Why Do We People Please (Understanding the Psychology Behind It)

Last Update on August 3, 2021 : Published on August 3, 2021
Psychology Behind People Pleasing

You go first!

I second that!

You may have it, I am good!

You are right! Let us agree on and end it here!

I am always here for you, no matter what you need me for!

Yes, I will be there!

I just want you to be happy, that’s it!

Do these phrases sound familiar? Have you been using them quite often in your daily life?

If yes, then you need to take a pause in your life my friend as you might be on the path of being a people pleaser! Before we dive into understanding the psychology behind people-pleasing, let us first understand the meaning of this term!

What does People Pleaser Meaning

A people pleaser is someone who will constantly strive and thrive to please others, making them feel happy, and maintaining peace with others (often at their own cost). The goal of a people pleaser is quite simple and out there, they want to avoid displeasures in their social relationships and get everyone to love them. They have this constant desire to be there for others and give everything they have to their loved ones. Generally, you will find them standing at the givers’ end only.

If you ask me, I would define people-pleasers as those who are more focused on meeting the needs of others before they meet their own needs.

Interestingly, we all have been a people-pleaser at some point in our lives. Often the people pleasing aspect of personality is disguised by the altruistic world where you would term your attitudes as good, nice, or helpful. However, in reality, if people-pleasing becomes a way of living it is concerning as the balance of life goes missing.

Below we have discussed 7 reasons for how you may identify as a people-pleaser. Let us review them and see what are some behind your people-pleasing approach to life.

Top 7 Reasons Why do People Please

1. The Desire to Avoid Conflict

Say yes when you meant it

It goes without saying that conflicts cause distress in our lives. It is always easier to agree with someone and end the conversation than to stretch it and feel otherwise. We all do this at one point or the other in our lives.

But people-pleasers would not even confront when they are right or have a valid point to make just to avoid making other people feel bad about themselves. Perhaps, we people pleasers will try to avoid conflicts by simply agreeing with others.

2. Growing Up With People Pleaser Parents

never afraid of losing people pleaser

Children are always observing, learning, and implementing what they see their parents doing. No wonder parents are considered the first teachers. If a child is raised by parents who are people pleasers they will observe it, see the rewards that bring in for them, and then further apply people-pleasing attributes to their life.

On the other hand, parenting can be a reason behind people-pleasing behaviors. If the parent-child relationship lacks attunement, the child will always crave closeness and connection with his parents. To achieve the same and to feel loved, they will agree with their parents and will never miss a chance to please them. After all, that is what makes them feel wanted.

3. To Get Favours or Praise in Return

people pleasing never receive

Ooo! Not what you expected to see in the list? Don’t worry everyone who has a people-pleasing personality will have a secret hidden agenda to explain their behavior. However, we cannot neglect this reason of being a people pleaser from this list.

Sometimes people will try to please others to get something in return. There will be certain times when people-pleasers will not be knowing what they want in return. But the fact that pleasing others will bring them positive outcomes, they continue to be nice to others.

4. Self-worth is Linked with Others

The tendency of not being able to value oneself marks the lack of self-worth in people pleasers. The inner urge of having a sense of self-worth is therefore fulfilled by doing things for others or by getting external validation.

Also Read: Time to Take the Thought Pill of Self-validation | Be Your Own Support

This push in valuing themselves can take place in different ways like helping others resolve their problems (all the time), helping others by going out of their way, letting others take a chance over them, and more. They will do anything to make others like time to fulfill their constant need to feel worthy via others’ praise.

5. Lack of Self-love

people pleasing please everyone but the pleaser

Often people don’t know how to love themselves so they channelize that energy into loving others. By doing so they try to get love and care in return which would then fill that void within them.

They are always showing love and care to others but when it comes to taking some time out and giving themselves the same, they won’t be able to do it. Generally, the feeling of not being good enough for themselves makes them feel this way. Perhaps, they choose not to help or love themselves.

To Keep Unwanted Emotions at Bay

Sometimes saying no to others or not being there for them accompanies unwanted and bad feelings. To keep these feelings away an individual chooses to put the pain aside by making others happy. Some of the bad feelings that people-pleasing keeps at bay are:

1. Fear of disappointing others. Making other people feel disappointed makes people feel bad about themselves. That is why they will make sure to do everything that does not cause them any sort of disappointment.

2. Fear of rejection. People pleasers are afraid to put forward their viewpoint as they are afraid that people would reject them and their ideas. This can bring a feeling of discomfort, and to avoid it, the person will agree to them.

3. Fear of criticism. Criticism is often seen as an attack on their self-worth. To protect their self-worth they try to be the good person in the room with no mistakes to offer.

4. Loneliness. The need to fit in with others is often driven by the goal of avoiding feeling lonely.

5. Feeling of guilt. People pleasers find it difficult to say NO to others as it is likely to make them feel guilty.

Genuine Compassion

People’s pleasing behavior is also driven by an individual innate tendency to care for those around them. A person can be genuinely compassionate, loving, empathetic, and concerned for others with none of the above-mentioned reasons underlying it. This constant urge of showing compassion becomes problematic when there is no time and compassion for self.

Being too compassionate or totally forgetting to put oneself on the priority list can make an individual dive into the dark side of being nice, often making them experience compassion fatigue. So, even if you are compassionate by heart with no hidden motive attached, make sure you practice it in check.

Listen to you body need

No matter which reason explains your people-pleasing behavior it is crucial to note here that there are several red flags associated with this desire to be nice to others. We are not saying that pleasing others is always bad, but if it ends up being a defining feature of your lifestyle and personality it becomes a matter of concern as it ends up taking a toll on you.

Here is a small tip for you to start working on these reasons behind people-pleasing start practicing self-care in your life.

You can also use the blog links today to pave way for taking care of yourself.

Thank you for reading.

Love & Light!

About The Author

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is a content curator in the field of Mental Health. She is currently done Ph.D. in Psychology. Her aim is to light up the world with positive vibes through her words, her idea of life is ‘Grow through what you go through’. Apart from this, she is a big-time pet lover.

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