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7 Signs You Are a People Pleaser

Did you know that people pleasing isn’t the main issue going on with people pleasers?

Yes, they want to make other people happy and will behave accordingly,

however it is not the main thing.

People pleasing is generally a sign someone is struggling with self-worth issues and is commonly mistaken for kindness.

Much like other maladaptive coping skills, it develops out of a need to feel accepted and has a long history with the person. It can be hard to change only because of its severity.


7 signs you are a people pleaser:

1. Duty is driving your motivation

Duty – you have 2 choices regarding your mindset with your roles and the accompanying behavior:

1) you can willfully choose to do what you do because it is your authentic preference;

2) you can live up to your role’s expectations because you feel obligated to do so.

People pleasers tend to operate with choice #2 while trying to convince themselves they are operating under #1. To get an idea of duty in your motivation, ask yourself:

a. Is there ever a time when I quietly tell myself that I shouldn’t have let someone else persuade me to do what I really didn’t want to do?

b. Do I take on more commitments or responsibility than my schedule allows?

c. Do I do what I do for fear that others might not do it at all?

d. Are my decisions influenced by the fear of disappointing some if I told them no?

e. Once in the midst of a project, do I ever think about all the other things I should be doing instead?

f. Do I frequently wish I was doing something other than what I am doing?

2. Personal legitimate needs quickly set aside

Think of the things needed to be successful in life. You need love, cooperation, connection and encouragement or validation. You have survival needs like money, food, shelter and clothing. You have emotional nourishment through personal confiding, laughter, and crying on a caring shoulder. These things are necessary for you to develop the sense that your life is heading in purposeful direction.

Most people pleasers recognize these needs. They do however have a lopsided acknowledgement of others’ needs while regularly denying their own.

3. Equating decisiveness with hurting others

People pleasers often assume more responsibility for others’ emotional reactions than is really warranted. They often falsely assume that if they make a decision which results in another person feeling anger, disappointed or losing respect for them, or frustrating them, they believe they must then take it upon themselves to relieve that person’s struggle.

4. Difficulty living within limits

People pleasers attempt to live as though they do not have the limits other people do. They will push themselves to be all that others expect, and more. Internally, they are driven by the requirement to be more than what they are capable of being. They are often referred to as Superwoman.

What limits do you see in yourself? It can be important to recognize how finite you are. Who in your world would like you to ignore the truth about your limits as they attempt to push you to feel, think or behave in ways that are unreasonable? When we push beyond these limits our body will force you to recognize them.

5. Sensitivity to judgments

It would have been nice if we were taught how to keep the judgments of others’ in their proper perspective.

In the positive sense, other’s evaluations can let you know how you are perceived and can be a useful guide to steer you in making changes, if given from a person you trust.

In the negative sense, listening to the judgments of everyone can keep you from making healthy choices.

6. The need to keep life controlled

Sometimes a person might make decisions for them to feel like things are going the way they think it needs to go. Now, control is not always a negative thing. Having control over your life and making your own decisions is healthy.

People pleasing shows up when a person is doing things for others and putting them into a subservient position. Ex. The overly helpful mom constantly picking up after the family as opposed to giving them instructions and allowing them to learn it themselves.

7. Dishonesty about who you really are

People pleasers are not liars, they are frequently dishonest about their real feelings or perceptions.


Take the time to pick one trait you want to change and focus your energy there. People pleasing can be changed, it requires that you want to change it.


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