wine. That is how you show them you are not going to tolerate being pushed around. You earn respect.

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Congrats on the new house!


It's ok. Everyone has an opinion. People just see what's on the surface and your family might not know the whole story if they're closed-minded or quick to judge. They don't know how you found the place or what made you like it or the little nooks and crannies and great stuff about the home that make it your home.


You have a great project ahead of you, making this a lovely place, your place. Don't let anyone rob you of that.


Keep your chin up and stay focused on all the things you want to do or enjoy in your new home. I think others will see you enjoying your new space too and will eventually look nutty or silly for raining on your parade when it has nothing to do with them. lol it will just make them look dumb for being overly critical anyway.



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But you are doing what you want. However an evaluation from a doctor and referral to a therapist can help you resolve the sense of anxiety and properly guide you through things.


Generalized anxiety or dealing with negative or critical people are things therapy could help you navigate rather than self diagnosing "people pleaser".

I am a people pleaser and it causes much stress and anxiety if I let someone down or if I feel like I’m not doing what someone wants. I live a normal life, with a good job, friends and family relationships are good.
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I identify as a former people pleaser. Interestingly enough, when I decided I would let that fear of disapproval go and really listen to the still, small voice inside? Then there was FAR less disapproval than when I ran around trying to manage everyone else’s feelings.


What other people think of me is none of my business. Period. I see that now; and when I act authentically from my best judgement (knowing full well I can’t make everyone happy,) it seems like people are way more inclined to reach for understanding and support than they are for judgement and condemnation. It’s like the more I worry about disapproval the more I get.


Anyway, this may just be rambling to you but it’s my experience and it seemed possibly relevant so I thought I’d share. I wish you peace and joy on your path!

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I was a people pleaser for a very long time.


Therapy could help. A therapist will tell you how to NOT care what other people think.


For me, it boils down to respect. If people don't like what my choices are, too bad and tough luck. I will do it anyway. I give others respect among my family and friends and if they don't, I enforce very strong, healthy boundaries with them. I either decrease all contact to the extreme or if I can "afford it," I'm estranged from them. Respect and common courtesy are a two way street.


Your anxiety will decrease as you become stronger within your own skin for your own survival's sake. As others have said, it takes time, practice, patience, trial and error. You will learn over time how to be diplomatic, fair yet peaceful.


Congratulations on being a new homeowner! It's quite a feat! :D


Here's a tip: I don't "offer" any information unless I'm asked. This is regarding any subject and if people aren't privy to my details, I'll refrain from disclosing and divulging. Change the way you think. You don't owe anyone any explanations regarding your life.


As for reactions, you'll have to learn to turn a deaf ear. People will criticize you no matter what between now and decades from now. Toughen up. Know your audience, adjust yourself and exercise discretion.


Also, years ago, I knocked myself out doing everyone's bidding. I was the first to race to a neighbor, friend, relative's, church friend's, acquaintance's, in-law's doorstep with homemade meals in tow for every occasion such as birth, death, financial hardship, hospital homecoming, new move-in, etc. I made homemade gifts. I bought a lot of gift cards for everyone. I was a major people pleaser and I don't do so much anymore. I felt taken advantage of by a bunch of ingrates. :eek::upset: Then I felt like a doormat. I stopped. I now concentrate on my own life, buy what I want, take care of my health, have time for hobbies, books, movies, etc. It's amazing how much time you'll discover once you stop being such a people pleaser. You ought to try it! :smug:


Change your mindset and you'll feel stronger than ever before. Then, saying "NO becomes so easy.

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Become less self conscious and you won't feel the need to please others. You don't need anyone's approval. Go your own way in this life, do what you want when you want. Don't preoccupy yourself with others. Learn to become very strong and INDEPENDENT including independent minded.


Change the way you think. It also helps to spend LESS time with others. I've found that whenever I'm too social with others, I get lost and parts of my soul starts chipping away. Then I get too consumed with catering to their needs, have less time for myself, my home life is neglected and I get entangled with "busyness" for others. This includes having to explain myself to them ad nauseum. Hence, the endless people pleasing starts all over again. :upset:


Learn to distance yourself, enforce healthy boundaries with others and live your own life. It keeps the peace while not getting personal with others including your own family. In other words, these enforced boundaries forces everyone to mind their own business.


I myself have done my disappearing act. Then people perceive that I'm very self confident, secure and I have nothing to prove. Then they'll start ingratiating themselves to me. It's a trip. It feels empowering when I tell them that I'm very busy. We see one another infrequently. I'll navigate the relationship on my respectfully distant and polite terms and no one crosses the line. Either they behave or I'm gone again until next time. Repeat this strategy until they comprehend that they either have to behave or you'll disappear again. This strategy works splendidly! :D


Also, be prepared for those who are insecure, jealous and envious. Not everyone will be your cheerleader. Someone will always say snide comments and it's the "misery loves company" mindset as usual. Learn to either deflect or ignore disrespectful, critical comments. It's your life so let yourself live it the way you see fit.


Be tough, hardened and thick skinned. This is how your people pleasing days are no more. Develop street smarts.

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I am very sorry about your problem! It's possible that you can work on this problem by yourself, but it's gonna be very hard. It seems that you have a hard time not caring about others' approval. I recommend therapy because it can help a lot. I would like you to know that you are not alone. Therapists will tell you that they have a lot of people go to them for different reasons. It's best to get help.

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