Are you a ''people pleaser''?

Are you a ''people pleaser''?

By: Hermita
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Are you a ''people pleaser''?

I bet you know at least one person that everyone describes as very kind, loving, and always helpful. Such people seem to put other's needs before their own. Of course, not everyone who acts this way is a people pleaser, but it is very important to understand what this coping mechanism represents and what may lie behind it.


Why am I talking about people pleasers on this website in the first place? Because I have realized that a lot of parents who have lost a child may struggle with people pleasing. This happens especially in the guilt phase of the grieving journey

Why does this coping mechanism appear in the guilt phase? Because you will probably lose self-esteem, blame yourself for what has happened to your child, and therefore - start putting everyone else in front of you and try to please everyone, so they don't judge you about something.


If you are constantly overwhelmed with a strong urge to help everyone even at your expense, and don't mind when others put you down, you are probably a people pleaser.

There are many people out there who don't have good intensions but will recognize this pattern in you and try to take advantage of you. That is exactly why I am writing about this topic and want to help you get over with people pleasing coping mechanism.


In one of the previous blog posts, I wrote about GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and said that after the trauma, a lot of people can experience personality issues. When it comes to people pleasing, you will probably want to feel loved and valuable, especially in hard periods in your life, such as after the tragedies of losing a loved one. 

People pleasing can come from childhood trauma as well, so it can be awakened when you are feeling guilty and not good enough. If you grew up in a home where you had to please your parents to get love and validation, you may become a people pleaser in your adult age.


Let's take a look what are the most common signs that may tell you that you have problems with people-pleasing coping mechanisms:


1. You find it very hard to say no to other's requests. Yet, you cannot ask for something when you need it. You don't know how to ask for help.

2. You are always willing to take extra work, even though you are usually not paid for it, not even valued. 

3. You start overcommitting to everyone and everything. Including obligations and various types of relationships. You are the one who cares about it all and takes the burden off other people. 

4. You cannot advocate for yourself and your needs. You seem to put your own needs aside. You constantly need to act like you are stronger than others. This may happen because, through life, you weren't able to show your real emotions and get support when needed. 

5. You avoid all types of conflicts and cannot say when you don't agree with people. This can also mean that you were probably raised by very strict parents who didn't let you have your own opinion.


In the end, you will start feeling that everyone is taking advantage of you. With time, you will become frustrated because your own needs are never satisfied. 


Okay, now that we have seen what people-pleasing sounds and looks like, let's continue with finding a proper way to stop people pleasing coping mechanisms.

These are some of the best tips you can apply:


1. Meet one need at a time. Don't focus on too many things at once. It doesn't matter if it is about your work or private life. Take one thing and focus on it. 

2. Take your time to respond. People pleasers usually respond to other's needs immediately, which doesn't give you enough time to think about a proper answer. Next time someone asks something from you, tell them that you need some time to think about it. This way, you will have enough time to make it clear if that is a good thing to do, if you have enough time and energy for it, and if that person deserves your service. 

3. Respect your own time. Setting time limits is also very important. For example, someone will ask if you can take care of their child. If your answer is yes, say when you can do it. Don't let others decide for your time and well-being.  

4. Healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries with family, friends, and co-workers is a must. All those relationships should be two-sided. It is not just up to you to give and them to take. They should care about your needs as well. 

5. Work on your self-esteem. Value your own needs and your well-being first. Think about how people pleasing coping mechanism started. It usually starts within very stressful periods. Find some ways to get rid of stress. For example, you can join our forum or express yourself through the art section. 


Hope this was helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts about people pleasing.

Take care! 

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  • Lari

    19 Feb 2024, 09:34

    you feel like you don't deserve to live a happy life no more