People pleasers often deal with low self-esteem and draw their self-worth from the approval of others. “I am only worthy of love if I give everything to someone else” is one common belief associated with people-pleasing, Myers says.
Causes of people-pleasing
Low self-esteem: People who feel they are worth less than others may feel their needs are unimportant. They may advocate for themselves less or have less awareness of what they want. They may also feel that they have no purpose if they cannot help others.
Being a people pleaser isn't an actual mental diagnosis. You can't go to a psychiatrist and get pills for never saying no. But it is a syndrome, a mental condition that affects quite a lot of people, and carries similar factors.
The tendency to please is related to Dependent Personality Disorder. While the people-pleaser may not need others to do things for them, they do have a need for others, regardless. The pleasing personality is also related to the Masochistic Personality type, which also corresponds with Dependent Personality.
Fawning or people-pleasing can often be traced back to an event or series of events that caused a person to experience PTSD, more specifically Complex PTSD, or C-PTSD.
The people pleaser personality type is desperate to feel important and needed. Their lack of self worth, confidence and self-belief, makes it almost impossible for them to set and maintain healthy boundaries with others.
A people pleaser is someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them. People pleasers often act out of insecurity and a lack of self-esteem.
Being a people-pleaser is an extremely stressful and frequently painful way to live. Because no matter how much they give to others they don't ever get what they are truly seeking. The real solution comes from within. As a result, people-pleasers frequently suffer from depression, stress and anxiety.
A fourth, less discussed, response to trauma is called fawning, or people-pleasing. The fawn response is a coping mechanism in which individuals develop people-pleasing behaviors to avoid conflict, pacify their abusers, and create a sense of safety.
People Pleasers spend so much time and effort in taking care of others. Unfortunately, they often do not establish good social support for themselves. They also find it hard to give up control and let other people take care of them. While taking care of others in noble and rewarding, it can also be toxic and unhealthy.
It's not exactly easy to stop people-pleasing behavior. Studies show that it's hard to disagree with others because it elevates your cognitive dissonance, a distortion between your values and the actions you want to take.
3. Family heritage. People Pleasing Disease can be genetic. If the family or the environment's culture you find yourself in is to please others, to be in the service of others, to self sacrifice etc., chances are that these values will be passed on from generations to generations.
In the post, Tran starts by highlighting that people-pleasers often want people to approve of what they are doing, whereas those who are being nice don't worry about being accepted or recognised for what they're doing.
A People Pleaser's Freedom
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that we are to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (NKJV). But if we are going to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (and people-pleasers do this), then it must be to God alone.
However, excessive people pleasing has the potential for numerous negative consequences. They may experience fear of rejection and disappointing others, have low self-esteem, difficulty making independent decisions, and difficulty setting healthy boundaries.
People-pleasers are often extremely empathic and attuned to others' needs. A people-pleaser therefore tends to pursue intimate, affectionate, and confiding relationships. These people have a strong desire for external validation and avoid, or are sensitive to, situations where conflict may arise.
People-pleasing is not the same as genuine kindness; being kind is a form of self-expression. People-pleasing is a fundamentally dependent behavior and can backfire. However, helping others with the expectation of getting something back is a contract.
A major people-pleaser may dodge your concerns, fabricate, and even gaslight you.
Of the three types of attachment (secure, anxious, and avoidant), people-pleasers who try to earn love through self-sacrifice often tend to have an anxious or avoidant (insecure) attachment style.
While people pleasing or “being too nice” could be seen as a sign of someone who is a really good person and cares for others, their ability to bend backwards for other people, not say no and struggle to have boundaries with others can actually be a big red flag and cause issues in a relationship in the long term if ...
But according to Sasha Heinz, PhD, a developmental psychologist and life coach, there's another price to people-pleasing: It's a form of manipulation. This doesn't mean we shouldn't be nice and helpful and friendly.
Being a People Pleaser is a Strength, Not a Weakness.
Adults may display sleep problems, increased agitation, hypervigilance, isolation or withdrawal, and increased use of alcohol or drugs. Older adults may exhibit increased withdrawal and isolation, reluctance to leave home, worsening of chronic illnesses, confusion, depression, and fear (DeWolfe & Nordboe, 2000b).