Do you feel the constant need to please people? Are you anxious about others opinions of you and
keep secretly wishing for everyone to like and accept you? Do you give away too much of yourself to
others to a point that they feel worn out?
These are the tell-take signs of a people pleaser – individuals who constantly strive to please others,
often at the expense of their own wants and needs.
As humans, it is natural for us to desire for love and acceptance, especially within close relationships,
and adjust our behaviour to facilitate smoother social interactions. However, people-pleasing
extends beyond occasional adaptation or selflessness, leading to an internal pressure to meet
others' expectations, often hiding how we feel and assuming an excessive load of obligations. It is
like being a chameleon, constantly changing colors to blend in with the environment.
Though pleasing others may make us feel happy and satisfied, the feeling is only short-lived.
Ultimately, the happiness starts wearing off, and we start feeling deprived of our own well-being,
given the fewer resources to look after ourselves. Chronic people-pleasing leads to stress,
exhaustion, neglect of one's own needs, resentment, relationship problems, loss of identity, role
conflicts, and even harm to others as people-pleasers prioritize being liked over the well-being of
Signs of people-pleasing
Here are a few warning signs that someone is trying too hard to please others, most likely at their
Difficulty in saying no to requests
Pretence to agree with everyone, even if they disagree
Feeling responsible for how others feel
Take up extra responsibility/work, even when they lack resources
Ignore their own needs to fulfil that of others
Comply with situations that make them feel unhappy to avoid conflict
People-pleasers may also experience the pressure to always appear friendly and remain anxious
about causing discomfort by standing up for themselves. They consider their own needs less
significant than others. They may also feel being misused for their accommodating nature. Their
commitments to others often lead to stress and frustration, leaving them with little time for
What makes people-pleaser a people-pleaser?
Multiple factors can contribute to making someone a people pleaser. Low self-esteem can make
individuals feel that their needs are insignificant and that their purpose lies solely in helping others.
Anxiety, particularly social anxiety, can drive people to please others out of fear of rejection or
offense. Conflict avoidance, cultural and social influences, inequity, personality disorders like
dependent personality disorder, and traumatic experiences can also contribute to people-pleasing tendencies.
The behaviour may also be influenced by the enormous need to feel fit in within a social
group or by the thought (seldom true) that being nice to others will make them nice to you in return.
Genuinely compassionate people who deeply care for people around them also find their way in the
people-pleasing list, often forgetting that in taking care of everyone else they have forgotten to look
after their own needs.
How to break the habit of people pleasing?
Like in every case, the most important step to stop people-pleasing to get to the root of the
problem. People should internalize and assess what is making them do so and work towards it. Here
are a few ways to begin-
Spend some time alone to understand your own feelings and needs better
Instead of responding immediately, give yourself some time to think when someone makes a
Start with meeting small needs, one at a time
Practice tactful and empathetic methods of saying no to people
Be assertive and stand up for yourself. Do not let others dictate your life
Set healthy boundaries. To start with, allocate specific time slots during the day where you
are unavailable for new requests or plans
Avoid doing something just to gain approval or appear good to others & prioritize what is
actually right for you
Stop making excuses. By doing this you will be more in control of your life and have more
time and energy to do what you really want to do
Ask for help from someone close to you or a professional
Breaking the habit of people-pleasing is challenging, and professional support from therapists or
coaches can be valuable. They can assist individuals in identifying their behaviour, understanding its
impact, and empowering them to make changes.
If you are stuck in a chronic people-pleasing loop, seek professional help from Life Coach Peyush
Bhatia today. Call 9205658544