Faked Lives: 10 Reasons People Try to Impress Others Unnecessarily

The many reasons why people try to impress others boil down to the need for self-validation in order to feel good about themselves.

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When someone is in desperate need of external validation, pressured by societal norms, scared of rejection or running low on self-esteem they abandon their true selves and resort to all manner of tactics to impress others.

But these are far from being the only reasons why people try to impress others. In this post, I will give you some of the most fundamental factors that make people want to seek public approval in almost every aspect of their lives.

Motives Behind Trying to Impress Others

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes try so hard to impress someone you know and admire?

Maybe you are in the habit of trying to impress people you hardly know – total strangers.

If you want to be honest with yourself, you will agree with me that much of the effort you make to impress others is meant to achieve at least one of the following outcomes.

  • To attract the attention and hopefully win the affection of someone you’ve deeply fallen in love with.
  • To give your low self-esteem a push
  • To feel happy again following a bad or humiliating experience
  • To keep up with your friends or neighbours
  • To deceive or give a false impression about yourself. So sometimes you act nice when in actual fact you aren’t.
  • As a form of revenge. You are trying so hard to impress someone and win their favour in order to spite another person who might have wronged you in some way.

There are fundamental reasons.

But there are underlying factors responsible for all these. And those are what this post is all about.

We want to uncover the fundamental reasons why people engage in all sorts of behaviours just for the sake of impressing others.

This is despite the fact that they often feel extremely exhausted and short of energy after each people-pleasing session.

When we are forced to please others, we are keenly aware that ours is a needless and energy-draining fake life.

I believe that such knowledge and understanding can help you and me deal with some of our relationship challenges.

Now before I explain in greater detail the reasons why people do everything to make others approve of them, I want us to identify the various types of individuals you and I might have ever tried to impress in the not-too-distant past.

This will enable us to better understand the factors that account for this unnecessary zeal people have for falling over themselves just to make others like them.

Who are the people we love to impress?

Here is a list of the sort of people you may have ever tried to impress for one reason or the other.

  • Friends, colleagues and schoolmates
  • Lovers or marriage partners
  • People we find attractive and wish to start a relationship with
  • Complete strangers
  • Potential employers
  • Workplace superiors
  • Our teachers
  • People in higher positions in an organization or a social club
  • Our parents
  • Neighbours
  • Community leaders
  • Everybody else

Have you ever caught yourself asking why do I try to impress this or that person? The following points will help you get closer to having your answer.


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1. A Need for External Validation

Many individuals seek validation from others as a way to boost their self-esteem. They want to hear positive feedback and feel recognized for their worth and accomplishments.

They are those who will do anything just to remain in the good books of those whose approval they desperately seek.

2. Pressure from the Public

Another reason why people try so hard to impress others is that they cannot easily ignore what society expects from them.

Society often places expectations on individuals to conform to certain standards of success, appearance, or behaviour.

To avoid being judged is therefore one of the reasons a lot of people try to impress others.

They feel a desperate need to fit in, and not to look ‘odd’, even if those standards do not align with their personal values.

3. Lack of Self-Confidence

People with low self-esteem may believe that they are not valuable enough.

Such individuals will try to gain external validation and approval to compensate for their self-doubts.

For some, one way to give their very low self-esteem a shot in the arm is to undermine or make another person look bad.

4. Fear of Rejection

The fear of being rejected or excluded is one of the reasons that drive people to go to great lengths to impress others.

They hope that acceptance will follow.

In the process, unfortunately, such people-pleasers tend to sacrifice their real personal values.

5. The Habit of Constant Comparison

When you are in the habit of constantly comparing yourself to others it can lead you to a desire to outdo or keep up with peers.

The obvious result is unnecessary attempts to impress.


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6. Feelings of Insecurity and Inferiority Complex

There are many factors that are responsible for people growing up with feelings of being inferior to everybody else.

If you are in this category, it may make you gradually develop the need to always prove yourself to others.

7. Desire for Social Status

Some people value social status so much that they are willing to move heaven and earth to appear rich or comfortable.

They believe that overstretching their finances to acquire certain status symbols will elevate their position in the eyes of the public.

8. Overwhelming Media Influence

The things that we hear and watch in the media are also responsible for the unnecessary attempts people make just to win public approval.

Aggressive advertising and the media portrayal of success and luxury keep making many people believe that spending money in ways that impress others is a measure of personal success.

Today, people buy luxury goods like jewellery and expensive cars they can hardly afford for the sole reason of impressing others.

Some even take high-interest online personal loans to go on shopping sprees for the same reasons.

9. Peer Pressure

If you’ve ever had friends or relatives whose major concern is to make sure that you all appear to be what you are not, you will understand how pressure from peers is one of the reasons some people will do anything to impress others.

Some friends and acquaintances are known to exert pressure on individuals to conform to certain unreasonable standards.

This happens in different settings such as at work, in relationships or even inside religious organizations.

Individuals who are already running low on self-esteem find it difficult to resist such pressures causing them to try to impress to gain approval.

10. Lack of Self-Love

Your inability to practice self-care may be among the reasons you choose to impress others to your own disadvantage.

When you are unable to put yourself first, you can easily fall into the unhealthy habit of living for the sake of making others feel good.

As you can see, this is a clear case of misplaced priorities.

Are you one of those individuals who prioritize the opinions of others over their own happiness and well-being?

You need to watch your ways for they may not be in alignment with your true self.

Final Thoughts

Remember that the reasons people try to impress others are many and varied. It is necessary for you to know which applies to you if you believe you’ve fallen into the people-pleasing trap.

Understanding your own reasons can help you become more self-aware and make conscious choices for your personal happiness and well-being.

Finally, never must you lose sight of the fact that true fulfilment comes from being your authentic self.

And no matter your reasons, an intentional approach to life, rooted in your personal values and goals, is far better than constantly trying to fake everything just to impress people who, for all you care to know, may not even care.

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Faked Lives: 10 Reasons People Try to Impress Others Unnecessarily

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