10 Signs You’re a People Pleaser (and 11 Ways to Stop)

people pleaser

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What is a People Pleaser?

A people pleaser can be described as an individual who is constantly trying to make others happy at their own expense. This individual often sacrifices their own needs and desires in order to fulfill the needs of those around them. People pleasers are often described as having a strong sense of empathy and a desire to be liked by everyone. They oftentimes strive to please everyone, even if it means they don’t get their own needs met in the process.

So what is a people pleaser? People pleasers are those who accommodate and strive to meet the expectations of others. They are often seen as being “nice” and obliging, going out of their way to help others. 

People pleasers are those who do everything in their power to ensure that everyone around them is content and happy. People pleasers feel a sense of accomplishment when they make someone else’s day better, even if it means putting their own needs and wants on the back burner. This behavior can come with a price, however, as it can lead to feelings of guilt if their own needs are not met. People pleasers often struggle to create and maintain boundaries in relationships, as they feel an obligation to always please others.

Signs You Might Be a People-Pleaser:

Here are 10 signs that you may be a people pleaser:

1-You Never Have “You” Time:

You never dedicate any time to yourself because you always remain ready to be at the disposal of others. Even when you do get some moments for yourself, you are quick to make yourself available for any requests.

2-You pretend to agree with everyone:

Being able to listen politely to other people’s opinions even when different from yours is a great social skill. But pretending to agree to be liked and accepted could make you do things you don’t actually believe in.

3-You feel responsible for how other people feel:

Acknowledging the impact of one’s behavior on others is advantageous. Nevertheless, thinking that one can bring joy to someone else is difficult. It is each person’s responsibility to be the master of their own emotions.

4-You are apologizing for things that aren’t your fault:

People pleasers can attribute to themselves the burden of another’s emotions. You may berate yourself or be anxious that someone sees you as the cause if they are feeling down. Apologizing when necessary is the right thing to do, however, if you are providing excuses for circumstances that are out of your control, then there may be an underlying issue.

5-Not being able to say no:

People pleasers often find it challenging to directly tell others no when asked for something and may choose to offer excuses to avoid commitments, instead. Such individuals may then regret not having the courage to stand up for themselves from the beginning.

Related:Why Is Saying ‘No’ So Important?

6-You need praise to feel good:

Praise and kind words have the power to uplift anyone, but people pleasers are particularly dependent on extrinsic validation. If your sense of self-worth resides solely in what other people think about you, then you will only feel good when complimented by others.

7-Changing your personality depends on who’s around you:

People pleasers often shift their behavior and attitude to conform to the person or group they are with. This can lead to them acting in ways that are foreign to them or engaging in activities they don’t agree with simply to fit in socially. People pleasers frequently do whatever they can to prevent conflict, even if it means transforming into an entirely different person.

Related:21 Simple Tips to Build a Strong Personality

8-You don’t admit when your feelings are hurt:

If you want to form genuine relationships with people, you must make it known when your feelings have been hurt. Refraining from expressing your anger, sadness, embarrassment, or disappointment, even when emotionally scathed, keeps a relationship on a shallow level.

Related:10 Practical Tips That Can Help You Find Emotional Healing

9-You Feel Guilty Setting Boundaries:

One supposes that others require more help than they do themselves, and they decline to set boundaries in order to be helpful. It may be difficult to decline requests from others, possibly because they have been criticized for setting boundaries in the past.

10-You Fear Being Labeled “Selfish” :

Feeling nervous about being labeled selfish suggests you’re thinking of yourself first.

Causes of Being a People-Pleaser:

A lot of things might cause someone to be a people pleaser, including the following:

1-Poor self-esteem:

 People pleasing can be a result of individuals not recognizing their own desires and needs. As a result of having a lack of confidence, people pleasers are in need of outside approval, and they might think that doing things for others will lead to being acknowledged and accepted.

Related:Low Self-Esteem Causes, Signs, & 10 Ways to Cope

2-Past experiences:

Experiences that were painful, difficult, or traumatic can also be a factor. For instance, people who have been victims of abuse may find themselves trying to please and appease others to avoid triggering abuse.


People may try to please others due to the fear of rejection, being excluded, or causing offense. For instance, those who suffer from social anxiety may feel the need to do whatever their peers want in order to be accepted. It is an indirect way to try and manipulate how others view them.

4-Conflict avoidance:

People who are scared of conflict, or believe they must avoid it, may use people pleasing as an approach to avoid disagreements.


Those who experience insecurity may be motivated to please others because they fear they will be rejected or abandoned if they do not. This can lead them to go to extreme lengths to make those around them happy, even if it means sacrificing their own well-being.

6-Culture and socialization:

A person’s cultural background may shape how they perceive their obligations toward others and themselves. Some may believe that being entirely selfless is a desirable trait or that the needs of the group are more important than the individual.

Effects of Being a People-Pleaser:

People pleasing can be a beneficial part of fostering deep relationships with loved ones, yet it can become a problem if it is being done with the goal of gaining approval to compensate for low self-esteem or if you are willing to sacrifice your own emotional well-being in order to make the people around you happy.

When you dedicate your entire being to helping others in an attempt to make them content and win their admiration, you may face some of the following consequences.

1-Lack of Authenticity:

Individuals who are keen to please often sacrifice their own wants and needs in order to satisfy the desires of those around them. This can create a feeling of not living authentically and can even lead to the individual not truly understanding themselves.

2-Weaker Relationships:

If you find yourself consistently putting efforts toward fulfilling other people’s expectations, you may begin to feel resentment. While people may be appreciative of your generosity, they may also take it for granted. People may not be aware that they are taking advantage of your generosity. All they recognize is that you are always ready to be of assistance, so they don’t doubt that you will be there for them when needed. What they may not acknowledge is the pressure that you are under and how much you have committed yourself to do.

Healthy, strong relationships are based on equality ( give and take ). It is necessary to show kindness to those we care about, and they should do the same for us.

You won’t have good relationships if people just like you ’cause you’re nice to them.

3-Lack of self-care:

 If you are constantly committing yourself to the satisfaction of other people, you might start neglecting your own. You could end up getting sick or feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to make everyone content.

4-Inability to enjoy yourself:

The pressure generated from always striving to please people can make it difficult to take pleasure in the small things such as going for coffee or perusing your favorite book… 

Taking on a lot of commitments can make it really hard to take a break and relax because of all the stress.

Related:10 Ways To Find joy In The Little Things

5-Built-up resentment:

 It is possible to find oneself storing up anger because one believes that people are exploiting them. This might cause them to make passive-aggressive remarks and display other manifestations of their agitation. Instead of communicating their feelings to others and attempting to improve the situation, they may start to distance themselves.

6-Stress and burnout:

People pleasing can have a major impact on one’s stress level, especially when they take on more than they can manage in order to satisfy others.

The effort of attempting to meet the demands of others can have a great effect on one’s stress level, resulting in physical repercussions due to fatigue and stress. To ensure the essential needs are taken care of, one may have to work for longer periods of time, or even go without sleep.

Related:How to Avoid Burnout ?

Related:8 Ways to Bust Stress in 5 Minutes

7-Anger and Frustration:

It is possible that the people you are helping may recognize and be thankful for your sacrifices, but it is also likely that they won’t. Over time, they may even take advantage of you and never truly understand the extent of your generosity.

In either case, being nice with ulterior motives can eventually create frustration and resentment. This often culminates in passive-aggressive behavior, which can perplex or even trouble people who truly do not understand what is happening.

“Helping others may be enjoyable at times, but feeling obligated or doing something unwillingly will usually lead to feelings of frustration. This can lead to a vicious cycle of helping someone, becoming angry due to being taken advantage of, and then regretting it or feeling sorry for oneself. “

Related:10 ways To deal with Anger

Tips to Stop People-Pleasing:

1-Learn to set boundaries :

Establishing healthy boundaries is a key component of managing people-pleasing behaviors. The next time someone requests help or you’re tempted to get involved, give thought to:

How do you feel about performing this action? Is it something that you are looking forward to, or is it something you would rather avoid?

Are you able to set aside the time to attend to your own needs, or do you have to use up your limited free time or go without completing a task that needs to be done?

Think about your mental state after helping. Will it bring you joy or bitterness?

2-Set Goals and Priorities :

When deciding how to spend your time, it is important to consider who you are trying to help, what your goals are, and how these goals align with your priorities. Knowing your priorities can help you decide if you have the capacity to devote yourself to a task.

If something is draining your energy or taking up too much of your time, act to rectify the problem. As you practice implementing these boundaries and declining activities that you don’t have a genuine interest in, you will realize that you have more time to dedicate to the things that matter to you.

Related:How To Set Goals and Achieve Them ?

3-Show kindness when you mean it :

Practicing kindness is a positive habit to have, but it is not done to earn positive comments. Kindness should be done out of a sincere desire to benefit the other person, rather than any personal benefit.

Before offering aid, assess your intentions and how the action will make you feel. Does the opportunity to help another bring you joy? Or will you be displeased if the gesture isn’t repaid?

4-Relationships Require to Give and Take:

In order to have a strong and healthy relationship, there needs to be some kind of mutual exchange. If one person is always providing and the other is always taking, this tends to mean that the former is forfeiting what they need in order for the latter to possess what they want.

Even if it is satisfying to make others content, it is vital to remember that they should be making an effort to give something back too.

Related:12 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship

Related:15 Signs You Are In a Relationship With a Narcissist

5-Time blocking:

Need to keep your schedule in check? Set aside time in the day for no new requests or plans. Manually do it or use a calendar app to reject an incoming invites. (All-in-one-digital and printable planner )

6-Avoid Making Excuses:

It is essential to be direct when declining an offer, and prevent citing other duties or providing explanations for your inability to participate. As soon as you commence elucidating why you can’t do something, you are giving others a way to question your excuse. Or you may be giving them the opportunity to modify their request to ensure that you can still do what they are asking.

It is recommended to use a decisive manner when rejecting something and to abstain from giving excessive information about the reason. Remember that “no” is a complete sentence.

7-Setting time limits:

 Whenever one agrees to do something, it is important to set a time limit or deadline instead of waiting for another to set the schedule

8-Identify Toxic Traits :

When you say “no”, when you make a decision and it is not accepted or respected, that suggests that more boundaries need to be established in the relationship, as they’ve probably been taking advantage of you.

Related:The 12 Toxic Leadership Traits

Related:How to Deal With Toxic People ?

9-Have a healthy relationship with yourself :

practice self-care and self-love activities to become more aware of your own needs, inclinations, and aversions which can help you set boundaries.

10-Think before committing: :

When someone requests a favor, it is wise to pause and consider before responding in the affirmative. Quickly agreeing can leave one feeling obligated and overwhelmed, but taking time to consider the request can give an opportunity to assess it and determine if it is something desired. Before reaching a decision, ask yourself :

What is the approximate duration of this task?

Should I really take on this task? Do I have the necessary amount of time to complete it?

How anxious will I be if I choose to accept?

Providing yourself a moment will assist you in making an exact determination as to whether you have the inclination and time to take it on.

11-Work On Your Inner Self :

It is beneficial to delve inward and identify the source of these people pleasing tendencies and heal whatever injury may have caused them. It could be old trauma or a negative experience with someone dear to you. In any case, it is important to be comfortable with yourself and recognize all of your needs.

Finally :

It is not necessary to forsake kindness and thoughtfulness. These are admirable traits that can lead to strong, long-lasting relationships. It is important to consider the motives and intentions behind your actions. Do not act due to the fear of being rejected or the hope of being favored by others.

Continuing to do good deeds is important, but it should be done on your own terms. Kindness does not require recognition or recompense; it simply requires a genuine desire to make things better for another person.


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