People Pleasers and Happiness

People Pleasers Often Do Too Much

People pleasers don''t know how to say no.
People pleasers don''t know how to say no. | Source

Why Am I a People Pleaser?

A people pleaser hates to disappoint other people, or make a mistake. They want to avoid punishment at all costs.

Sometimes growing up in an environment with very critical parents can encourage people pleasing behavior. Criticism by a parent can create anxiety in the child and last a lifetime, as the anxiety becomes an ingrained part of a person’s personality. As a way to deal with the anxiety, a people pleaser will do everything they can to make things right, ensure everyone’s happiness, complete the task, and do it as perfectly as possible.

People pleasers never ‘‘test the waters’’, and strive to please for fear that they will not be loved otherwise. Pleasing becomes a defense mechanism for ensuring conditional love, and protecting from the fear of being excluded, abandoned, rejected. The behavior becomes reinforced. Parents, friends, bosses, co workers, spouses reward people pleasers with positive responses. People pleasers allow themselves to be doormats just to receive the approval of others. People pleasers are often women.

Are You a People Pleaser?

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Self Acceptance and Confidence

When you learn to fulfill yourself, you will find the greatest happiness.
When you learn to fulfill yourself, you will find the greatest happiness. | Source

Learning to Please Yourself

It takes a lot of energy to be a people pleaser. They often give up so much of themselves for the sake of others, they lose sight of what they want for themselves. People pleasers eventually grow resentful of what they have given of themselves, and can lead to passive aggressive behavior.

Like everything, balance is what is important. It is good to be friendly and sensitive, but it is important to retain personal borders and make sure the needs of others do not cross over into taking away what your needs are. People pleasers need to assert themselves to a much greater degree. When someone asks you to do something for them, balance it with what have to do too. Make it a compromise for them too. As an example, if someone asks you to do something for them, tell them you can help them, but it need to be later in the day because of the other things you want to do now.

Take some control of the situation, instead of letting the other person dictate what they want from you.

  • Ask yourself why you are doing this?
  • What are you getting out of doing it?
  • What are your costs, emotionally, physically, financially, and time wise?
  • Are you doing this because of underlying fears of abandonment?
  • Do you have a fear of disagreeing with someone?
  • Are you afraid of offending the other person?
  • Do you get anxious thinking of their possible disapproval?
  • What is the worst thing that will happen if you say no?
  • What do you expect in return?


As you answer these questions, ask yourself if it really makes sense to give up so much of themselves for their approval this time, only to have to do it all over again the very next request. Don’t rush to say yes. Give yourself as much time as you need to answer so that you benefit in ways beyond the answers to the questions above, and the cost is not at a sacrifice to yourself.

Do You Have Difficulty Setting Personal Boundaries?

Tactics for People Pleasers:

  • Stall for time - give yourself time to weigh the things you need to do for yourself with what they are asking of you.
  • Evaluate and assess what you will have to give up to do it.
  • Understand your own motives for accommodating the other person
  • What fulfillment will you get out of doing this?
  • Practice saying no. Practq22222ice, practice, practice until it feels natural.


People pleasers are usually not assertive people and it takes practice to learn to stand up for yourself.

The negative side of people pleasing. There are costs to the people pleaser. Some people have great trouble taking good care of themselves. They may have trouble managing their weight, and their health.


People pleasers make little time to destress, to make healthy decisions for themselves, and to please themselves. Eventually, people pleasers grow resentful for doing and doing and having nothing for themselves. This anger, which they don’t let out can result in passive aggressive behavior towards others. It may come out in sarcasm, not doing what is asked well, and in hidden vengeful ways to strike back.


People pleasers are stressed from all the obligations they have taken on. This reduces their ability to enjoy the things they like. This can impact their level of enthusiasm. Stress is not a good thing when it has to do with juggling too many things. Chronic stress can lead to illness. Feelings of being overwhelmed is always a difficult thing.

Resentment destroys relationships.It can cause a person to be disengaged. This anger can result in taking things out on themselves like gaining weight, biting their nails, smoking, drinking, and taking drugs to excess. This anger can be turned inward and result in depression. The solution is in communication. It means taking a risk to express feelings that are upsetting you.


Having the other person listen to you, means that you are taking a risk. Will they be receptive or rejecting? The reality is that their response doesn’t matter. The act of speaking up for yourself is enough. Putting a stop to being a doormat is more important than continuing a behavior that is detrimental to you. Expressing yourself is an announcement to others that you are upset, and you let them know it.

People pleasers are often not as happy as their kind smile may show.They are often taken advantage of by others Sometimes they know it, sometimes they are unaware because their main preoccupation is with doing whatever is asked of them. They are in some ways a slave to their belief that they must be loved at all costs. There are people who look to exploit people who want to please.


Sensing and knowing that some people will not say no, they ask more of others than they should. People pleasers don’t always realize they are taking on too much for themselves. They have difficulties setting boundaries, setting themselves up to become overwhelmed by all the things they do.


People pleasers are their own worst enemy. They have taught people how they want to be treated by accepting their demands. By not setting limits and teaching others how you will allow them to treat you, you are setting yourself up to be taken advantage of.

Learn to Balance Pleasing Others and Pleasing Yourself

It is okay to do things that please yourself too.  Only doing for others and not yourself is being a doormat. Only doing for yourself is being narcissistic. Balance is everything.
It is okay to do things that please yourself too. Only doing for others and not yourself is being a doormat. Only doing for yourself is being narcissistic. Balance is everything. | Source

Everything is a Balance

Changing the game rules, when you used to say yes, and now you say no will take many people by surprise. You may meet with their disapproval, but stay strong and committed to not pleasing them out of the fears that you have. You are bigger, better and braver than a coward who cares more for others than they do themselves. Others may try to make you feeling guilty. But you need to take care of yourself and that is most important.

People pleasers are often the nicest people you know. They are helpful, pleasant, friendly, agreeable, and easy to get along with. They don’t say no, and they can be counted on to say yes when something is asked of them. They spend more time doing for others, than they do for themselves. All of this leads to unhealthy habits and patterns that impact how they a people pleaser lives their life. They make no time for themselves, so how do they have the time to take care of their own needs, and have a better quality of life.

It is a good thing to want to take care of others. But it is also important to take care of yourself too. After all, you are no good to others if you aren’t alive and functioning at your best. People pleasers, with their helpful nature, make the world a better place. But within their own world, they don’t make things better for themselves.

If you are a people pleaser you know you need energy and vitality to keep giving to others. If you know a people pleaser do something nice for them to help them do good things for themselves. The funny thing is that they probably will do it, if they know it will please you.

Read More About People Pleasing

Just click to read more about Being a people pleaser and what you need to know.

Click her to learn to say Know to say no.

Learn about the importance of saying no

Taking Care of Yourself is Important

Changing the game rules, when you used to say yes, and now you say no will take many people by surprise. You may meet with their disapproval, but stay strong and committed to not pleasing them out of the fears that you have. You are bigger, better and braver than a coward who cares more for others than they do themselves. Others may try to make you feeling guilty. But you need to take care of yourself and that is most important.

People pleasers are often the nicest people you know. They are helpful, pleasant, friendly, agreeable, and easy to get along with. They don’t say no, and they can be counted on to say yes when something is asked of them. They spend more time doing for others, than they do for themselves.
All of this leads to unhealthy habits and patterns that impact how they a people pleaser lives their life. They make no time for themselves, so how do they have the time to take care of their own needs, and have a better quality of life.

It is a good thing to want to take care of others. But it is also important to take care of yourself too. After all, you are no good to others if you aren’t alive and functioning at your best. People pleasers, with their helpful nature, make the world a better place. But within their own world, they don’t make things better for themselves.

If you are a people pleaser you know you need energy and vitality to keep giving to others. If you know a people pleaser do something nice for them to help them do good things for themselves. The funny thing is that they probably will do it, if they know it will please you.

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Comments 3 comments

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Hello TKI, I mean, we've all been through this one time or another, most of us anyway, I believe. I like to please people because it pleases me to see them pleased, but not at the cost of my own self worth or deprecation. I suppose it's a matter of balance. I like the tactics you listed, they would be very helpful next time I find myself in a situation where I don't really want to do something, but if it pleases them . . . . decisions, decisions! Take care, Kathi :O)


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 3 years ago Author

Hi Kathi, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. People pleasers cause problems because they will say yes, when they really want to say no, and let people cross into their personal boundaries. I wrote a few other hubs about this topic and learning to say no. Hoping things are doing okay with you. All the best!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

So very interestimg and as always thank you for sharing .

Have a wonderful day.

Eddy.

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