10 reasons being a ‘people pleaser’ is actually a good thing

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Are you a self-confessed people pleaser?

Perhaps you’re always thinking of others before yourself. Or you go out of your way to keep the peace.

While people-pleasing doesn’t always pay off, there are plenty of good things it says about you.

This article explores the positive side of being a people pleaser, along with the potential pitfalls to watch out for. 

1) You’re well-liked and popular

 You most likely find it pretty easy to make friends.

Social connections may feel effortless for you because you’re a generally positive and thoughtful person to be around.

You’re not perceived by others as being difficult or awkward.

You go out of your way to make sure people like you, and often that works.

You’re friendly, polite, and agreeable.

I mean, what’s not to like?!

It’s understandable that others will warm to you and see you in a good light.

When it becomes a problem:

We all want others to like us. It’s natural. But it’s an issue when being liked becomes more important than being yourself.

You may struggle to share the real you because you’re always trying to be what you think someone else wants you to be.

Stifling and subduing yourself to try to “fit in” can have a serious impact on your mental health and self-esteem.

So whilst there’s nothing wrong with being agreeable and liked. Make sure you also stay true to who you are.

2) You’re naturally empathetic 

Empathy is a wonderful trait that means you can better understand and appreciate where people are coming from.

As a people pleaser, you are most likely a very empathetic person.

You think a lot about how others feel.

You wonder what other people are thinking (especially their perception of you).

Having empathy enables you to build strong social connections.

When it becomes a problem:

Understanding how people feel and being compassionate towards that is great.

But it becomes a problem when you then take on responsibility for other people’s feelings and reactions.

You might start feeling obligated to others. You could feel guilty when you do something that they don’t like.

3) You think about other people and not just yourself

No one can accuse you of being selfish, that’s for sure.

In fact, before you make a decision you probably think long and hard about how it could impact other people.

The opposite of being self-centered, you often put others first.

You think in terms of “we” rather than “I”.

This makes you a responsible citizen, who serves and contributes to society.

When it becomes a problem:

When you’re busy thinking about everyone else, you might find that your own needs and wants come last.

You’re busy thinking about others, but who is thinking about you?

You might find that you quickly cave into social pressure in order to appease others.

4) You have the power of self-reflection

Being a people pleaser means you care what other people think about you. That’s not always such a bad thing.

After all, we live together in communities. And so the reality is that it does matter to a certain extent how you are perceived.

When you are able to think about how others see you, it means you are capable of self-reflection.

You think about your own words and behavior. And you’re able to adjust these things and take on feedback.

When it becomes a problem:

Knowing yourself is one thing, but constantly questioning yourself is another.

No matter what, you can’t please all the people all of the time.

It’s good to be mindful of what people think about you. But it’s dangerous to look for validation outside of yourself more than inside.

5) You’re kind and compassionate

Or to put it another way — you care.

I’m sure I don’t really need to explain why being kind and compassionate is such a good thing.

Research even shows that altruism is one of the most attractive traits in a person.

People pleasing can come from a desire to make others happy. Which is a noble intention.

When it becomes a problem:

A huge red flag is when you neglect self-love.

You should always show yourself just as much kindness and compassion as others.

Otherwise, you run the risk of people walking all over you.

If you feel like certain people take advantage of your kindness, you need to strengthen your boundaries.  

Saying no to others is an important part of self-compassion.

6) You can subtly influence people

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar’.

And it’s true.

The soft approach can be far more effective in getting people on side.

A little bit of people-pleasing can be seen as charming. Which is often the best way to butter people up.

It may mean you get your own way without needing to create waves.

When it becomes a problem:

When you don’t know how to assert yourself when it’s necessary.

The subtle approach isn’t going to work in every situation or with every person.

Without the confidence to give your own opinions and ideas, you may find people with strong characters start to dominate you. 

7) You’re tuned to other people

Being able to read the room is a real skill.

You can most likely walk into a room and decipher quite quickly people’s personality types.

You can tune yourself into how others are feeling, and what they are thinking.

Basically, you’re great at reading others.

This can be really useful.

For starters, you’re far less likely to end up putting your foot in it.

You naturally sense what is appropriate and what’s not in any given situation.

Being tuned into others allows you to adjust in real time, which helps the flow of communication.

When it becomes a problem:

When you’re highly sensitive to subtle responses that other people make, you can end up trying to second-guess them.

In the process, you might second-guess yourself.

Don’t overthink things and instead stay true to yourself.

8) You manage to avoid unnecessary conflict

People pleasers strive for peace and harmony in their relationships.

So you actively avoid drama with people.

You hate the thought of someone being angry or upset with you. Which means you tread carefully with others.

You may think of yourself as a bit of a peacekeeper.

Mending bridges and learning to forgive and forget are skills you have honed.

This means you’re far less likely to get dragged into conflict.

When it becomes a problem:

At some point, conflict is an unavoidable part of life.

Of course, it doesn’t have to turn nasty, but it’s essential to stick up for yourself. 

If you avoid all conflict like the plague, it’s impossible to fight your corner.

No one wants conflict, but if you are terrified of it, that’s going to hold you back.

9) You’re there for other people

People pleasers are usually the first to help you out.

If there’s a favor to be done, people feel like they can count on you.

They know that if they need your help you can be relied upon to give it.

You’ll volunteer your time and services for someone else.

You will inconvenience yourself, for the good of others.

Being there for other people most likely makes you a good listener and a good friend.

You’re someone who is always there to lend a helping hand.

When it becomes a problem:

When you constantly and consistently put the needs of others in from of your own.

Because here’s the thing:

Being self-sacrificing can spill over into martyrdom.

You find it hard to turn people’s requests down because you don’t want to disappoint them. 

That means you may find you over-commit — leading to stress and overwhelm.

10) You’re successful at work

Let’s face it, all bosses like a positive mental attitude in the workplace.

Your people-pleasing ways make you look like an enthusiastic and conscientious employee.

When you say “yes” to what is asked of you, you are viewed as a real team player who cares about your work.

You’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. This is a wonderful thing.

When it becomes a problem:

People pleasers can be nervous about standing out in the crowd.

Research has shown they can be worried about the consequences of outshining others.

But in a workplace, that can mean your hard work and effort get overlooked. You need to be able to take credit for a good day’s work.

To conclude: Is being a people pleaser a good thing?

Life is never clear-cut.

The reality is that many people-pleasing tendencies arise from the best intentions.

In fact, some people-pleasing traits are linked to wonderful personal characteristics. Things like kindness, empathy, and consideration for others.

But the reality is that there is a very dark side to people pleasing too.

These positive qualities need to be supported by the firm foundations of having healthy boundaries and plenty of self-love and respect.

Without it, people-pleasing can become a toxic habit that allows you to get taken advantage of.

Trying too hard to please can leave you anxious, and overstretched.

What’s more, you might make yourself miserable by neglecting your own needs over everyone else’s.

In short:

Even though people pleasing can come from a really good place, it can be harmful when you use it to mask your own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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