Fine Print: 9/6/16: Are You A People Pleaser?

All of my life, I have been "a people pleaser."
I have tried to change this, but find myself reverting back to this behavior again and again. 

I don't know if it is a lack of confidence, or that I genuinely want to please people. Perhaps it is the fact that I have Asperger's Syndrome, and socially I am not as adept as I'd like to be.

I find myself agreeing to things I really don't want to do. If someone compliments me on something in my home, I often give it to them. 

I also realize that I apologize a lot. If something goes wrong, without stopping to think who's fault it might be, I jump in and apologize. Then later I wonder why on earth I did that.

I really don't want to continue being like this, but I suppose I will have to learn new behavior.  

Here are some things I'm going to try to keep in mind:

1. Think before I speak

2. Learn that saying no is not a bad thing

3. Remember that not everything has to be someone's fault

4. Not apologize just to ease the situation

5. Not offer up something I own to someone just because they say they like it

6. Work on self-validation so I don't look to others

7. Be more assertive; being assertive does not mean being aggressive

8. Stall until I can think about a response

If you are a people pleaser, realize that it can have negative effects on your life. 

You might agree to give up your time, when that time should be spent doing something else. 

You might start being railroaded because people think you're easily persuaded. 

We women need to learn to stand up for ourselves. This means taking care of ourselves. 

This means putting ourselves first. 

Are you a people pleaser?


  1. When someone says they like something in your home, simply say, "thank you.... I like it too". When you find yourself being indecisive, just make a choice quickly and go with it, unless it involves making an expensive buying decision, otherwise it will paralyze you. Some of the things on your list can be changed simply by stopping and taking a deep breath and realizing that what we choose is not the end of the world. Try not over-thinking things... easier said than done, right? I used to suffer from some of the same things on your list, but finally said ENOUGH!! It helped somewhat.

  2. Brenda, I can see myself in much of this post. Many of us feel we are not socially adept and this does color our responses for help from people. "Can you do this, can you do that?"...and we want to be liked and agree to whatever we wished we hadn't later. There are many social skills I did not learn as a young person and there are no "charm schools" for us oldsters. ha! At almost 70, I want to spend the rest of my days living my life, not someone else's. I am not everyone's "fixer".

  3. Hi Brenda, I also see many of the things you posted in myself. But, I am learning to put my husband & myself first. I just turned 70 and I am going to work harder at things that I like and not care what others think! I wished I would have realized this many years ago!

  4. I am a people pleaser! I always feel as if someone else is more important than me. I cannot wait to try these things that you suggest to see if I can make some changes.

  5. I have struggled with being a people pleaser in the past too, Brenda. But I am glad I have found some strength to learn to be good to myself. I still have little traits of people pleasing, but I have promised myself to only get better... As you said you will die of rejection if you live for their acceptance ♥ Hugs and love♥

  6. I use to be like this but not so much anymore. For the people I love I may stretch myself. It's funny though, the older I've gotten the more I think immediately about what's best for me. I think after all the years of putting others first just wore me out. I'm so much happier now.

  7. OMG...this describes me to a tee! I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted all the time. I no this is no way to live. Your tips are right on but doing it is easier said then done.

  8. I used to be a people pleaser, but as I grow "older" (54) I find I'm less so. I realize the only people I need and WANT to please are myself, husband and son.

  9. Yes, I also can see myself in what you have to say. And I find that if I refuse to do what someone asks me to do, I am a bit abrupt and short and a tad offensive in my manner sometimes. It is very hard for me to say "no" to anyone, so somehow I feel I need to be very short and curt. Unfortunately, some people do not take "no" for an answer and want to argue you into doing what they want. It is difficult. But I am getting tired of giving up what I want for what someone else wants.

  10. I am sitting here raising and waving my hand. You've described me to a tee, as well.

    I have managed to stop a few of those things but seeking acceptance is a big one for me.

    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Yes I feel this way too. And don't you feel so guilty when you do say 'No'?! Last Christmas I had major surgery on my feet and couldn't do anything for about six weeks. In that time I realised just how people had used my good nature and didn't even check how I was. Some even took advantage that I was not at work and would contact me with their problems and 'what shall I do!'. This was a steep learning curve for me and I am now training myself to avoid the subject of their misery or just be quite blunt to say 'well, I'm afraid I have my own problems'. It's not my nature but like I say, Christmas time was a huge wake up call for me and it is time to look out for me as no one else seems to be. xx

  12. I have struggled with this in the past....I am a bit older and wiser now.

  13. Some of the things on this list are what we are taught at children 'good' people do. What happens though, i that women are more inclined to take this to heart. I will never forget reading a study years ago about how many times a woman might apologize in the course of a day....even to a shopping cart in a store :)

    It's a fine line between being good and kind and getting taking advantage of and I think we learn through life about that ( a wee bit, anyway! :)

  14. I just tossed away 20 years of my life trying to please someone else..trying to make someone else's life happy..Guess what? didn't can't make someone else happy..they have to find happiness on their own..Therefore..I will now spend the rest of my life trying to make me happy..It's not worth it will give away much more than you will ever receive! Good Luck To All Of You!

  15. Brenda, this post is exactly why I have been a huge fan of yours since the "old" blogging days! You are kind, caring, and completely transparent. I am not as much as a people pleaser as some, but it's always difficult to say No. I agree with Deb that we women tend to be more inclined to apologize etc. But I'm excited for you that you are laying firm boundaries to live your best possible life. xo

  16. Oh Brenda, I hear ya!! I'm one of the statistics...being a people pleaser, a semi perfectionist with a Type A personality. It's darn near killed me several times! Oh, and did I mention I HATE confrontation, so then if I disappoint someone I wear myself out going over and over it in my head! This is all stuff I wish I'd realized in my 30's!

  17. Thanks so much, Brenda. For so many reasons, I think many of us can fall prey to seeking to please in order to validate ourselves. The truth for each of us is that none of the validations of people really do much for us. It is only when we receive the Lord's validation that we can rest in the knowledge of His absolute everlasting love for us.


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