Sensitive people that aim to make everyone around them feel comfortable are an asset – not only at social gatherings, but also at work and in the home. But while these kindly folk may be the glue that hold many a friendship or family party together, they also suffer a few personal drawbacks for their self-sacrificing natures.
Drawback No. 1: They tend to overeat, or so suggests a recent article on Time.com.
The Time piece cites a new study by psychology researchers in the US that found ‘people-pleasers’ often overeat when they’re around other people; not because they’re hungry, but because they don’t want to make others feel bad for eating too much.
The reason for the sympathy gorging is old-fashioned peer pressure: “People-pleasers feel more intense pressure to eat when they believe that their eating will help another person feel more comfortable,” said lead author of the study and Case Western Reserve psychologist Julie Exline.
“Almost everyone has been in a situation in which they’ve felt this pressure, but people-pleasers seem especially sensitive to it,” said Exline.
Overeating or being a polite dinner guest is hardly a crime. But it does often result in the people-pleaser feeling guilty or regretful afterwards.
You may be wondering if you’re a people-pleaser (FYI, that’s probably a clue that you are one). But what defines this personality trait? The researchers considered this kind of person to have the following general characteristics: people-pleasers worry about the feelings of others, they put other people’s needs above their own and they are sensitive to criticism.
If any of that sounds familiar, don’t beat yourself up. For one, you’re a pretty lovely person and the world needs more people like you. Just not literally more of you. Instead of trying to make other people feel comfortable for their choices, set yourself a new challenge: make yourself comfortable with your own choices and let the chocolate chip cookies fall where they may.