A group of three teenage girls sitting in a field of flowers laughing and smiling.

A people pleaser is someone who says or does what they think others want them to in order to be liked.

As you grow up, it’s perfectly natural to be concerned about what other people think of you. We all want to be liked and if we aren’t for some reason, we want to know why.

However, there’s a difference between ‘wanting’ to be liked and ‘needing’ to be liked.

If you find yourself craving people’s approval all the time, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

In the meantime, here are 5 signs that you’re a people pleaser:

1. You put other people's needs ahead of your own

Constantly putting other people’s needs ahead of your own with the desire to be liked is a sign of people pleasing.

However, it can lead to feelings of martyrdom, ie. being in a constant state of suffering or sacrifice. Learning to compromise is best for everyone!

2. You feel the need to fix other people's problems

It’s normal to not want to see someone upset or in pain but it’s not on you to fix everyone else’s problems – especially if they haven’t asked.

Using all your energy to help other people can be exhausting and may not even result in the person liking you more.

Listening and supporting a person to solve their own problems is often better in the long run. 

3. You stifle your opinions so as not to offend anyone

If you’re a people pleaser, chances are you don’t like conflict so you often just smile, nod and agree with what’s being said so as not to cause an argument.

Doing this every so often is fine (maybe even necessary in particular situations!) but doing it constantly will leave you feeling fake and unsure of what your beliefs actually are.

Remember, you have a right to your own opinion and to express this opinion as long as it does not cause harm to someone else. Who knows, maybe someone else will have the same opinion too!

4. You find it impossible to say 'no'

The thought of someone disliking you is so awful to you that you’re willing to change your personal plans to be able to say ‘yes’ to another person’s request.

Doing this on a regular basis will leave you feeling frustrated and resentful of the fact that you have no free time for yourself.

It can help to have a response to hand when someone wants you to change your plans for them. For example, you could say: ‘Let me check that and I’ll come back to you.’

5. You apologise even when you're not to blame

People pleasers are desperate to keep the peace and will often apologise in a situation where they are not to blame. In some instances, your feelings may have been hurt but instead of calling the other person out, you opt for a quiet life.

Over time, your relationships can become one-sided if you realise that they’re with you because you do nice things for them or indulge their bad behaviour.

Sometimes it can be helpful to tell someone that their behaviour is not acceptable. They may not be aware of the impact it is having on you and others around you. 

How to move past being a people pleaser

The truth is, being a people pleaser isn’t the worst thing in the world but if it starts to impact on your life and personality, it’s time to stop.

Remember, just as it’s impossible for you to like everyone you meet, it’s also impossible for everyone to like you! And you need to make your peace with that.

At the end of the day, if you’re a decent, kind person and are true to yourself, the right people will be attracted to you and want to spend time with you.

Don’t worry about the rest!

Recommended Posts