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7 Warning Signs You Are a People Pleaser & How to Stop

Are you always the “nice” one when it comes to interpersonal relationships?

If yes, do you ever wonder if you’re just “being nice” or if you’re a people pleaser? Being nice and kind are great qualities to own and hone. But when does it spill over into people-pleasing?

It’s a fine line, for sure!

Spoiler alert: If the difference seems blurry to you, there’s a good chance that your “nice” = people-pleasing.

Mentally making this distinction of “the nice one” vs. “people-pleasing” makes all the difference to your mental health, self-esteem, and healthy relationships.

Want to know more? Keep reading to learn more about people-pleasing.

7 Warning Signs You Are a People Pleaser

1. You Cringe at the Thought of Saying NO!

Have you ever participated in a charity that you probably weren’t fully invested in, but you just couldn’t say no, so bye-bye bank account?

The events you meant to say no to but attended anyway start piling up, and with it, so does your resentment. If you have an extreme inability to say no, then you probably have people-pleasing tendencies within you.

2. “Did I Offend Someone?” Is a Constant Question

You are perpetually placing yourself in others’ shoes. “OMG! Did they feel bad due to what I said or did? “Did I hurt them?” is the constant inner dialog which often stems from a subconscious level.

3. You Are Quick to Agree to an Opinion

Did you ever agree to an ongoing topic of friendly discussion in a social setting or around a dinner table, be it social, political, cultural, etc., when you just had an smh moment in your head?

You just couldn’t get yourself to stand up and speak your opinion on the matter. Because, “what will people think?”

Agreeability on opinions is a sure-shot way of gaining acceptance. You might even have experienced a momentary sense of gratification. The reality, however, is that you suppressed your voice, only to seek acceptance.

Instead, try practicing self-acceptance.

4. You Want Everyone to Like You

Chronic people-pleasers are often far too concerned about external validation and ensuring that they are “like-able” by others. According to psychologists, such a need to be liked is due to self-worth issues and past socio-emotional experiences around belonging within a group.

If you notice such behavior in you, you might have to ask yourself some deep questions.

  • When did I first start believing that everyone should like me?
  • What is the worst that will happen if I’m not liked?
  • Do I see a future friendship with this person who I am trying to people, please?

Hopefully, this gives you insights into your “why.”

It’s totally okay if everyone doesn’t like you. Make sure to read: 3 Ways to Be Okay With Being Disliked

5. You Are Always Available

Picture this:

You made plans for the evening. But then, a not-so-close-friend calls you up asking if you’d help her decorate her apartment. At the moment, you really wanted to say you are busy and have plans. But somehow, you made yourself available at a moment’s notice.

By the end of it, perhaps you even feel resentful.

Perhaps it’s because you placed your own best interests on the back burner without conscious awareness of it.

6. You Are Terrified of Conflict

Do you run a mile in the other direction at the mere mention of conflict?

You don’t want to rock the boat under any circumstance and always vouch for harmony and peace. If you sense an upcoming conflict, you might know ways to completely circumvent it or suppress your own feelings, hold back just so to keep peace at any cost.

7. You Apologize Often

You assume worst-case scenarios in your conversations and overthink EVERYTHING, which often leads to unnecessary apologies. At the same time, this might first come across as “nice” as a first impression.

Chronically over apologizing is indeed a way to people please and get others to like you.

Easy Ways to Stop People-Pleasing

How many of those points did you relate to?

If you’ve checked off most of them, just know that this mindset is a lot more common than you would imagine.

Constantly being the “giver” without communicating your true feelings can deplete your mental, emotional, and physical resources. What’s more, in the long run, it can even set you up for resentment.

In fact, psychologists have even claimed that people-pleasing is a form of manipulation.

1. “Let Me Get Back to You” Should Be Your New Best Friend

Practicing a pause allows you to buy time before responding. Use “let me get back to you” so you can choose how you react.

Doing this allows for you to not act from a previously conditioned subconscious autopilot program. It’s how you can rewire your thoughts and break free from chronic people-pleasing.

Read up on Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery to learn how you can journal to maximize looking within.

2. Journal, Journal, & Journal Some More!

Journaling is an amazing tool for practicing self-awareness. If people-pleasing is something you are doing because of a subconscious learned behavior, getting out all your thoughts during journaling improves your ability to identify these hidden thought patterns.

It’s important that you remember to journal in a way that doesn’t lead to self-sabotage or feelings of guilt. Be transparent but gentle with yourself because we all could use some extra self-love!

Say No to Not Saying No

Saying no to people-pleasing is a step forward to living with integrity and reclaiming your authenticity. To live with integrity and authenticity is how you can align with your higher self and honor your inner voice.

Bottom line: Say no to others and start saying yes to yourself because it doesn’t pay to be a people pleaser!

All you people pleasers – Here’s something more for you: Signs You Need to Say No More Often

Anu Sataluri

Anu Sataluri

Anu (short for Anupama) is a clinical researcher by profession. She worked in the healthcare industry for over 7 years, and was responsible for workflow management of clinical trials. During this period, she witnessed several hundred patients walk away in disappointment with "no cure" due to the "symptom-based" approach of Western... Read More

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