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Jobs - When Pleasing People becomes a Weakness

Updated on September 21, 2015

Being a people pleaser was one of my weaknesses and sometimes it comes back, but why?

Why do we like to please people?

a) We don’t want to upset them.

b) As above, we want to keep on their good side.

c) We lack being assertive.

d) We want to show people we are capable.

e) We just want peace! (see more in the Video below)

I noticed this when I started my first job in the 90s, as an Admin Assistant. I didn’t feel like a fish out of water, I felt like a fish out of the Ocean because I had no work experience at all.

It was pretty daunting and after settling in, I still had that attitude of wanting to please everyone. If a Manager asked me to do a task, even if I couldn’t and didn’t have the time. I’d say "yes" and wonder later, how on earth to get round it. Infact there was a time I asked:

"When do you need it for?"

Manager replied: "yesterday"

I replied: "but yesterday has gone" (feeling confused) Lol.


At that time in the Civil Service, there was a Training Magazine that was circulated monthly and you could choose any course you wanted to go on. (One or Two Day courses.) My Colleagues and I chose the “How to be Assertive" Course. We attended it and all came back like Super Women!

¸.·*✰ What changed us?

We were taught to respond with lines like:

"I would like to do the task for you, HOWEVER, I am extremely busy...”

or give another good reason, without feeling bad and speak confidently. It helped a lot, gave me confidence and later I became an Admin Officer. I stayed in my first job for 8 years, then grew wings (No thanks to Red Bull!) and left to be an Office Manager in an American Company.

If this affects you, I hope the few pointers below help. Feel free to add to them in the comments box. ~ Thank you for Reading. (◕‿◕)

Credit to Emily Roberts
Credit to Emily Roberts

Thoughts about Pleasing People (2 Min Video)

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a hard lesson to learn, my friend, one that took me many years. I'm sure glad I finally learned it. It was exhausting trying to keep everyone happy.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 23 months ago from The Beautiful South

      I have mostly been self employed and I found out the hard way working for others meant the more I gave the more they wanted and I always gave 100 and 10 percent which can burn you out after awhile and employers don't seem to have the sense to want more out of the ones who do nothing instead of losing their good workers who say enough is enough after so long.

      Great advice.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 23 months ago from Chicago

      Hi Lady_E, No, you can't please everybody but you can please yourself. You've got to please yourself before you can please others. It only makes sense. Also, you can only edify someone else after you've been edified. Just like love, you can't love someone unless you love yourself 1st. Thank you, Excellent hub. Voted up!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting and an important aspect of life to keep in mind. Some folks just assume what is important to them must be a priority for you. We must establish fair boundaries.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 23 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I thought of HealthSouth hospital while reading this. ( Where I worked and retired from. ) There was never enough time to complete your work. Interesting article. It appears you survived and learned. Good for you Elena...

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 23 months ago

      Elena the subject speaks of its importance from an internal view point, true an honest and well skilled person never wants to be under one's influence all the time, else it might hamper the natural progress. The earlier phase of your job was a challenging one but the way you have faced was simply good, it's beneficial fruits have now fallen in our laps in the form of seven valuable tips, well said and thanks for sharing.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 23 months ago from London, UK

      @billybuc That's interesting to know. You hit the nail on the head - it's exhausting. Very! Thanks so much for stopping by.

      @Jackie It's a beautiful thing you did, giving 110%, that extra mile but as you noted it can drain you. Aaawh... and you probably had no one to delegate to. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 23 months ago from London, UK

      @Word55 I like your take on it. We can't give what we don't have. Also, what you noted appeals a lot to relationships. A crucial point. I'm glad you shared it. Thanks

      @Eric Oh, I wish I could have read your words back then. "Establish fair boundaries." Thanks for sharing these wise words.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 23 months ago from london

      Not easy. After 33 years of prayer and meditation daily, for anything up to 4 hours, I am still working on this! In Christianity out Saints called it Self-love. It is not that we want to please others, but that we want to be Loved. So your letter 'E' is probably your best answer up top.

      Still, it's great that you highlight this impediment as the more conscious we are, the better and faster we will be able to understand. Much Love, Lady_E.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 23 months ago from The Caribbean

      Some people seem addicted to people pleasing. It takes time to overcome the condition, but your suggestions are a good start. Thank you.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 23 months ago from London, UK

      @manatita44 Thanks. Maybe it's more of a challenge for Christians.

      Are you a Pastor? Just wondered through your comments. I appreciate you stopping by. Best Wishes.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 23 months ago from London, UK

      @MsDora Thanks. It truly does take time. Hope all is well. Nice to hear from you.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 23 months ago from London, UK

      @abdullah Jayed

      Thanks for the comment. Very enlightening.

      I'm glad you stopped by.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 22 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Short and right to the point. I like it!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 22 months ago from london

      Yes and no, Elena.

      I am a disciple of Sri Chinmoy as some of my works and profile mentions. I grew up in Christianity and excelled in biblical studies. I travel the world and have been teaching the Spiritual life both nationally and internationally, for 33 years.

      The way of the Student of Peace is the way of the Cross and full of struggles. It is also the mystical way, requiring prayer, solitude, discipline and the descent of a Higher Light (Grace). Nothing can be achieved without Grace. 'O Lord, I remember You, because You, in Your infinite Compassion, remembered me first.' A baptism of inner fire is also essential. We must be born again, but it is a birth of the Spirit and not of things mundane.

      You may find Dignity and Duty of The Priest and The Imitation of Christ, very helpful to you, if you do not already have them. They are easily available from Amazon. Thank you for asking, it allowed me to share. In Love and Light.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 22 months ago

      I used to try to please everyone, have to admit at times it was for selfish reasons. I've discovered the importance of being honest with yourself and others when it comes to this topic. Your tips are great and will help others to adjust.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 22 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Ahh, this used to be me. Always trying to pleased everyone at home and at work. I'd feel guilty to say NO.

      Not anymore...I've learned my lessons and can absolutely say NO, if I can't without being offensive or feeling guilty.

      Great pointers.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 22 months ago from London, UK

      @Manatita Thanks for answering my question. It's a wonderful way to be but a pity it's full of struggles. God gives daily grace though.

      Thanks again. :-)

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 22 months ago from London, UK

      @BlossomB Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate it.

      @Teaches12345 Thanks Diane. I like what you wrote about being honest with yourself/ourselves. Lovely of you to stop by. :-)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 22 months ago from london

      Yes, yes, my Sweet, Elena.

      Only recently, I said that we Love God's Light and Love, but are afraid of the suffering. Scriptures are full of men and women of God who have struggled, including many of our Saints. Not new. I have also just answered a question where I spoke of sacrifice and the way of the Cross.

      So you have my empathy here. Interestingly though, it need not be so. As we walk deeper in His Light, we seem to receive a kind of Comfort which sustains us, and see us through.

      Please forgive me, I'm taking up your Hubs time here. Once again, Great Hub and thanks for allowing me to share.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 22 months ago from London, UK

      @CrisSp Thanks for your comment. ~I am glad you turned things around. Some people find it hard to break that cycle. Cheers.

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 22 months ago from London, UK

      @Manatita Always a pleasure to read your comments. I gain lots of wisdom from them and take time to ponder. So, write as much as you want on the Hubs. It will help others too.

      Have a great week. :-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 21 months ago from England

      Its definitely hard to do, I must admit I am a yes person. I am always to scared I am going to hurt someones feelings! in the work place? what? lol! great hub and interesting stuff!

    • Lady_E profile image
      Author

      Elena 21 months ago from London, UK

      @flourishAnyway So True. Thanks for stopping by.

      @NellRose Aaah... I know how you feel. :-)

      Thanks for sharing your comment.

    • success79 profile image

      success79 21 months ago

      Informative hub with great insights! I firmly believe in taking a stand for your opinion and should not be intimidated by what another person thimks.

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