The Truth About People Pleasing

People Pleasing is a behavior often learned in childhood as a self-preservation technique. It becomes a way of getting our needs met by receiving recognition or attention for being “the good girl or boy,” the “helpful one,” the “easy-going one,” the “kind and generous one,” the “selfless one,” the “thoughtful one,” the “high achiever,” the “teacher’s pet,” etc. 

When we try to meet all of our parents’ expectations of us or use our behavior or achievements to get recognition or attention, it is ultimately our attempt to meet our needs.  As children, we often perceive attention or recognition as “love.” 

This leads to 2 different motivations potentially:  1) the need to constantly seek someone else’s approval out of a fear of rejection or a fear of abandonment or 2) what I call “Shiny Object Syndrome” or S.O.S. 

S.O.S. is where we constantly chase the next shiny gold object in pursuit of some sort of happiness or satisfaction.  This may look like pursuing another certification, promotion, or accolade (professionally or personally).  Or it may look like overspending or jumping from one relationship to the next.  S.O.S. is also exactly what it sounds like – a cry for help.  It’s a red flag that we are deeply unhappy and desperately seek someone or something else outside of ourselves to ease or distract us from our pain.  It signals that we have lost sight of the happiness we all have within us; we have forgotten how to reconnect with our true joy and believe it is somewhere “out there” rather than in our hearts. 

The good news is that we no longer have to chase the antidote or wait for someone to “rescue” us once we realize this.  We can step out of our misery, out of victimhood, out of martyrdom, and begin healing the parts of us that are deeply wounded.  The inner child who didn’t get their needs for love, attention, and power met. 

Their inner child abdicated their power to please someone they loved because they mistakenly believed that if they behaved or helped their loved one, they would receive what they believed was love and recognition in return.

The deep wound that needs to be healed centers around self-worth, where you know that you are worthy of receiving love purely just for being who you are and not for what you can provide for others. 

It’s a deep and heavy journey, but it’s one worth embarking on because when you can live your life feeling safe being who you are and knowing that you deserve love, attention, and recognition purely for being who you are, you’re able then to reclaim your power and rediscover the joy that you hold within.

The nature of your relationships may change as a result. The ones that are no longer serving you or not reflecting your value will fall away, and the ones aligned with your value and worth will strengthen and improve. 

You will attract opportunities and people who respect and value you for who you authentically are. You will find peace and ease but, most of all, truth, love, and joy.

When you first step out as your authentic self, you will likely encounter someone who will tell you that “you’ve changed,” that “you’re not the same,” that “you’re not as thoughtful (generous, sweet, kind, etc.)” as you once were.  While at first, you may react defensively, realize that your growth and ability to now set boundaries is a good thing, so don’t take it personally.  It may take your loved ones time to adjust to your boundaries and while it may be hard to enforce those boundaries, do your best to stay firm. Slipping up once in a while is to be expected and normal as you recover from people pleasing.  Just keep setting and reinforcing the boundaries; soon, they will become second nature, and your loved ones will begin to understand and respect your limits.  They will get used to you speaking your truth and standing up for yourself; as a result, if they are the right people to surround yourself with, they will respect and value you for it.  If they are not with the right people, taking some space or distancing yourself may be the healthiest route.  Don’t let anyone hold you back from being the fullest and highest expression of who you are!  Don’t let anyone stop you from courageously stepping into your truth and authenticity.  Don’t let anyone cause you to compromise your boundaries or values if they help you feel safe and respected.

Eventually, they will come to love and respect the newly empowered version of you that is honest and joyful.  You’ll be able to operate from a heart-based place rather than a fear-based place (fear of rejection, non-acceptance, abandonment, losing another’s love, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake or not being perfect, etc.).  When you move through life from your heart, you show up as your fullest potential, which means you’ll move through the world serving the highest and best good of all, finding meaning, purpose, and fulfillment!

Want to Ditch the People-Pleasing?

If you are ready to ditch the people pleasing, then reach out to schedule a FREE 30-minute Ditch the People Pleaser Session with me.

If you are ready to ditch the people pleasing, then reach out to schedule a FREE 30-minute Ditch the People Pleaser Session with me. This offer is available for a limited time, and only a few spots are left!

This session is for you if you are ready to:

  • live your life for YOU without apologies
  • feel comfortable saying NO without guilt
  • feel confident in setting and holding boundaries
  • courageously step into your authenticity and value
  • let go of everyone else’s expectations and the need to fulfill them
  • let go of caring what everyone else thinks of you
  • allow others to take accountability and responsibility for their actions and emotions
  • let go of the guilt, victimhood, martyrdom, or the responsibility to fix or rescue your loved ones
  • prioritize your own self-care so that you are better able to take care of your loved ones without depleting yourself
  • feel revitalized and more deeply connected to yourself and your partner

What you’ll get out of this session:

  • immediately actionable steps that you can take right NOW to stop people pleasing
  • tips on how to reconnect back to who you are so you can create a more meaningful connection with your loved ones
  • a deeper awareness of how people-pleasing behavior is impacting your life, so you feel deeply aligned with ditching the people pleaser
  • an understanding of why you began to people please in the first place so that you can begin to break the pattern at the root 
  • suggestions on how to easily implement the strategies that will be most helpful to releasing your most hurtful people-pleasing behaviors 


  • The Truth About People Pleasing
    People Pleasing is a behavior often learned in childhood as a self-preservation technique. It becomes a way of getting our needs met by receiving recognition or attention for being “the good girl or boy,” the “helpful one,” the “easy-going one,” the “kind and generous one,” […]
  • Breaking the Chains, Rewriting the Narrative
    When we pin our happiness upon someone or something outside of us, that someone or something hijacks our opportunity to love ourselves fully and completely because we depend on someone else to do it for us rather than taking responsibility. Until they no longer “love us”, and then we find ourselves crying into a never-ending glass of red wine or chocolate cake.
  • What If In Order to Come Together, We First Have to Fall Apart?
    Imagine at birth, you were given all of the pieces of a puzzle that you needed to become the best version of you.  Imagine then throughout your life, that you learned to hide some of the pieces because you didn’t think they would help you fit […]
  • Are You the Good Girl or the Rebel?
    If you had asked me several years ago if I identified more with the good girl or the rebel, I likely would have said the good girl, hands down (with a few exceptions).  My need to “be the good girl” came from 1) a deep […]
  • Are You a People Pleaser?
    For most of my life, I have been the easy going one, the agreeable one,  the pleasant one, the one who didn’t make waves, cause conflict or drama.  I never tried to take up more space than I occupied (unless I was on stage) and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: