7 Signs You're a People-Pleaser

authenticity people pleasing people-pleasers self-improvement self-worth Jul 10, 2024
Signs You're a People-Pleaser


As a psychologist, I often work with clients struggling in their relationships because of their habits of people-pleasing. This behavior, while well-intentioned, can actually do more harm than good in your relationships and personal well-being. 

Most people I work with didn't understand the were engaged in people-pleasing behaviors. They thought because they were expressing themselves and setting limits, they didn't people-please. But people-pleasing behaviors can show up in subtle ways.

I want to share insights into recognizing signs of being a people-pleaser and provide practical tips to help overcome this detrimental pattern.

Signs You May Be a People-Pleaser

  • Constantly seeking validation and approval from others
  • Having difficulty saying no, even when it inconveniences you
  • Overcommitting and taking on too many responsibilities
  • Neglecting your own needs and desires to accommodate others
  • Avoiding conflict or disagreements at all costs

The people-pleasing trap keeps you locked in a cycle of prioritizing others' wants over your own authentic needs. This can breed resentment, burnout, weak boundaries, and fundamentally inauthentic relationships.

Breaking free from people-pleasing is challenging, but it's worth the effort.

Here are some key steps I recommend:

Identify Your Triggers
Recognize the situations that trigger your people-pleasing tendencies. Is it at work, with family, or in social settings? Understanding these triggers helps you address them.

Practice Saying No
Saying no can be tough, especially if you're used to saying yes to everything. Start small by declining minor requests, then gradually reach bigger commitments. It's challenging to go against the habit of always saying yes.

Set Boundaries
Deciding what you're comfortable with and communicating those boundaries can be difficult. You might worry about disappointing others or fear their reaction. Use "I" statements and start small. Set a small boundary and notice how it worked.

Prioritize Self-Care
Making time for self-care activities is crucial, but it's often easier said than done. Many people-pleasers prioritize others' needs over their own, feeling guilty when they take time for themselves. Set an appointment for your self-care and then keep it!

Challenge Negative Beliefs
People-pleasers often struggle with deep-seated beliefs of unworthiness or fear of rejection. Overcoming these negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations requires consistent effort and self-reflection. Two things that help with this are coaching or therapy and journaling.

The journey starts with small, conscious adjustments. Commit to recognizing one people-pleasing situation and responding differently. It may initially spark discomfort, but that's how you begin rewiring the pattern.

In my latest YouTube video, I discuss understanding and overcoming the people-pleasing trap in much more depth. Click here to watch as I reveal more signs to look for and additional strategies for putting your needs first without guilt.

Take advantage of this chance to invest in your empowerment! You deserve to show up authentically in your relationships and live by your own values. Prioritizing your self-worth allows you to show up more fully for others from a place of fulfillment rather than depletion. 

Remember, having boundaries is not selfish—it's an act of self-love that will better all your connections.




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