Is People Pleasing Holding You Back?

3 Ways to Squash Your Inner People Pleaser to Live and Lead More Authentically

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Photo by Jérémie Crémer on Unsplash

What does it mean to be a People Pleaser? Well, as a recovering People Pleaser myself, I can tell you. People Pleasers have an almost insatiable need to be liked by others and are overly concerned with what people think of them. We can also be afraid of not meeting the expectations that we perceive others have of us and then disappointing these people. If you are a People Pleaser, you can be agreeable to a fault, not actually expressing your true opinions and instead going with the flow or adopting the popular opinions for the sake of not rocking the boat. 

What are the negative effects of being a People Pleaser? When you are in people pleasing mode, you are not acting in accordance with who you truly are as a person. This is because you are ignoring the very important information your intuition is giving you. As a result, you experience varying levels of stress, anxiety, or even complete burn-out. Your self-confidence suffers because you operate from a place of dis-empowerment. Resentment towards others can build because you are not taking care of your own needs. People pleasers can also be risk adverse, which leads to feeling “stuck” in your career or life. You are not acting as an authentic leader because you lack sufficient boundaries, transparency, and courage.

What is the greatest benefit of letting go of the People Pleaser mindset? When your inner needs are met and you are leading and giving to others from a place of inner fulfillment, you will have more meaningful energy to give. This means you will be a more fully present and effective leader, colleague, parent, and friend.

3 Ways to Squash Your Inner People Pleaser

1. Address more of your needs than the needs of others on a daily basis.
Make a list of your actions from the day. Your list addressing your own needs should be longer– or contain more substantial & meaningful items– than those things that address the needs of others. If addressing the needs of others outweigh your own, what can you do tomorrow to make sure you nurture more of your own needs?

2. Increase Your Awareness by Taking a People Pleasing Inventory.
Figure out what your triggers are for having a people pleasing relapse. Certain people? Environments? At work more than in your personal life? Count how many times you people please in a day. Awareness is the key step in getting rid of your inner People Pleaser.

3. Play the Disappointment game: Disappoint someone every day.
Now I am not suggesting that you go out and intentionally be a jerk. When you are acting in accordance with your own needs, expressing your own opinions, and setting your boundaries, you are actually being kind to both yourself and others. So, you might unintentionally “disappoint” someone along the way even when you do so in a kind way. Practice being ok with this.

Keep this in mind: On your way to People Pleasing recovery, make sure you do not apologize for things that do not warrant an apology. People pleasing comes with lots of “so sorry, but’s” especially when you are in the process of taking actions to stop people pleasing. Do not say “sorry” to anyone unless you truly need to ask for forgiveness.

Watch my recent Live TV Interview on People Pleasing HERE

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

stop being a people pleaser

Stop Being a People-Pleaser and Learn How to Let Go of Other People’s Opinions

by Whitney Gordon-Mead, MSc

Being a People Pleaser Is Bad for Your Mental Health

by Talkspace

People Pleasers Unite! (But Only If It Works for You and You Don’t Mind Very Much)

by Dr. Teyhou Smyth

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.