Why You Need to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Why You Need to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Being kind and helpful is no doubt a good thing, however, people-pleasers are known for doing whatever it takes to make other people happy. They tend to prioritize other people’s needs over theirs. They are sensitive to others and are frequently regarded as agreeable, helpful, and kind. People-pleasers may, however, have difficulty advocating for themselves, which can lead to a harmful pattern of self-sacrifice or self-neglect. This article seeks to tell you the reasons why you need to stop being a people pleaser.

Furthermore, people-pleasing has been linked to a personality trait known as ‘sociotropy’, or being overly concerned with pleasing others and earning their approval in order to maintain relationships.

Why People Develop People-Pleasing Behaviour

People-pleasing behaviour is rarely developed as a result of a single factor, however, a combination of two or more psychological variables has been known to be a trigger.

1. You Are Insecure

People may try to please others because they are concerned that if they do not go out of their way to make others happy, they will not be liked. Prior rejection by other people can lead to feelings of insecurity, which might prompt people-pleasing to gain acceptance from people.

2. You Probably Have Poor Self-Esteem

In other cases, due to a lack of self-confidence, people have a need for external validation. In addition, they may believe that doing things for others will result in approval and acceptance.

3. Past Experiences Forces People to Be People Pleasers

People who have experienced traumatic events in the past as a result of their opinions and choices may try to avoid triggering abusive behaviour in others by pleasing others and being as agreeable as possible.

4. Perfectionism

Sometimes, people just want to have a perfect relationship with everyone around them. They want to be appreciated and loved. In other to achieve that, they tend to do everything to make people around them happy.

People might genuinely want to help others in need, as in the case of altruism. In other cases, people-pleasing is a means of feeling affirmed or appreciated. By making sure that people are happy, they feel as if they are useful and valued—By making people happy, they feel valued.

Why You Need to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Whereas being a caring person is important in maintaining healthy social relationships. However, it becomes a problem when a person is more concerned about the needs of others at the expense of their emotional well-being.

People-pleasers tend to experience the following emotional conditions:

1. You Will Lack Authenticity When You Become a People-Pleaser

By placing the needs of others over theirs, people-pleasers hide their feelings and opinions. This can lead to a feeling of ingenuity, to an extent, one might not feel alive.

2. You will Always be Angry and Frustrated

Doing things for people out of the mere reason that you want to make them happy often leads to frustration. Anger develops when you understand people are taking advantage of your will to help, this might result to regret, in some cases.

3. You Will Probably Have Anxiety

The constant effort people-pleasers give to make others happy stretches out their strength and resources thin. This leads to mental exhaustion as they are always focused on making people around them happy.

4. Your Willpower Will Be Depleted

Another negative effect of people-pleasing is the reduction in the willpower of people-pleasers to achieve their own goals. Willpower can be a limited resource and utilizing it to make other happy simply means that you don’t get to utilize it towards achieving your goals.

5. You Might Feel Resentful

By putting people’s needs before yours; thereby making them happy, they will appreciate your pleasing nature but might begin to take your kindness for granted. When people start exhibiting such behaviors towards you, you might feel used and to some extent resentful.

Tips on How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

1. Be Genuine

Always make your own decisions, never let others make them for you. By staying true to yourself, do things because it is right by you and not because it’ll make you look good in people’s eyes. Do not change yourself for others and people will respect you for it.

2. Accept Yourself

When you accept and love who you are, you care more about what you think of yourself than what others think of you. Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and using them to your advantage is a means to accepting yourself. When you are confident about who you are, others will accept you as you are.

3. Establish Boundaries

Establish clear and specific boundaries on what you are willing to take on. When it seems like someone is asking too much of you, let them know it is over the bounds of what you are willing to do, no hard feelings. This helps in making sure you don’t place people’s needs over yours.

4. Spend Some Time by Yourself

Whereas isolation could easily lead to some mental issues, spending some time alone helps you to understand yourself and often leads to self-confidence. People are afraid of being alone as they dread being lonely, bored, or anxious.

When you are alone there’s no one to please but yourself. Understanding your thoughts and feelings can also help you find out what makes us happy or unhappy. Being able to know ourselves better can be very helpful in many ways.

5. Know That You Can’t Please Everyone

Another reason why you need to stop being a people pleaser is that you should know you can’t please everyone. This is difficult to take in, but you have to accept that you can’t make everybody happy all the time because people’s needs are different from each other. Acting or doing things a certain way to please one person may offend someone else.

Instead of trying to please everyone, act authentically and do things your way, people who like the real you will appreciate and accept you for who you are.


People-pleasing is not a healthy way of living. It’s important to control your life and know that you are important too. People-pleasing can start to feel like a habit and difficult to break out of. But with time, patience, and perseverance, anything is possible.

If being nice is taking its toll on your mental well-being, please talk to a mental health professional to help prioritize your needs and manage your behaviour.

Mental health professionals you can reach out to include Mentally Aware Nigeria and The Sunshine Series Mind Wellness.

Check: People Will Only Respect You If You Do These 13 Things.