People-Pleaser A frown hidden by a smile

Are You a People-Pleaser? – The Dangers of People Pleasing

Are you a people-pleaser? 



If the answer is yes, are you aware of the dangers of people-pleasing?


As a personal Life Coach, I take pride in helping people become aware of their true selves so they can begin to live authentically.


Why is Authenticity Important?


Let’s begin with the definition of authenticity:


“of undisputed origin”


Think about that for a moment. When you are living a more authentic life, no one, including yourself, will call your behaviour into question.


My job is to encourage people to behave in alignment with their values, not someone else’s. More importantly, I want people to live a whole life. Therefore, you should never sacrifice your values, integrity, and mental well being to appease someone.


No matter who they are. 


People-pleasing often stems from a place of protecting yourself. In fact, you may have learned as a young child to do what it takes to make people happy. Thus, you became a people-pleaser. 


People-Pleasing Behaviors


Sometimes people know when they are a people pleaser while others haven’t made that connection. In case you are wondering whether or not you are a people pleaser, ask yourself these questions: 


1. Is what you say or do more often than not motivated by external validation and approval? If the answer is yes, you might be a people pleaser.


2. Do you often make decisions that revolve around the choice of others and that of their opinions? Again, if the answer is yes, you might be a people pleaser. 


In many cases, some may think that by being a people-pleaser, they are being kind and caring for others. In fact, this is often how they are perceived. While authentic generosity comes from a healthy, happy, and self-aware individual, people-pleasing comes from a place of lowered self-regard and a need for other’s approval. 


The Danger of Being a People-Pleaser


1. Lack of identity – if you act like a chameleon, you tend to conform or adjust depending on who you are around. As a result, you learn to ignore who YOU are to make it comfortable for the other person. 


2. Inadequate nourishment of self – when you are a people-pleaser, you often worry more about tending to the needs and emotions of others than you do of your own. However, this behavior isn’t necessarily coming from a place of genuine care for that person. 
When you are a people-pleaser, it’s coming from a place of fear; fear of rejection or disapproval. 


People-pleasers often feel burdened by the things they need to do for others, as opposed to the feeling of satisfaction when they can be of help.


3. Difficulty standing up for oneself – if you are worried about being accepted and seeking approval, it will be challenging to stand up for yourself when you share different beliefs or values. As a result, when this happens, it can be frustrating or emotionally draining. Chances are, you know within yourself that what you are saying or doing is not in alignment with who you are. 


4. You may be untrustworthy – when someone is a people-pleaser, they may lack consistency in a relationship. Consequently, trust issues will arise. When someone acts differently depending on who is around, it makes others uncomfortable and may cause them to question whether or not the person is genuine. For this reason, people-pleasing can often backfire, and this is a common area where that might occur. 


These are only a few of the consequences of people-pleasing behavior. 


According to one clinical psychologist, people-pleasing can lead to deeper behavior patterns and complicated mental health issues. Issues may include obsessive fear of rejection, resentment, frustration, anger, low self-esteem, addictions, bullying, and eating disorders. 


Often when someone is tired of being a people-pleaser, they seek out support to help them change their behaviors. Hence the growing need for Life Coaches. Life Coaching comes in when someone hires a personal coach to help them through the process of becoming a more authentic person.  


First and foremost, there are a few essential things to identify that will likely happen when they begin doing so. 


When You Stop Being a People-Pleaser


1. You realize not everyone will like you – even when you are your most authentic self – there will be people who aren’t fond of you. That is okay. 


2. You will disappoint someone at some point – you can’t please everyone, and when you stop being a people-pleaser, this becomes less important to you. It is a reality we all must face. Nonetheless, when you do stop, you become much happier and less worried about making the ‘wrong’ decision. 


3. You might annoy people – let me ask you, do you enjoy every single personality you come across? The answer is probably a solid no. For this reason, why would you expect everyone to enjoy you? Some people might find your behavior downright annoying, and they may or may not tell you that to your face. Regardless, it doesn’t matter.


4. You might lose people on your path to growth – some people might stop coming around. When people grow, not everyone grows with them. That’s okay. It is not up to another person to come along with us on our journeys. It can be challenging to grasp that. Remember, some people will only be a part of some of your chapters, not all of them. 


That is okay. 


If you begin to live with alignment with your truth, you will start to feel how empowering it is to be you. No matter what. It becomes easier to accept that not everyone will be on the same page and that it doesn’t matter what other people think. As long as you feel at peace with who you are. 

Peaceful Man sitting


I want to leave you with this, if you are working on being less of a people-pleaser, try doing these two things:


1. Practice saying no –  When I say no, I mean saying no and not justifying why you are saying it. For example, if you don’t want to go to the workplace get together on the weekend, say no. Try your best to refrain from giving a million excuses as to why. Those who matter will respect your wishes and give it zero thought after that. 

2. Practice accepting yourself – this can be a tough one and frequently requires help from either a Life Coach or a therapist. Also, there is no shame in seeking help but start by practicing it on your own. Validate yourself and your positive qualities by using affirmations and mantras that work for you. 


Acceptance won’t happen overnight, but the more you practice accepting yourself, the less you will need validation from others. 


Lastly, remember this, if you have identified yourself as a people-pleaser, know that you can overcome it. Also, you shouldn’t feel shame. There are always reasons why we do the things we do, and there are strategies to change and people to help you do it. 


Talk soon, 

Don't Just Exist; Live

Meg is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Certified Life Coach Practitioner.

She dedicates her time to helping others who have suffered hardships, tragedy, or pain, by giving them the foundation to live life to the fullest.

Her purpose is to encourage others to take control of their lives and not let circumstances destroy it. Find your passion for life again and receive the support you need from someone who may not know what you are feeling but knows how hard change can be, especially in the face of adversity.

If you are wondering if you are ‘ready’ to hire a life coach, you can check out the link below to download a free PDF that explains how to know coaching is for you.

If you would like to know more information on coaching or one of the Grief Support programs, you can book a FREE consultation to determine your next steps.

Call: 587-432-5836

Email: [email protected]

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