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

You'll never please everyone, but you can please yourself if you stop trying.

Last updated on Dec 06, 2023

woman outside Kseniia Perminova via Canva

It's understandable to want to be liked by everyone you meet — it's healthy even. What's not healthy is letting people walk all over you and putting yourself down so you can make others feel better about themselves. That is a people pleaser.

You need to realize that the only person you have is yourself, and you need to make yourself happy. You can't run around trying to get everyone to like you because that's impossible.


Here are 15 signs you're a people pleaser and it's sucking the life out of you.

1. You make excuses for other people.

You allow others to do whatever they want, without any consequences, especially from you. Stop rationalizing bad behavior by others towards you. Don’t make excuses for putting up with poor treatment.

Some people will be mean and manipulative by taking advantage of your kindness. Don’t keep giving them chances to exploit your empathy for their gains.



RELATED: 7 Reasons Why You Should Never Trust A People Pleaser


2. You keep the peace at all costs.

You may be peace-loving, but sometimes you need to fight back. Standing up for yourself isn't easy, but it's the mark of a strong person who doesn't let others walk all over them.

Stop avoiding conflict. Choose to assert yourself even if you hate confrontation. If you allow yourself to be walked over, some people may mistake your niceness for weakness.

3. You don't express what you feel.

It's important to express how you feel. As long as you're not intentionally harming anyone, say what you actually feel and never apologize for it.

You don’t always have to be polite for fear of rocking the boat. But sometimes, you need to speak your mind, irrespective of what someone else thinks of you.


4. You try to be perfect.

Instead of always trying to be the best at something, look inward. Get in touch with your authentic self. Tap into your innermost thoughts and emotions.

Stop putting others on a pedestal while you beat yourself up over your flaws. Accept your weaknesses, and remind yourself that no one can be perfect all the time.

signs of a people pleaserPhoto: Maria Orlova / Pexels


5. You make everyone happy.

You're quick to sacrifice your own happiness just so someone else gets their way. But in life, you can't make everyone happy.

So, stop trying to please everyone. At the end of the day, someone is always going to have a problem with who you are and what you do. Stop caring what others think of you, and do the right thing.

6. You succumb to emotional abuse.

Recognize when you're being dominated, betrayed, guilt-tripped, or made to feel bad about yourself. Stop letting anyone project their insecurities onto you, and stop allowing them to make you feel bad about who you are.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. End the vicious cycle of victim-perpetrator by stepping out of it.


7. You assume that the world is a fair place.

Stop living in denial and face the reality of the situation. Don’t let your naivety and excessive idealism blind you from seeing the truth. It may be a difficult truth to swallow, but it's better than living in the dark.

The first step towards freeing yourself is knowing the difference between good and evil, and recognizing what is right and wrong.

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

8. You say 'yes' when you want to say 'no.'

Don’t let anyone make you feel wrong about standing up for yourself. You have a voice, you deserve an opinion, and your sense of self-worth is not dependent on external approval.


Stop letting anyone make you feel guilty for turning them down. Instead, only say yes when you want to, and don't allow others to pressure you.



9. You put others’ needs before your own.

Your needs are as important as anyone else’s. While there's nothing wrong with being selfless, you're human just like everyone else, which means you have wants and desires too.

There's a limit to the sacrifices and compromises you can make. Don’t lose yourself trying to give other people what they are unable to give themselves.


10. You think you're not enough.

You're worthy of all the wonderful things that life has to offer, despite any negative thoughts you may be harboring.

As long as you strive to become a better person every day, you're good enough. Reclaim your power, assume responsibility for your mind and body, and take the driver’s wheel of your own life.

signs of a people pleaserPhoto: MART PRODUCTION / Pexels


RELATED: 15 Signs You're A Better Person Than You Think You Are

11. You feel guilty about setting boundaries.

If you find yourself struggling to draw the line with others, you could be a people pleaser. You're all about being super helpful, or maybe you're just not a fan of saying "no."

Maybe, in the past, people threw shade your way for trying to set boundaries. Whatever the deal, those people-pleasing tendencies can mess with your life when it comes to expressing what you're cool with and what's off limits.

It's like your boundaries are this secret code that got lost in translation, making it tough for you to let others know what's up. And because of that, it's not just a struggle to set limits, it's also a total mission to make sure you're looking out for yourself.


12. You never have any 'me time.'

People pleasers are the superheroes of availability. By this, it means you're always on call to help those around you. It's sweet of you, but it also means you never take any time for yourself.

If you're the kind of person who skips out on "me time" just to be everyone's go-to person, you might just be rocking that people-pleasing cape. You're canceling plans and tossing your to-do list out the window when someone calls because you're always ready to swoop in and save the day for them.



13. You have a fear of being seen as selfish.

People who always people-please often get a kick out of doing good things for others, all in the hopes of being everyone's favorite. The thought of others labeling them as selfish? That's their worst nightmare.


It's because losing that acceptance they're so hungry for would be a total bummer. So, they're on this constant mission to keep up their great image and steer clear of any "selfish" rumors that might mess with their goals.

14. You make 'sorry' a permanent staple in your vocabulary.

Dropping apologies like confetti is a classic people pleaser move. You might find yourself saying sorry for stuff that's not even your fault. If your go-to response to any kind of hiccup is an automatic "I'm sorry!" guess what? You're a people pleaser.

It's not just about taking responsibility for things that have zero connection to your actions — it's like your default mode in any conflict is hitting them with a sincere apology. It's like you've got a sorry button that just gets pressed without a second thought.

So, if "I'm sorry" is your anthem, you might just be the MVP of people-pleasing.


signs of a people pleaserPhoto: lil artsy / Pexels


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15. Your personality fluctuates depending on who you interact with.

If you're constantly tweaking your demeanor to match your group's, you might be diving into the world of people-pleasing. Being a social chameleon is your go-to move to get the thumbs up from others and dodge any drama.


It's all about shaping your personality to sync up with what everyone else is into, just to keep the good vibes going and avoid any unnecessary clashes. It's akin to always trying to be the chillest version of yourself, just to make sure everyone's on board and things stay drama-free.

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser

To be frank, this can be difficult to do, but if you take it step by step it will soon become natural to you.

Start by practicing saying "no" when it's necessary. Start small, like declining a minor favor, and work your way up. It's all about setting your limits.



Take time to figure out what you're comfortable with and what crosses the line. This could be in terms of time commitments, personal space, or even emotional energy.


Schedule regular "me time" and consider it a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. This might include reading a book, going for a walk, or binge-watching your favorite show.

Remember, it's a process, not an overnight transformation. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way.

RELATED: 15 Signs You're Winning At Life (Even If It Doesn't Feel Like It)

Nikita Mor is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle and relationship topics. Her bylines have appeared in Thought Catalog and Elite Daily, among others.