People-Pleasing: 5 Signs It Might Be Hurting You

People-Pleasing: 5 Signs It Might Be Hurting You

When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.

Paulo Coehlo


It sounds so harmless. Even pleasant.

After all, where’s the danger in prioritizing the needs of others?

Turns out, this pattern of behavior is often rooted in past experience of trauma or manipulation. And, left unchecked, it canĀ  get in the way of living the healthy, fulfilling life you deserve.

Today we’re highlighting 5 signs that your people-pleasing habits might be hurting more than they’re helping:

1. You’re constantly apologizing

If you’ve made a choice or a comment you regret, taking ownership of your role is a healthy and emotionally mature thing to do.

But, if you find yourself on an endless apology tour, it’s worth a closer look.

A common trait of people-pleasing is the impulse to apologize, even when you’re not at fault. If you recognize this in yourself, you could benefit from a supportive space to examine where this impulse is coming from.

Try this:

2. You feel responsible for the feelings of others

Emotions can be intimidating, even overwhelming at times. And for many of us, “negative” emotions (like anger or sadness) can be especially challenging to witness.

But, much like the weather, emotions come and go naturally. In many cases, there’s nothing you need to do about them.

If you find yourself feeling a strong sense of responsibility for the emotions of others, it might be helpful to talk with a professional who can support you in renegotiating healthy boundaries.

Try this:

3. You find conflict intolerable

Let’s be real: Most of us dislike arguments. And the process of disagreeing with someone we’re close to can be uncomfortable.

If you find yourself going to great lengths to avoid conflict, however, it might be a sign that you’re prioritizing the needs of others above your own.

Try this:

4. You need praise to feel contented

Compliments feel great, no question.

In fact, for many of us, words of affirmation are how we prefer to give and receive love!

But, if you notice that you’re entirely dependent on external feedback in order to feel worthy or content, you might benefit from a supportive space to process this further.

Try this:

5. You struggle to form (or express) your own opinion

One of the joys of human relationships is that we can form meaningful connections with one another, all while maintaining our own individuality.

For those of us who struggle with people-pleasing, though, maintaining that individuality can feel tricky or even threatening.

Try this:

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Positive Thinking: Is It Always Best?

Is people-pleasing getting in the way of living your life? We’re here to help.