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People Pleasers –Who they are?

People Pleasers –Who they are?Updated on September 26, 2020 | Published on June 25, 2020
Reviewed by Katina Tarver, BS (Psychology), Life Coach

People Pleasers –Who they are?

We all want to be liked, loved, and accepted by others in various social situations. There are a few of them, whose main focus is to be positively accepted by others. They are called people pleasers.

They have an intrinsic tendency to satisfy important people in their lives and fit into a frame made by others. When they do so, they search for an identity that is in tune with societal demands.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be approved by others. But if your only motive is that, then you need to question your self-worth. You are in a state of approval addiction that can make you insecure and leave deep-rooted scars in your psyche.

In This Article hide

People Pleaser Definition


SUMMARY
A people pleaser is someone who always tries to be nice, warm, humble, and acceptable in front of others. They always go out of their way to make people happy and satisfied.

Many of us must have come across situations where we found somebody trying hard to satisfy others. People pleasers make a herculean task to agree with others at all costs. These people please others and satisfy their needs and wants, at the cost of their own. 

They are helping people who cannot say ‘no’ to others for help or favor. These people spent a lot of time satisfying and doing things for others, which at times is unnecessary. You are living your life for others.

They maintain a positive self-image in social circles. It is seen that people pleasers are unhappy people themselves with poor self-esteem. They have poor self validation and cannot accept themselves as a worthy being without others’ approval.

Appetite of a People Pleaser


People pleasers have a typical personality. They have many positive character traits that make them attractive and pleasing in front of others. Their negative side is full of insecurity and they try hard to fit into everyone’s pocket. This makes them vulnerable to anxiety and poor self-confidence as well. Few notable characteristics of these people are

  • They are afraid to show their real selves.
  • You push yourself very hard to fit into everyone’s heart
  • You do not have any unconditional positive regard for yourself.
  • Always have the fear of losing relationships.
  • You are too much concerned about what others will perceive you, in case you say ‘no’ to things.
  • Your sense of confidence is based on other’s approval.
  • You cheat on yourself by hiding your true feelings.
  • The needs of others are always on your priority list.
  • Anxiety and restlessness prevail within you.
  • Your continuous striving to be pleasant and attractive in front of others makes you mentally unfit.
  • Your mental world is exhausted and depleted of positive vibes.
  • You always feel you are not good enough.
People Pleasers –Who they are?
People Pleasers –Who they are?

20 Signs of People Pleaser


It is not good to be nice always. People pleasers go beyond kindness to do things for others that are not needed. A few signs of people pleasers are:

1. Always need others to like you

People pleasers always have an intrinsic need  to be loved and cared for by others. they feel inadequate, unworthy and helpless, if not liked or rejected by others. you always crave for affection and care because of poor self-love and self-esteem.

2. People pleaser person cannot say ‘no’

People pleasers have difficulty in saying ‘no’ to others. They always appear to be agreeable and nod their heads to everything asked for. you cannot turn down requests; even if you don’t want to help. In doing so, you ignore your boundary of happiness and get inclined to help others.

3. Apologize too often

You are always busy saying sorry to others; for no fault of yours. This behavior shows your need for approval and fear of rejection. Apologizing too often may make you feel inferior and terrible at times.

4. Quickly agree to things

People pleasers readily agree to the wishes, opinions and ideas of others. You always want to be liked and appreciated by others, thus compromising to each and every thing that comes your way.

5. People pleaser person never makes people angry

You compromise on your values to make others feel happy and comfortable. Feelings of guilt, self-blame is seen in you, if others are angry with you.

6. People pleaser person avoids conflicts

You try to avoid conflicts and disagreements with others, because you are worried of getting rejected in social circles. Avoiding conflicts makes you popular and acceptable by others.

7. Burdened by other people’s feelings

People who behave as pleasers are too bothered about what others think and feel about you. You suffer from approval addiction and want everyone to shower compliments upon you.

8. Poor self esteem

People pleasers have poor self esteem. They feel inadequate, unworthy, and lack confidence. These people have a very low opinion of themselves and want others to approve them as right and worthy.

9. People pleaser person is a giver

You always give or help others only with the intention of being liked, loved or approved. There is hope of getting reciprocated with affection and approval.

10. No authentic feelings

You disapprove of your true feelings. Hiding and self sabotaging of real feelings is a primary sign of people pleasers. you do not acknowledge your feelings. at times, you might not ever know how to be truthful towards yourself.

11. No time for self

A time comes when people pleaser start neglecting their own needs. You remain busy satisfying the wishes and desires of others. As a result, you neglect your physical and emotional needs. You never feel happy and blissful.

12. Emotionally dependent

People pleasers always have an intrinsic need  to be loved and cared for by others. they feel inadequate, unworthy and helpless, if not liked or rejected by others. you always crave for affection and care because of poor self-love and self-esteem.

13. Frustrations and resentments

You spend all your time looking after and doing things for others. At times, you may feel frustrated because others may not appreciate your good deeds, help, and sacrifices. resentments and hidden aggression may stem within you out of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

14. People take advantage of you

Others may take advantage of your people pleasing tendencies. They may always ask for favor and help from you as they know you are a ‘yes’ master and will always be supportive and helpful. Others will use it to meet their vested interests.

15. People pleaser person have unsatisfactory relationships

Most of your relationships are full of neglect from the other side. You consider affection as a commodity and seek it from elsewhere but others may not want to shower compliments upon you, the way you want. So, you lack fulfilling and trustworthy relationships.

16. People pleaser person feels stressful

Increased stress and anxiety comes handy with people pleasing behavior. This happens because you do more for others than what you can and should. when you continuously please others, you may feel tired and exhausted physically and mentally.

17. Partners and friends may not like you

Your partners and friends may not like you because you overdo things that they don’t want. At times, you encroach their personal space and privacy boundaries that may not be acceptable in the relationship.

18. Inferiority complex

You always feel less good than others in all respects. This inadequacy and poor self worth makes you weak and needy of love and attention. Thus, you never give credit to yourself for all the good that you do for others.

19. People pleaser person always feels overly responsible

People pleasers work hard because they do not want to let others down. They are overly responsible for their actions and can go to any extent to satisfy the needs of others. You never give others any scope of complaint.

20. Criticism is a big ‘no’ for you

You do not like criticisms and evaluations made by others. You only want them to tell good things about you and shower appreciations as much as possible. This makes you feel valuable, liked, and loved by others.

The Relation Between People pleaser Syndrome and Approval Addiction


People pleasers always want to be in their best selves. It can create mayhem and rob them of getting the desired happiness and respect that they deserve. People pleasing is a sign of emotional weakness and insecurity.

It manifests as a result of approval addiction. You have a fear of losing other’s love and appreciation and as a result, you try to fit in all situations very gladly. Your incompetency never gets revealed to others. You are dependent on external validation to feel worthy and confident of yourself.

Trying to please others is your goal in life, without which you feel lonely and depressed. Since, you are addicted to approval from other people; you tend to cross all limits to please them. You fear rejection and therefore get inclined to help others to feel good enough.

A person pleasing is an exhaustive and dangerous mindset that is done to feel secure from within. You always feel lacking and needy; thereby force you to even please people whom you do not like.

You need confirmation from others about your good deeds. A fragile and insecure ego pushes you towards pleasing others against your selfhood.

Thus, people-pleasing is the outward manifestation of approval addiction. You make unceasing efforts to be nice and kind to avoid confrontation and become a ‘yes’ master always.

Fear – the basis of people pleasing

One thing that underlies your psychological make-up is fear. You try to please others because of a few fearful elements working within you. 

These elements do not allow you to self-love and self-regard yourself. You cannot accept your authentic self. Your fears are unsettling and negative to such an extent that it brings frustration and resentment that others are unable to realize. 

The various forms of fear that works in you and disturbs your mental health are:

  • Fearful of failure and rejection.
  • Fear of losing approval from loved ones
  • There is a fear of losing self-confidence
  • Your major fear is what others think of you.
  • There is a fear of being revealed, as being not good and worthy.
  • Fearful of personal abilities and skills.
  • Fear of being lonely and isolated in social circles.

Needless to say, this exhaustion of always trying to be perfect puts you in an emotional prison from where self-doubt starts building up slowly and steadily. It affects all areas of your life.

What Causes People Pleasing


People pleasing behavior starts with intense emotional insecurity and psychological pain. Most cases of pleasing behavior have a deep-rooted childhood connection. 

It has been found that improper parenting and inadequate love and compassion from parents are the major cause of people pleasing. Let us look into the major causes of people pleasing nature.

1. Lack of unconditional love

Lack of unconditional love
Lack of unconditional love

Most cases of people pleasing behavior starts from home. Their parents had only loved them if they were good enough. They have never been loved unconditionally. Thus, most of them grew up as insecure adults lacking self-worth. 

These individuals realized that if they fulfill parental expectations, only then they will be loved and taken care of. 

This led to a constant strive to seek approval from others. For them, feelings of inadequacy started very early in life. As a result, they conform to whatever others want from them.

Parent pleasing slowly turned into pleasing others. They developed horrible feelings of frustration, guilt, shame, and humiliation that became a part of their weak psyche.

2. Avoiding bad feelings

Avoiding bad feelings
Avoiding bad feelings

You please others because you want to avoid conflict. Conflicts with others bring bad emotions and guilt that you do not want. 

You want a peaceful external environment that doesn’t threaten your emotional well being. Getting rejected in social settings is not at all acceptable for you, so you can go to any extent to please others.

3. Lack of self-love

Lack of self-love
Lack of self-love

People pleasers lack self-love. They always want to be loved by others. These people are emotionally needy because they were not taught to become emotionally self-sufficient since childhood. They try to fulfill their internal void by seeking attention from others but their inner child always remains needy and dissatisfied.

4. Less value for self

Less value for self
Less value for self

You do not consider yourself as a worthy and confident being. There is an inbuilt inferiority complex that is hard to break. As your self-esteem is poor, you tend to do various kind acts towards others, even if not asked for. You try to be presentable and perfect in all social situations. 

People start liking you because of your attractive demeanor and slowly start exploiting you to fulfill their self-interests.  You never explore your needs and try to become what others want you to be.

The Dangers of Being A People Pleaser


People pleasers are absolute peacemakers with self-sabotaging behaviors. It is a toxic behavior pattern that has far-reaching consequences.

  • Always saying yes to others, being kind and doing favors may be mentally exhaustive.
  • It erodes your sense of honesty and integrity. You are not living a life according to your values.
  • People pleasing make you needy for love and approval. 
  • You lose control of your genuine thoughts and feelings.
  • A weak sense of ‘self’ develops that craves for attention and approval. 
  • You fear negative emotions thus making everyone happy and fulfilled around you.
  • People pleasers often tell white lies, even when they are aware of it.
  • Lots of hidden emotional feelings are getting repressed within you. You experience rage, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, and annoyance.
  • There is pressure upon you to save your self-image and keep up appearances in front of others.
  • You pay a big price for approval addiction in the form of anxiety, panic, and depression.
  • No one knows your authentic self and true nature. You guard yourself from others because you do not want them to know your secrets.
  • As time passes on, you become lonely and depressed as your relationships are all messed up. Sometimes, others consider you as too interfering.
  • You try to find self-worth outside you, not within you.
  • You are dissatisfied with your own life, thus do not respect it at all.
  • As you do not have time to satisfy your needs and desires, you neglect yourself a lot. This lowers your self-confidence and self-esteem a lot.
  • You have short-lived, inconsistent relations that are one-sided because it is needy and controlling. 

The link shown below shows the ways to stop people pleasing behavior

Opposite of People Pleaser


A people pleasing is a path of self-denial. Here, you do not acknowledge your true and genuine self. Your authenticity as an individual is based on the Judgments of others. Relying too much on others approval makes you submissive.

You hide your feelings to such an extent that it starts bothering your daily life. Living as a people pleaser is painful. Identity loss and emotional crisis make you subservient to other person’s approval.

Now the question is “What can be the opposite of people pleaser?  There is no particular term to label such individuals. But one thing is clear that the opposite of people pleaser is someone who is emotionally secure with a stable identity. They are not afraid to show their true feelings and are authentic to others.

Characteristics:

When you behave opposite to people-pleasing ways, you live your life without judgment. Your personality will be:

  • Confidence and good self-esteem is your positive side.
  • You are not everyone’s cup of tea. 
  • Honest and upfront in acknowledging your feelings.
  • Good knowledge of your authentic self.
  • You are not bothered about what others think of you.
  • You love and respect yourself.
  • Accepting each part of you, whether good or bad.
  • Expresses emotions with clarity.
  • You do not engage in self-doubt and blame games.
  • Aware of personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • You don’t feel inferior to others.
  • Open-minded and helpful but not overly altruistic. You tend to do things within limits.
  • You listen to your inner voice and try to fulfill your individual needs, desires, aspirations, and goals.

The opposite of people pleasers can easily connect with self. They know their goals and purpose in life. It keeps them happy and inspired as always.

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser?


A people pleasing attitude is an unhealthy practice that is inauthentic and disempowering. You feel trapped in a vicious cycle of negative emotional patterns that can only result in utter despair and unhappiness.

What is the way out of it? Few tips may help you to stop being a people pleaser.

1. Learn to say ‘No’

Learn to say ‘No’
Learn to say ‘No’

If you think that you have enough reasons to say a no to someone, do it without hesitation. Others should accept you as you are, not as what they want you to be.

2. Know yourself

Know yourself
Know yourself

Look at yourself with compassion and respect. Understand your self-worth by loving yourself. You just need to change your mindset to say no to someone.

Kindness is a virtue, so use it when someone genuinely needs it. 

Stop flattering others and help others out of your way. Try to analyze your weaknesses and work on them. Emotional healing of your old wounds would make you self-reliant and stop you from being a people pleaser.

3. Too much of anything is bad

Too much of anything is bad
Too much of anything is bad

Doing anything than what is needed causes harm. When you do too much to maintain any relationship, it loses its importance. The relationship becomes annoying, controlling, and does not function healthily.

4. Be authentic, be you

Be authentic, be you
Be authentic, be you

You are a unique individual born with certain qualities. Others should not judge your self-worth. You should realize “Who you are?” And “What you value the most?” instead of doing things for others. Be in your authentic self. It restricts you from becoming a pleaser as you trust your true nature.

5. Let go of old emotional patterns

Let go of old emotional patterns
Let go of old emotional patterns

Self-acceptance comes when you let go of old emotional pain and sufferings. You heal and come out as a confident individual. You should embrace your emotions and let go of those which give pain.

If you are stuck in old patterns of thoughts and emotions, you remain imprisoned and will never be able to realize your true potentials. In such a case, you will become a people pleaser.

6. Do not get manipulated

Do not get manipulated
Do not get manipulated

People pleasers are often manipulated by others for satisfying various vested interests. Others take advantage of your nice and kind nature. Be aware of people who flatter you and say good things about you. Consider how much help to offer someone.

7. Don’t apologize for everything that happens

Don’t apologize for everything that happens
Don’t apologize for everything that happens

People pleasers apologize very often even in situations when they are not at fault. These habits should be avoided. You should not say sorry if you are not responsible for it. If you are not at fault, say no and stick to it.

8. Realize that everyone cannot be made happy

Realize that everyone cannot be made happy
Realize that everyone cannot be made happy

People pleasers try to make everyone happy which is not possible. Sometimes, even if you do many things, you might end up getting disappointments. People may not approve of the way you want. Do not try to change other’s behavior. You need to change your own.

9. Re-built your broken self-esteem

Re-built your broken self-esteem
Re-built your broken self-esteem

Say positive things about yourself. Feel good about your smallest achievements. It will help to develop your broken self-esteem. When you start loving yourself, you rely less on others for validating your thoughts and feelings.

10. Stop avoiding problems and conflicts

Stop avoiding problems and conflicts
Stop avoiding problems and conflicts

People pleasers tend to avoid conflicts to negate the negative emotions that arise from such a situation. But if you avoid things, it will become worse. Face your problems confidently and try to solve it. Disagreements are common in social setups.

So, try to resolve conflicts patiently. Never try to please others by going beyond your values. If you think you are right, stick to it with conviction.

15 People Pleaser Quotes


Have you ever realized that your people pleasing behavior is depleting your time and energy slowly? Are you feeling overwhelmed all the time? Your sense of identity is at stake and you are paying a big price by being ‘too nice’. 

Few inspirational quotes can help you understand the larger picture of kindness differently.

1. “I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

– Ed Sheeran
I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

– Ed Sheeran

2. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

3. “When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.”

– Paulo Coelho
“When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “If you try to please all, you please none.”

– Aesop
“If you try to please all, you please none.” – Aesop

5. “If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself.”

– Jocelyn Murray
“If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself.” – Jocelyn Murray

6. “If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.”

– Lecrae
“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae

7. “People pleasing please everyone but the pleaser.”

– Sanjo Jendayi
“People pleasing please everyone but the pleaser.” – Sanjo Jendayi

8. “You can’t be afraid of what people are going to say, because you’re never going to make everyone happy.”

– Selena Gomez
“You can’t be afraid of what people are going to say, because you’re never going to make everyone happy.” – Selena Gomez

9. “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.”

– Will Smith
“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.” – Will Smith

10. “Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

– Jim Carrey
“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.” – Jim Carrey

11. “Let your light shine today, and let your personality blossom too. You don’t have to be a people-pleaser, just a people-lover.”

– Beth Moore
“Let your light shine today, and let your personality blossom too. You don’t have to be a people-pleaser, just a people-lover.” – Beth Moore

12. “Never make someone a priority; when all you are to them is an option.”

– Maya Angelou
“Never make someone a priority; when all you are to them is an option.” – Maya Angelou

13. “The only thing wrong with trying to please everyone is that there’s always at least one person who will remain unhappy. You.”

– Elizabeth Parker
“The only thing wrong with trying to please everyone is that there’s always at least one person who will remain unhappy. You.” – Elizabeth Parker

14. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

– Lao Tzu
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

15. “Don’t lose yourself trying to be everything to everyone.”

– Tony Gaskins
“Don’t lose yourself trying to be everything to everyone.”- Tony Gaskins

Closing Thoughts

People pleasing are a kind of self-betrayal. So you need to question your behavior, if you are one. Be yourself and embrace the beauty of your soul. 

There is no point in satisfying others if you cannot be happy yourself. Just be you and rely on the unique abilities that make you who you are.