6 Harsh Signs You're The People-Pleaser In Your Relationship

Sorry to say, but it never works out.

woman in hat smiling Dean Drobot / shutterstock

We all do things to try to make a relationship work, including being non-confrontational and even "people-pleasing" to partners.

When does your "too nice" nature turn you into a people pleaser, especially if you're in a relationship? What if there are two pleasers in your couple?

But when does being kind and nice actually help us in life? Can that nature actually hurt us when it comes to our relationships?


Can you learn how to stop being a people pleaser in your romantic relationship?

RELATED: 10 Signs You're A People-Pleaser (And It's Sucking The Life Out Of You)

Kindness is a good trait to have. People tend to like you when you're kind.

It can even lead to healthy relationships with everyone around you.


But, wanting to be liked becomes a problem when you’re continually acting how you think that other people expect or want you to in order to please them.

Often, there comes a time when people-pleasing in this way actually hurts you and makes you a doormat instead of kind and magnetic.

So, when is being nice actually a bad thing?

RELATED: If You Notice These 12 Red Flags, You're Giving Too Much Of Yourself To Others

Here are six signs you're people-pleasing in your relationship 

1. You’re consistently not getting your needs met

If you bend over backward over and over and never get anything in return — you’re acting like a doormat, not being nice.


2. You’re hoping that someone will respond in a certain way to your acts of kindness

While there should be some give and take in any relationship, the sole reason that you give should never be so that you can get. Giving because you want to get is manipulation, not kindness.

Lots of people who feel like they have to go this route for approval are doormats in disguise — subtly hoping to buy people’s affections while resenting them when they don’t get what they want out of the deal.

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3. You start feeling resentful about doing nice things

If you consistently feel taken advantage of, or if you truly feel like you don’t get anything in return for your "niceness," it’s a sign to pull back and/or an indication that you aren’t standing up for yourself.


4. You've asked yourself why no one likes 'nice'

Bemoaning the idea that people don’t like "nice" behavior is a real sign there’s a problem.

Here’s the hard truth: People really do like nice when it’s in the appropriate context.

What they don’t like is anyone spinelessly pandering for their affection. That is doormat behavior which is a turn-off.

They aren’t turned off by nice people who do nice things, they’re turned off when you selflessly toss yourself at them like you have no self-worth.

See the difference? Self-confidence equals attractiveness. Striving to "prove yourself" is unattractive.

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5. You start feeling like you’re not living your own life

Ever felt like you’re "living for a relationship?" It’s a warning sign that you need to go out, pronto, and get a hobby.

Once you feel like your partner is your reason for living, you’ve launched into the doormat-danger territory.

6. You've used the fact that you’re a nice person as a reason why you aren’t successful at dating

Been dumped repeatedly and told, "You’re too nice" as a suspicious reason why they broke up?

It’s enough to make you want to scream, "Well if I’m so nice, then why are you dumping me?" Right?

What they’re really saying is that you either lost sex appeal to them, you don’t have a backbone, or you don’t speak up for yourself and they’ve lost respect for you.


Being truly nice and showing kindness to others is not boring. Being a doormat is — since you just float in whichever direction your partner wants.

They eventually get bored, and you get dumped.

If you hear yourself complaining that people "just don’t like nice men/women", it’s more likely that you’re presenting yourself in a low-value way — not that they truly don’t appreciate kindness.

And anyway, if you’re actually being kind and not spineless, do you want someone who doesn’t appreciate it? Probably not.


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How to stop being a doormat

So, how do you stop being a doormat and still be in a healthy relationship?

  • If you’re upset, speak up.
  • Don’t just go along with everything because you want their approval.
  • Honor your own wants, desires, feelings, and goals.
  • Understand that hiding your real desires from your partner isn’t being nice, it’s actually dishonest. They can’t even attempt to make you happy or reciprocate if they don’t know what you want or how to give it to you.
  • Let go of the idea that everything will fall apart if you stop doing everything.

Sometimes, in relationships, we’re hesitant to pull back and stop "doing" everything because we’re terrified that nothing will get done or we’ll actually be forced to stop and realize that the other person just isn’t pulling their weight (they might never).

It’s easy to ignore this harsh reality as long as we stay on the hamster wheel, striving and attempting to "prove" our love to them.


You can still be kind and nice, there's nothing wrong with that. But, just as relationships should be both give and take, realize that you have to stop giving for a second so you can actually receive.

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Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves in order to improve their relationships.