Persons that engage in people-pleasing behaviors often do so out of an intense need to be liked and accepted. People pleasing individuals experience significant challenges saying “no”, voicing objections, conveying their needs, managing criticism, and putting the needs/desires of others ahead of their own. People-pleasing persons rarely get what they want or need, rather, they are often taken advantage of and manipulated.

Those that people-please display a marked fear of not being liked, fear rejection, and do not want to come across as combative. When we think of people pleasers they are usually the people we can always count on (even if we suspect they really do not want to do what we are asking them to do), never say “no”, always get their work done, help others with their work, stay late, plans everything, and never complains. Having a people pleaser in your life can really reduce your level of stress and frustration. People-pleasers can also help you get ahead in your respective careers because of their diligence and key eye for detail. However, it is very difficult for people- pleasers to improve upon their own lives as they are often too busy accommodating and fulfilling the needs of others.

Classic Signs of People-Pleasing Behaviors:

  • You place the needs/desires of others ahead of your own
  • You have difficulty saying “no”
  • You do things for others even when you really don’t want to
  • You fear angering or upsetting others
  • You are the emotional caretaker for everyone who is important to you
  • You make excuses for being overly agreeable
  • You feel the need to be nice all the time
  • You over analyze and ruminate on everything you say and do our of fear of coming across mean or offensive
  • Indecisiveness

Possible solutions to People-Pleasing Behaviors:

  • Consider your personal needs before considering the needs of others
  • Learn how to say no without making excuses
  • Identify your personal challenges with saying “no”, i.e., your reasons for accommodating the needs of others when you may not want to
  • Speak up for yourself by asserting your needs and asking for what you want
  • Take time to do more things that benefit you and you alone
  • Evaluate your personal boundaries, i.e., if they are too flexible create stringer boundaries and stick with it
  • Consider why you engage and maintain people pleasing behaviors
  • Do not base your self-worth on what you do for others and their personal thoughts of you
  • Stop apologizing for considering your own needs and feelings in response to the needs, desires, and requests of others
  • Practice successive approximation
  • Recognize you have the right to say “no”
  • Realize that you can’t be everything to everyone
  • Consider who you want, can realistically accomplish, and have time to do

Although, people pleasing behaviors may reduce one’s level of conflict with others, it also lessens the likelihood of being true to one’s self. People-pleasers desire to be liked, often seeking to make others happy, sometimes at the expense of their own needs and desires. However, fulfilling the needs of others or making them happy is only temporary until the next favor or demand is made. Once another need or demand is made the people-pleaser must once fill the request or run the risk of not being liked. People-pleasers must realize that the only thoughts and feelings that they can change are their own.