Signs you are a “People-Pleaser” and How to stop Being One

Signs you are a “People-Pleaser” and How to stop Being One


All of us tend to live for others for a pivotal part of our lives and we must acknowledge the fact that we are nurtured with these values. Our society injects the idea of living our lives, being everyone’s friend and buddy, helpful, and amiable to all. However, what it fails to teach us is the art of differentiating between being helpful and being used by others. It further fails to give the basic lessons of how to avoid people-pleasing and when exactly a person becomes a people-pleaser.

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People-pleasing behaviours mostly involve behaving and speaking in such a way that prioritizes the material and emotional needs of others over one’s own. These characteristics may be mistakenly identified as helpfulness or being amiable, but people-pleasing behaviours tend to act in detriment to the emotional and mental well-being of the individual. A people-pleaser tends to frequently go beyond their means to help people, –often putting them in ways of disappointment and hurt. They tend to undertake these acts of service with the hope that others will accept them in the name of their services. However, they commonly end up feeling resentful and angry. Most of the time they would not even receive any bare minimum acts in reciprocation.

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Through this article, we will delve deep into the various signs that may prove one’s people-pleasing habits and further suggest ways through which one could reduce or eliminate these behaviours.

1. You can’t say no:

This is one of the most classic behaviours exhibited by people pleasers whenever they are asked for help. The very idea that saying “no” while asking for help in certain situations is highly necessary within a relationship, is not something that a people pleaser is keen to follow. Most of them tend to believe that their rejecting a request made by someone, would jeopardize their relationship, even in situations where they may not be fully available to fulfil the request. This may lead them to say “yes” to every help asked for, and thus cause in them resentment and even in some situations, anger and frustration.

Read More: What is the power of saying NO in life?

2. You miss out on your “alone” time:

Since most people’s pleaser’s days end up catering to other’s material and emotional needs, they tend to be able to take out little or even no time for their well-being. They mostly neglect the importance of setting apart a substantial chunk of their day to cater for their own needs. They even try and free up their schedules to be available for others and mostly end up sacrificing their “me” time.

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3. You are unaware of the idea of setting boundaries:

One of the distinguishing traits of a people pleaser is that they fail to set adequate boundaries with others. These people, by not being able to utter a “NO” or even by feeling the need to be extra helpful to everyone around them, mostly forget to set boundaries which could aid their mental and emotional health significantly. Some of them may hesitate to set a boundary for having been shamed in their past for the same reason. This may cause an impediment in their ability to express the humane limits that they own when it comes to catering to other’s needs.

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4. You have Low self-esteem:

People pleasers often find themselves with low levels of self-esteem, and confidence and may even possess histories of anxiety, depression and even other emotional troubles that contribute to low self-esteem. These people tend to exhibit people-pleasing behaviours in the hope of having a chance to fit in with the desired group or even for external validation which they believe would boost their self-esteem.

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5. You agree even on things they do not like:

People pleasers tend to agree on everything, even on those matters they mentally disagree upon. Their belief that disagreement could tamper the relationship they have with the other person or the loneliness they could feel if they are the odd one out in the opinions expressed could be some reasons they resort to agreeing on everything they do not like. But how do we stop this? There are many strategies and tips that one could follow to avoid or reduce people-pleasing tendencies.

How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser?

  • Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s not something you do because you have the time or deserve it. Taking care of your emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical requirements keeps you well; otherwise, you’ll get ill, exhausted, agitated, and irritable.
  • Be mindful of your ideals and priorities. Prioritize yourself if a request undermines or ignores your needs.
  • Look inward to determine where your people-pleasing habits stem from. Concentrate on healing the wound that could be producing these behaviours.
  • If a person does not accept or appreciate your “no,” you should set more boundaries in your relationship. They’ve undoubtedly been taking advantage of you.
  • Do not apologize for saying no. Say “no” without feeling regretful. When you apologize, you devalue yourself and demonstrate to others that their needs can wait.
  • Saying “no” without explaining can make you feel more empowered.

Eliminating a chain of such people-pleasing tendencies is not something that can be worked upon within a day or two. It may take months of training oneself to respond in certain ways that appear in contrast to their usual patterns of behaviour. It, indeed is quite a herculean task, however never impossible with grit and determination and most inevitably, love for oneself.

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