The benefits of reappraisal extend beyond the emotional realm. People who reappraise are less depressed, more satisfied with their lives, have higher self esteem, and greater optimism and well-being; they are also seen by others as more having closer relationships and being more likeable.Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D. – The Good and Bad of Emotion Regulation Strategies
When people are told to suppress their emotions during experiments, they express fewer negative emotions, but they still report experiencing as many negative emotions as people who aren’t told to suppress.
Although suppression doesn’t dampen people’s experience of negative emotions (just their expression of them) it does seem to have an adverse effect on people’s positive emotions.
People who suppress more also have less social support, avoid getting close to others, and are seen by peers as having fewer close relationships.
The key reason why suppression was associated with poor well-being and relationship quality? It made people feel inauthentic. Suppressing their emotions made people feel like they were holding back their true selves.
In a nutshell, “fawning” is the use of people-pleasing to diffuse conflict, feel more secure in relationships, and earn the approval of others.Sam Dylan Finch – 7 Subtle Signs Your Trauma Response Is People-Pleasing
If you’re a fawn type, you’re likely very focused on showing up in a way that makes those around you feel comfortable, and in more toxic relationships, to avoid conflict.
But the downside to this is that you’re not necessarily being your most authentic self. The more you fawn and appease others, the more likely you are to feel unknown to others, even in your close relationships.
Your catchphrase might even be something like “it’s no trouble at all, really!”
We need an outlet for our emotions, but having emotions can be sooo off-putting, right? So we unload them onto people we aren’t yet invested in, that we won’t see again, or where a safe distance (like on social media) is in place.
You might make a lot of excuses for the lousy behavior of other people, defaulting to self-blame. You might get angry, only to feel like an Actual Monster for having feelings at all five minutes later. You might even feel like you’re not “allowed” to be upset with other people.
We’re trying to anticipate someone else’s happiness, because deep down, we feel responsible for it — and are trying everything in our power to ensure that the people we care about aren’t disappointed.
This can be difficult to notice at first. You might think of yourself as being agreeable, good at compromise, easy to get along with. But if you pay attention to the conversations you’re having, you might notice you’re a little too agreeable — to the point of validating viewpoints that you don’t really, fully agree with.
Fawning often requires that we shut down emotionally. The less we have distinct feelings of our own, the easier it is to adapt to and accommodate the emotions of other people.
If we feel that “fawning” is failing us in an argument, that it won’t work with a particular person, or that we just don’t know how to please someone, we might check out emotionally, or rely on other “escapist” mechanisms so that we no longer have to engage.
It can be painful to constantly silence yourself and push your emotions away, all while working overtime to anticipate the emotions of other people.