7 Reasons Why You Should Never Trust A People Pleaser

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What's the danger of being a people pleaser? You might think of people who say "yes," offer to help, or jump in to take up the slack as affable, nice or kind. In general, that's likely an accurate assessment, especially at that moment.

But what if they never say "no," even when "no" is the answer you need to hear?

The biggest problem with being a people pleaser is that people pleasers say "yes" even when they really want to say "no." They'll say "yes," even when a "no" could prevent them from doing something that's not in their best interest. It could be something unpleasant or even hurtful.

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What are the dangers of being a people pleaser?

Along with the inability to say "no," there are additional dangers and downsides to being a people pleaser. These often come at the expense of one's mental health:

  • Feelings of not being good enough
  • Inability to form real connections with others
  • Prioritizing the needs of others
  • Suppressing emotions
  • Inability to set proper boundaries
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Stress, tiredness, exhaustion, and anxiety
  • Increased likelihood of being taken advantage of
  • Self-doubt and fear of rejection or failure
  • Inability to be your authentic self
  • Resentment
  • Loss of identity

Should you trust someone with a people pleaser personality?

Whether you're dealing with a people pleaser or think you might be one yourself, it's important to realize the detrimental impacts associated with unconditionally agreeing. It's damaging to both the pleaser and those around them.

Despite a people pleaser's generally persistent good-natured manner, inconsistencies between their intent and delivery can ultimately wear down your trust and spoil your relationship.

Pleasers don't intend harm. It's just that their stronger need to please overrides other inclinations.

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Here are 7 reasons why you can't trust a people pleaser.

1. They agree even when they actually disagree.

Unfortunately, you won't know when their agreement masks their true ulterior thoughts, feelings, and opinions. In essence, their behavior truncates two-way communication and connection.

Furthermore, you may find that the pleaser doesn't follow through or reneges on your agreement, perhaps causing embarrassing or harmful consequences for you.

2. They offer to help but falter when they just don't have enough time.

Pleasers are less likely to ask for help themselves. Consequently, they're less inclined to remedy the situation.

3. They try to please everyone and be everyone's ally.

However, this outlook and behavior make it impossible for them to act as anyone's true and trusted ally.

4. They refuse to acknowledge their own needs or difficulties.

As a consequence, they may ultimately surprise you with accusations of not caring about or appreciating them.

5. They apologize and take responsibility for your and others' moods and feelings.

For whatever goes wrong, this just makes meaningful discourse and discussion even more unclear.

6. They confuse their sensitivity and need for reassurance with empathy.

They believe they have a professed heightened capacity for empathy or even an empathetic nature. And, oftentimes, this is associated with a strong need for recognition, appreciation, and care.

It can also act as a barrier to frank, honest communication, and attention to your needs.

7. They can't be genuine.

People pleasers struggle with their genuine intention to provide honest impressions and feedback, while compulsively attending to their need to please and placate. As a consequence, their dialogue and messages can become muddled.

Your efforts to gain clarity will likely be gracefully and masterfully thwarted. You might sense a tentativeness or disingenuousness in the pleaser. This is bound to erode trust and sever the connection.

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What can you do to help yourself and the people pleaser?

If you want to confront a people pleaser, the best and most constructive way is with compassion and honesty. They may have caused you to suffer in some way, but more than likely it was unintentional.

Besides, they are more apt to respond to a clear, constructive, compassionate dialogue concerning what you need from them rather than admonishment of their behaviors.

Help them appreciate how their choices hurt both you and them. Remember, they act as they do because of weak self-esteem and self-worth. Offer them support, information, and resources.

For some people, the compulsion to please becomes dysfunctional. In these cases, it's best to seek treatment from a therapist.

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Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) leadership coach, certified Martha Beck life coach, and Master/Instructor Energy Healer.

This article was originally published at Starchaser Healing Arts. Reprinted with permission from the author.