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.
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.
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.
#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.
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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Jessica Dawson is guilty of using way more emojis than are necessary, and is a lover of all things British. And when she isn’t working on mastering a fake Bri...