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15 Signs that You are a People Pleaser

15 Signs that you are a People Pleaser
15 Signs that you are a People Pleaser

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 15 signs that reveal that you are a people pleaser.

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Now, let’s talk about the 15 signs that reveal that you are a people pleaser..

There is a wonderful feeling and a sense of satisfaction when we know we have done something good for someone and pleased them.

Contributing to other people and making a positive difference in other people’s lives gives our life meaning and purpose. It also leads to connection with other people; connection is a key human emotional need.

However, we also need to beware of the pendulum swinging from one extreme to another – the one side is the narcissist and the other side is the people pleaser.

The narcissist believes the world exists for him and revolves around him; the people pleaser believes he exists to serve and please the world without ever getting his needs met.

Are you a people pleaser? Here are 15 signs.

The people pleaser:

  1. Never considers his/her needs, desires and health
  2. Feels unappreciated and unimportant
  3. Is plagued with resentment, anger, hurt, passive-aggressiveness
  4. Avoids confrontation
  5. Feels trapped
  6. Feels guilty when saying no
  7. Feels resentment when saying yes
  8. Always says yes to doing things for other people
  9. Always takes care of other people
  10. Never takes care of him/herself
  11. Allows others to take advantage of him/her
  12. Doesn’t reveal his/her own true self
  13. Isn’t present and engaged when with people
  14. Doesn’t understand or recognize his/her own boundaries
  15. Fears rejection, disappointment and failure

Ultimately, the people pleaser is like a doormat for other people to walk on, wipe their dirty feet, and move on.

What leads to this behavior; how does someone become a people pleaser?

The answer can be found in sign no. 15 – the people pleaser fears rejection, disappointment and failure. The people pleaser believes that his/her self-worth, value and ability to be loved come only from the ability to please and satisfy other people and their needs.

Thus, the origin of the unhealthy behavior of people pleasing begins in childhood based on the reactions, responses and behavior of the parents or adult caretakers; parents who:

Demonstrated conditional love

Child interpretation: I have to be good to be loved

Withheld love or approval when the child made a mistake

Child interpretation: I cannot make mistakes otherwise I won’t be loved

Demonstrated an often stern look of disappointment

Child interpretation: I am bad and mom/dad doesn’t love me

Were dominant, demanding and controlling

Child interpretation: I cannot assert myself; my feelings must be hidden; I am supposed to be controlled in order to be loved

Became easily angered

Child interpretation: I can only be safe by doing whatever I can do to not anger anyone else; I must avoid confrontation

Were emotionally unavailable or inconsistently available

Child interpretation: I not valuable, worthy  or loveable

Had high expectations

Child interpretation: I must keep doing better and do whatever they want for me to be loved and safe

Were extremely critical

Child interpretation: I am not good enough

Had strict and rigid rules

Child interpretation: I have to do what other people want

Were alcoholic and thus unpredictable with discipline and had random outbursts of anger, punishment and abuse

Child interpretation: I am not safe or loved unless I do whatever they want and unless I please them

Rejected or abandoned the child (physically, mentally or emotionally)

Child interpretation: I am not loveable

Directly told or indirectly demonstrated to the child that his/her needs and desires are not important

Child interpretation: I am not significant; my feelings and needs are not significant; other people and their needs are more important than me and my needs.

Were extremely selfish and called the child selfish

Child interpretation: I am supposed to only think of other people’s needs; if I think of my needs, I won’t be loved, I will be rejected.

Never showed acceptance and understanding

Child interpretation: I cannot reveal my true self; I will be rejected; no one understands me.

Only gave attention to the child when he/she was pleasing the parent

Child interpretation: I can only be loved when I am pleasing everyone else.

Rarely showed affection

Child interpretation: I have to do more to be loved; I don’t deserve love and affection.

From the above list and explanation, it is easy to understand the ways that a child would grow to become an adult people pleaser. It is also easy to understand how a people pleaser would suffer from guilt, shame and the fear of being assertive and confrontational.

The paradox is that the people pleaser is actually attracted to strong, controlling people – people who demand what they want (their controlling behavior is similar to the parent’s behavior and the people pleasers are still trying to please the parents), and people who conversely don’t care about what others think of them (the people pleaser subconsciously longs to be similar to them and to stop trying to constantly please others.)

In my next Success Newsletter, I will reveal steps to help you to move from being a people pleaser to being someone who pleases him/herself, seeks his/her own approval and is able to freely love and be loved. Meanwhile, if you would like help to let go of being a people pleaser and take charge and control of your own life, consider a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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