People pleasers

As people pleasers, our appearance to the outside world, or to those who know us will be seen as considerate and courteous.

We act like a team player, someone who is supportive and helpful in times of need. We’re usually happy to go along with other people’s request, partly because we care and partly because we don’t want to let anyone down.

Outwardly, I believe we are all these things, but inwardly our lives tell a different story. People pleasers tend to have little self-confidence with no personal identity. We let go of our identity when we start to please others. We may feel inferior and consequently may choose to avoid opportunities to socialise.

As a pleasing child and as I continued to people please, I began to feel bad when I turned anyone down. It’s a habit that if not addressed can spiral into a lifetime of regrets, never having thought about or achieving anything for ourselves.

Now as an adult, I continue to please other people, but I never lose sight or do it at the cost of my own needs or life. As the child, I gave up everything because I pleased others and in the process gave up on myself, so consequently never really knew what it meant or what it was like being me.

I’ve learned through painful experiences how people pleasing goes. I have learned, albeit to my cost, now when it’s time to please myself and when it’s time to please others.


15 Jul, 2012

4 thoughts on “People pleasers

  1. I think we have a bit of people pleasing built into us from an early age and it is only with maturity and personal growth that we are able to find a place for it and put ourselves and our immediate families first.

    That is what I have learned to do over recent years. It has not been an easy transition and we certainly have a smaller group of friends and family as a result. I sometimes feel that we live on a desert island but overall it’s been worthwhile.

    1. I have come across people in my life who definitely don’t people please. People who please tend to be selfless and will always try to put others first. I believe it’s in built to some extent, partly genetic and partly environmental. If we see family do it we will do it too.

      I agree with you that maturity and personal growth does play a part. Both of those attributes help us recognise the need for us to stop people pleasing all the time.

      This is definitely my experience.

  2. I have met both types and the ones that really pour it on strong. Those are the ones that make me ill and it’s not because I’m jealous, it’s just sickening how they lay it on so thick.

    Then there are the ones that are so sincere. I try to be pleasing because its the right thing to do not for my own gain.

    1. I have seen what you describe many times too and agree with you.

      It’s never about jealousy. It’s very hard watching someone we love being taken advantage of by someone who is using them for their personal material gain.

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