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20 Signs You’re a People Pleaser and Don’t Know It

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There’s a people pleaser in all of us. But how important is people pleasing to you? Find out if you’re an overeager people pleaser using these signs. By Jessica Dawson

people pleaser

People-pleasing is a strong trait of the youth.

In our younger years, we can’t wait to fit in with people that we admire.

And in the course of doing that, we don’t mind changing a wee bit of our personality just to appear *cooler* in front of others.

But how far would you go to please someone else?

And what would you be willing to give up just to make others happy?

And most importantly, does this youthful trait exist within you even now?

[Read: 25 important life lessons you need to learn to have a happy life]

Who is a people pleaser?

A people pleaser is a person who gives a lot of importance to pleasing others. And in the process, their primary intention is to be liked and appreciated in return by the people they try to please.

A people pleaser is never a bad person.

They’re not really manipulative, nor are they cheaters. But in their keen pursuit of trying to please everyone around them, they could go to any extent to win someone’s love or affection, even if that means arm twisting someone or subtly manipulating someone else.

Now everyone has a tinge of people pleasing in them.

Almost all of us try to please someone, in the hope of getting a favor back in return from them someday.

But for most of us, we know where to draw the line.

But an overeager people pleaser has no principles that explain where the boundaries of pleasing others stop. [Read: How your self respect affects your relationship with others]

The kinds of people pleasers

There are two kinds of people pleasers.

The first people pleaser is the kind where they go out of their way to be nice or help others, because they feel like it’s their moral obligation to help others. They can’t say no, and they’re terribly afraid of offending others.

The other kind of people pleaser is the kind where they try to help someone all the time or constantly compliment others, in the hope of getting the same treatment back from their friends.

In both these types, the underlying reason is the same, low self confidence and low self esteem. People pleasers need others in their lives because they’re terribly scared of being alone. They need attention and care, and will do anything or say anything to get it. [Read: 10 types of toxic friends you need to avoid in your life]

Is people pleasing really bad?

People pleasing is not bad. All of us kiss ass now and then to get what we want, or to be nice to someone we want to impress.

But there’s a thin line differentiating someone who pleases with a motive now and then, and someone who does it all the time.

And one fine day, when your people pleasing attitude crosses the line, either all your friends will take you for granted and use you, or they’ll see the fake you really are and start avoiding you.

The biggest problem with people pleasers is the fact that they have no principles in life. They change like a chameleon all the time, and become a completely different person depending on who they’re spending time with *just to fit in*.

So if you’re a people pleaser, that’s something you need to worry about. In your constant pursuit of pleasing people all the time, you’re losing your principles in life. And one fine day, you’ll realize that you don’t even know who you are or what you want from your life because you’re constantly changing just to fit in all the time.

20 signs you’re an overeager people pleaser

Think about these signs with an open mind, and ask yourself if you can relate to them. You may think you’re not an overeager people pleaser, but try to look deep within yourself to understand the real person within you. After all, there’s nothing worse than living in denial. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and see the world the way it should be seen]

If you find yourself relating to most of these 20 signs, there’s a good chance you’re a people pleaser.

#1 You crave for compliments. You’re very liberal with your compliments when you’re around friends or colleagues in the hope of getting a compliment back from others.

#2 You want to be noticed. You get upset if no one notices your new haircut or the new shirt you’re wearing to work. If no one compliments a dress you’re wearing, you assume it looks bad on you even if you loved it when you bought it at the store.

#3 You lie about your opinions. You don’t have your own identity, and you constantly say you like something even if you don’t enjoy doing it, just to fit in with your group of friends. You don’t know who you are because your likes and dislikes change all the time depending on the people that are around you. [Read: Is your negative thinking ruining your life?]

#4 You can never say no. You don’t like offending anyone because you’re afraid they may think badly of you if you refuse to help them with something.

#5 You don’t care about your loved ones. You pay a lot of attention to your new friends or colleagues, and work very hard to please them because you want them to think highly of you. But at the same time, you take the people that truly love you for granted, because you know they love you and will always be there for you regardless of how you behave around them or treat them.

#6 You’re active around new friends. But you always shirk responsibility or avoid giving your input when you’re with people who know you very well. You work harder with friends you’re trying to please, but you get lazy when it involves just you or someone who already likes you.

You may think you’re being yourself with people you know well, and don’t need to impress them. But you need to remember that your loved ones will always feel like you’re taking their love for granted because you’re always nicer to people who don’t care about you. [Read: Are you making all the wrong people a priority in your life?]

#7 You always have a smile. You never get angry with your friends or colleagues even if they do something that’s extremely upsetting. Instead, you force all that rage within yourself in the form of implosive anger.

#8 You want love. You want people to like you wherever you go, and you want everyone you meet to think of you with warm affection. You always try to show your best side to anyone you meet and you constantly hope that everyone you meet remembers you fondly.

#9 The opinion of others. The opinion of other people matters a lot to you and your own decision making. You make your decisions based on other people’s desires. You ask all your friends to share their opinions with you, and you give more thought to what they say than what you believe is right.

#10 You like attention all the time. You fear losing friends and you care too much about being liked by everyone. And you can’t ever imagine being hated by others or being lonely.

#11 You hurt easily. You get hurt very easily when your friends neglect you or go somewhere without involving you. You want to feel loved all the time, and you can’t stand it when someone thinks you’re not important in their life. [Read: 12 steps to change your life forever and be happy]

#12 The big sacrifices. You sacrifice your own happiness just to please someone else and win their approval, or to get a compliment from them.

#13 You can’t take criticism. A people pleaser will change their behavior, but they will never accept that they’re flawed because it makes them lose their self esteem even more.

#14 You’re a liar, even though you will never admit it. You’re not honest about who you are. You’re not honest to yourself about your own likes and dislikes. Your beliefs and values change all the time, just as long as they match that of your new friends whom you’re trying to impress.

Even though you feel like something is wrong, you convince yourself that it’s right because your friends are all doing it.

#15 You hate anyone who doesn’t like you or sees you as a fake. You don’t try to question yourself as to why they may have this opinion about you. Instead, you just hate them or speak ill of them because you don’t like seeing yourself in bad light.

#16 Ps and Qs. You say ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ without even thinking. You just like saying it because it makes you seem more accommodating and nicer. [Read: 15 reasons why nice guys finish last all the time]

#17 You hate confrontation. You spend several sleepless nights over the smallest argument with a new friend. And you do whatever it takes to make up for it, even if it’s not your fault. But you wouldn’t do the same for the people you’ve already taken for granted.

#18 You’re too guarded. You don’t like losing control of yourself, especially when you’re having a drink. You have too many secrets, and none of your friends know all your secrets. You hide the person you really are, because you don’t want anyone to see your flaws or your negative side.

#19 You give too much too soon. And many a times, people take you for granted. You try too hard to please your new friends, and you do whatever it takes to ensure that they have a good opinion about you. But almost always, these new friends may end up using you and taking advantage of your niceness. [Read: When should you end a friendship with someone?]

#20 You always fall for flattery. A people pleaser can’t resist flattery. And manipulative people know how to use flattery very well.

When you come in contact with a manipulator, they’ll learn to use you and squeeze you dry all the time by using their flattery-request line. “You’re so good at doing this. Can you do it for me too?” [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you]

Your self respect and your people pleasing attitude

Being a people pleaser may feel nice because it makes you feel appreciated and loved all the time. And as long as you’re getting those compliments, you may not think twice about bending over backwards for anyone.

But when you’re a people pleaser, you’re not really creating any true relationships. You’re only putting on a fake facade that others want to see in you.

Start believing in yourself more. And most importantly, understand that you’re an individual and you are who you are. You don’t need anyone’s approval or compliment to make you feel more worthy. [Read: How to let go of a relationship that’s bad for you]

When you truly believe in yourself and love yourself for the person that you are, you’ll invariably lose your people pleasing cravings. And for the first time in your life, you’ll start caring more for the people that truly care about you instead of taking them for granted.

[Read: How to love yourself and become a much better you!]

Use these 20 signs to find out if you’re a people pleaser. And if you find that people pleasing streak in you, start believing in your own abilities and stop depending on the opinions and compliments of others. That makes all the difference.

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  • people12
    August 11, 2012 | Permalink |

    This article really hit home and i honestly cried because that’s what I am and i didn’t even think twice to look at myself and what i’m doing. This is the read i needed to tackle my low confidence and self esteem and be more honest with myself and the people around me instead of trying to fit in with others to please them. Reality just hit me hard.. really hard.

  • Liz
    February 15, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m so guilty! XD Yikes! Sometimes, I flatter or compliment others in hoping they’ll do the same to me. I thought that’s just “seeing the good side” in others. Aww! While reading, I started to feel low of myself. Until now, I still suffer from low self-esteem which I think is inborn. Like ‘people12′, reality just hit me really hard! :c

    I should be more aware now! Nice article, by the way! *thumbsup*

  • sohaib khan
    August 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m speechless.Right now at 25 i realize i probably wasted all these years living in a state of denial.Oh GOD its so disturbing to know the truth……….the more im relating life evnts to it …..it feels like the ground is skipping beneath my feet

  • Nicky
    September 23, 2013 | Permalink |

    This is me in a way and I don’t know how to change.:(

  • roze
    December 30, 2013 | Permalink |

    such a good article… I am the first kind..just wanna be good to others, using many qs and ps…. feeling the worst if someone( new acquaintance) is not talking to me… taking my family members for granted..

    one thing i would like to add is please add some tips to change ourselves. Nothing comes in a day so how should i go about it

  • Lex
    January 23, 2014 | Permalink |

    I came here to read this, just to be sure I was actually a “people-pleaser”. I already had a strong feeling I was. It makes me feel sick and lost to know that I’ve been doing this for a looooong time now. I DO take people who I already know for granted. Once someone becomes my friend and I like them, I tend to be myself more around them, and get angry at them more. In math class, I sit next to idiots and they’re annoying! But I don’t want to get bullied, so I try to be nice, even if it means having to speak in a fake sweet voice. ‘Cause all I want to do is not get involved or become close to people like that. I don’t agree with the lying, because I’m a very honest person.

    When I try to please people, it’s so that they won’t hate and bully me. I’m just trying to avoid consequences. Other times, I actually please so someone will like me, but mostly, it’s because I don’t want to confront the negativity. Ha, I understand myself very well. Don’t take this list out of context so easily.. :)

  • khadija
    January 27, 2014 | Permalink |

    This article came by me while im upto on changing my this *pp* attitude at my being 20 n turning 21 just another 4 months ahead.So no repentance here.Feeling like a real relieved in a sense :D

  • Alexandria B.
    May 18, 2014 | Permalink |

    This is me to a T. I am both at once and I suffer from breakdowns because of it. I know it will get me nowhere. I have many secrets and no real friends. It’s time to change. Thanks for the article.

  • 14M4N0NYM0U5
    July 27, 2014 | Permalink |

    I totally disagree with this ”article”.
    They try to ”turn you to a good person” by writing this ? gtfo. Being hurt is bad ? being hurt (even easily) is a HUMAN FEELING. You’re inhumane if you don’t feel hurt. This makes me sick actually .. this shows how backwards western world is. How about dressing up like a whore in the weekends .. is it not being a people pleaser (being an eye candy) ? What a joke this is. I think you people need to think twice before posting nonsense like this.

  • Elanie
    August 27, 2014 | Permalink |

    Ok. I think this article needs a bit of balance. I myself recognized a few traits to the extreme and a few others that apply only in “some situations” not all. And I was starting to panic when it dawned in me: can’t we all say the same thing? Is there anyone if any age or background who doesn’t or hasn’t ever strongly identified with at least a couple of these traits? Not saying that that makes em healthy or unworthy of debate but come on : does every person who lies about their opinions have “no identity”? That’s just harsh! I bet the author of this article has lied to a boss or relative about her opinions at least once, yet still thinks she has an identity. Points 15 & 16 are especially annoying because, who *likes* knowing they are disliked? Who enjoys being seen as rude? Talk about oversimplifying the issue.

    I do feel there are some good points made but as soon as you make them you swing straight over to the MOST extreme possible explanation. There is a middle ground in this world – a grey area. Weirdly enough I saw in a tv show the other day that psychopaths usually think in black & white. If I was like the author of this article I’d say hey! Maybe you’re just a psycho. But I think it’s much more likely that you’re just halfway there to some kind of actual understanding of how the psyche works. Please do us all a Favour and stop designing quizzes till you’ve made it all the way there, yeah? No one needs this much more paranoia in their lives…

  • karishma
    December 29, 2014 | Permalink |

    Every word written here seems to be 100% true with me… i do take ppl who love me for granted…. this has badly ruined my relationship with my family… my mom dad bro… this hurts even more… i hav a request.. plz provide solutions too… i mean now that i know this is happening… how can i get out of it?

  • Pen
    January 1, 2015 | Permalink |

    Ppl-Pleasers do not exist! They are just ppl that lack selfesteem and selfconfidence.
    Those ppl are terrified that they will never have a friend, because they see themselves as garbage. Leftovers!
    All the so called pleasing is just a symptom, a consequence of feeling less then evrybody else.

    You say they crave for compliments, but all they crave for is TRUST! In others, but before all in themselves!
    Someone with low selfesteem and low selfconfidence (LSESC), won’t like a compliment. He or she won’t believe that someone would EVER give him/her a compliment, therefor it must be a lie. Noone likes to be lied to.

    And again, a compliment will not hold! An LSESC will not believe anyone complimenting him/her. They think you’re nice for saying it, but they KNOW deep inside that it’s not true!

    There isn’t enough selfconfidence and selfesteem to accept the fact someone loves you for being you. An LSESC will NEVER neglect ANYONE!
    One shirk’s responsibility or avoid’s giving input when one’s with people YOU THINK ARE BETTER THAN YOU IN WHATEVER THEY DO. They lack the confidence to talk freely with ppl they think are experts! Even if one knows the other person is wrong, there is doubt. One might look stupid!

    One wants ASSURANCE not love. By getting positive responses to whatever one does. So one picks the ppl and things-to-do that one is good at (or better where one thinks not to be TOO bad at). It’s done for building confidence, esteem and TRUST.

    Again, LSESC’s do not feel loved whatever you do to show them! They understand very well, but it doesn’t reach their soul! Because it can not be!!! (in their believes).

  • jessica
    January 26, 2015 | Permalink |

    I strongly disagree with this. I read this and after a few paragraphs I began to cry. Do you understand what it’s like to consantly fear letting people down? It’s not kissing ass. Not for me. For me it’s about never getting im fights because you feel anxiety when you let people down. I couldn’t come to my friend’s birthday once and I had an anxiety attack. Do you ever realize that I know what I am and what I do. I try to make sure everyone has a good view of me, when on the inside I’m so fucked up I don’t know what to do. So don’t come in here telling me I’m manipulative when you don’t know what I have to deal with. I have fear everytime I have to say no to someone. Maybe even when I see homeless people asking for money and the dissapointment on their face breaks me down. I can’t let people down. If I do then I’ll die.

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