1. Whenever you throw a party, instead of getting drunk, you just run around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to make sure everyone else is having a good time. If they stop smiling for even a second, you fly into a panic, wondering if something happened and/or what you can do to make sure they start having a good time again.
2. When you say you’re a “people pleaser” in job interviews, they give you a nod that says yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it before. But they DON’T GET IT. You really are! You’re not just saying this to look good! It’s a serious epidemic and you are desperate for a cure.
3. Even when you do passive social activities, like going to the movies, you still worry about whether or not everyone is having a good time. You ignore the fact that it’s up to a big screen to entertain your friends and not you. You don’t care that you have no control over how much everybody enjoys the movie. You still feel responsible for making sure everybody is having fun.
4. You spend way too many extra hours at your job, because you don’t know how to say no.
5. If someone gives you control of the music in the car, or control of the tv while you and your friends are all hanging out, you go into a complete panic. Anyone else would love the opportunity to put on all of their favorite songs or shows, but not you. You pass that headphone jack like it burned you and insist that someone else takes control.
6. You are always exhausted because you don’t know how to turn down a social engagement. You can’t miss your friend’s birthday dinner Tuesday night and you don’t want to cancel happy hour plans with your coworker on Thursday and you can’t miss brunch on Saturday. Because, brunch.
7. “I don’t care” is your response to everything. Where you want to go to eat. What bar you want to go to tonight. What store you want to walk into next. The truth is, you do care, but whenever you suggest something, you feel like the bratty girl in Willy Wonka screaming “I want it now, Daddy!” Even though you know this is a total overreaction, you can’t help yourself. You don’t want to become Veruca Salt.
8. You dread birthdays. Not your own birthday, but everyone else’s. Because you feel like you have to do something amazing for every single one of your good friends or family members. At this point, they’ve come to expect it from you, thanks to your stupid people-pleasingness. You feel so much pressure every time it’s someone’s special day.
9. You can never bring yourself to say something when you’re at a restaurant and they make your food the wrong way. Even if you specifically requested no salad dressing and then they drizzled the damn thing in Caesar, you eat it dutifully. Dutifully and sadly. Because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, after all.
10. SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ISN’T FUN IT’S COMPLETELY STRESSFUL OMG.
11. You don’t know what the concept of “me” time is. Relaxing? Watching whatever show you please? Laying in bed and reading a book? These all sound too good to be true. Other people do them. But you? You are too busy helping your friend mail their wedding save-the-dates or picking your cousin up from the airport.
12. You don’t know how to talk about your own problems. When you’ve had a bad day or you are stressed out or you just need to vent, you try talking to someone one about it but then you just start worrying that you’re being too self-absorbed, so you ask them about how they are doing instead.
13. Waiting in a well-established line is your only hope to get anything, whether it’s food at McDonald’s or a taxi. If there is no line or established sense of order, you will just continually insist other people go before you.
14. You do way more work than is necessary for anything and everything – a potluck dinner means you’re bringing an appetizer and an entree and dessert. A work presentation means you’ll be up all night making sure it’s absolutely perfect. A friend’s bachelorette party means you’ll be spending way more money than is necessary on candy shaped like penises. You just can’t help yourself.
15. If you’re on an airplane and you have to pee really badly, you can bet your ass you’re holding it. Unless you’re in the aisle seat. Otherwise you’ll be disturbing your seat buddies. And you Just. Can’t. Handle. The pressure.