Who are people-pleasers and how to identify them?

The corporate culture has been exposing some serious behavioural traits of the people to the forefront. Traits, which we hardly knew had a name, but they were ever-existent.

Such is a trait called people pleasing attitude. We all must have come across a personality who is always trying to please everyone and be helpful out of the way.

Remember that person in the office who always keeps nodding to everything the boss says? Probably, just to be in the good books or for the praise and raise!

Or remember the first benchers in the school, who always reminded the teachersof the class tests? Yes! It used to feel very irritating, isn’t it?

Well, this behaviour isn’t completely wrong if the intention of the person is to be really kind and helpful. But, if the person has a hidden, strong urge to please others while forgetting their own opinion, there’s some problem.

Therefore, in today’s world, it is a must to identify people-pleasers, deal better with them and spread awareness of how dangerous it is to be one!

Signs of people-pleasers

1. Always ready to help while putting others on priority

They will always try to be available for others just so they don’t disappoint anyone.They will put their priorities behind them and help others even if it’s a matter of loss. 

2. Agree with each one’s opinion; Can’t say no

They say ‘yes’ to every idea and every opinion regardless of what they feel. Be it extra work, overtime or being called upon on off-days—they cannot say ‘no’. Also, agreeing to every opinion often exposes them as two-facedpersonalities.

3. Apologize even when they are not wrong

They think of themselves as the source of problems. They will take responsibility if someone feels bad. In the fear that someone will get angry or disappointed, they keep apologizing without checking the reality.

4. Seeking validation from others about self-worth

It is important for them to know what others think of them. Hence every action is a way to impress others. They need others to like them irrespective of everything.

5. Cannot deal with arguments and resentments well

They cannot stand fights and arguments. They have a fear of anger and therefore they will try to do anything to keep people from getting angry. They will try to meddle with anyone who is fighting and give a piece of advice even when not asked for.

Why is it dangerous to be a people pleaser?

When someone is always putting others on priority, it becomes so unhealthy for self! It is so difficult to imagine their state of mind. The heart must be so heavy, so burdened and full of suppression. Is it worth living such a life? But no one wishes to live such a life by their own will.

People pleasing is a serious attitude issue. It is a trait; one can’t help and change it overnight. It needs a lot of patience and work to bring about a positive change. Others call them names because they don’t understand that people-pleasers have a very less portion of behaviour in their control.

The thing with a pleasing attitude is that the urge to please keeps on growing with age. Therefore, it is important to analyze self and take action before it adds extreme baggage.

What are the downsides of the trait

They lose their identity

They cannot be their authentic self. Their real identity gets clouded in the process of pleasing everyone.

They feel lonely and unconfident

Most of the time, the people-pleasing act works exactly the opposite and they are left alone. Meaning, other people get annoyed with these traits and start taking distance. They start losing friends and respect, too.

They feel used

When someone tries to be over-helping and kind, people start taking advantage of this quality. They are used till the purpose isn’t over. This makes them feel used and unworthy.

They feel stressed and anxious

The constant act to please others shouldn’t be easy. This makes one feel burnt out, stressed and anxious thus leading to depressive emotions.

How to deal with people-pleasers?

It can be a task to be surrounded by people-pleasers, especially at work. When escaping from them is not an option, it’s better to stay aware and act accordingly. It feels like it isn’t anyone’s responsibility to ‘deal’ with them, as they are often avoided and shamed for who they are.

But unfortunately, we can’t choose people at work or even in our family! Isn’t it always better to know how to act and react to people and situations instead? Here are some basic tips that should help one work better with people-pleasers.

Give them reality check

It is mandatory for them to get a reality check from others about this behaviour. They need to be told using kind words and explain the downsides of being a people-pleaser.

Build their self-confidence

Boost their confidence by asking them to pick sides when required. Tell them to be truthful to themselves and send a message with their decisions that they are not pushovers.

Take and give space

It’s legit that it takes a lot of mental work to be around these personalities. Don’t take constant responsibility to correct others when they are wrong. Try to have a safe space and give them space to think and act.

Be kind

If you know someone has fallen prey to the people-pleasing attitude, don’t get in the trap. Instead, take a safe space but stay kind to them. Help them out when they are alone, burnt out, stressed or under-confident. Ask them to see a counsellor if needed.

Your takeaway

Let us understand the basic thing here — no one aspires to become a people-pleaser. It is a human trait that develops with time because of numerous reasons—Bad childhood, self-doubt, or random life experiences! Who knows what makes it happen, but one can just be more considerate, empathetic, and kind towards others. This shall take all of us a long way!



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