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Best 150 People Pleaser Quotes To Help You Let Go Of People Pleasing

people pleaser quotes

This post contains some of the best people pleaser quotes.

Who Is The People Pleaser

A people pleaser is someone tries so hard to make other people happy.

They would go out of their way to please someone. This often includes “editing” words and behaviors for the sake of another person’s approval.

This eventually leads to burnout and feelings of resentment and unfulfillment.

Related: Am I A People Pleaser Quiz (+Top 21 Proven Ways to Stop People Pleasing)

People Pleaser Quotes

1. “You get what you tolerate.” – Henry Cloud

2. “No is a complete sentence.” – Anne Lamont

3. “I set boundaries not to offend you but to respect myself.” – Unknown

4. “People only treat you one way…the way you allow them to.” – Unknown

5. “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” – Unknown

6. “People will learn to show up for you, the way you show up for you.” – Unknown

7. “Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.” – Rachel Wolchin

Related: How to Heal Codependency and Savior Complex? Top 12 Strategies to Overcome Codependency For Good

8. “You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say NO to people.” – Unknown

9. “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” – Edwin Louis Cole

10. “Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why you keep allowing it.” – Unknown

11. “Individuals set boundaries to feel safe, respected, and heard.” – Pamela Cummins

12. “Each time you set a healthy boundary, you say ‘yes’ to more freedom.” – Nancy Levin

13. “Walls keep everybody out. Boundaries teach them where the door is.” – Mark Groves

STOP people pleasing Worksheets (1)

14. “Being able to say “No” is a necessary ingredient in a healthy lifestyle.” – David W. Earle

15. “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paul Coelho

Related: How To Break Codependency Habits For Good? Top 13 Codependent Habits to Quit Today

16. “Boundaries need to be communicated first verbally and then with actions.” – Henry Cloud

17. “Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” – Doreen Virtue

18. “Boundary setting helps you prioritize your needs over other people’s wants.” – Lauren Kenson

19. “Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too.” – Gina Greenlee

20. “It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.” – Mandy Hale

Related: Why Nice Guys Suck? Best 19 Practical Strategies To Stop Being The Nice Guy

People Pleaser Quotes (2)

21. “A boundary is not that at which something stops, but that from which something begins.” – Martin Heidegger

22. “When someone oversteps your boundaries, they’re letting you know that what you want doesn’t matter.” – Phil Good

23. “The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting from you having none.” – Unknown

24. “Setting boundaries is a positive, healthy necessity in one’s life which will empower and raise confidence in oneself.” – Unknown

Read: Best 20 Must-Read Books On Codependency

25. “Boundaries: If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries, it’s just more evidence the boundary is needed.” – Unknown

26. “Your personal boundaries alert you to abuse and remind you to follow through with your plan to protect yourself.” – Unknown

27. “Saying NO can be the most empowering word if you struggle with codependency, abusive relationships or low self-esteem.” – Unknown

28. “The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem.” – Unknown

Related: How To Set Boundaries In A Toxic Relationship? Top 25 Effective Ways to Enforce Boundaries In Relationships

29. “You are allowed to set boundaries. You are allowed to wave bye-bye to anyone who doesn’t respect them without apology.” – Unknown

30. “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown

31. “If someone gets mad at you for creating a boundary, consider that a good sign that the boundary was necessary.” – Jenna Korf

32. “You don’t set boundaries to offend or please others. You do it to manage the priorities and goals set for yourself and for your life.” – Unknown

33. “Setting boundaries is your responsibility. People will continue to do what you allow. You get to decide what is and what isn’t allowed in your life.” – Unknown

Related: How To Stop Caretaking? Best 9 Ways to Start Receiving More In Life & Relationships

34. “You have to set limits for your own wellness. Even though you may say no to someone doesn’t mean it’s about them. You need to take care of yourself as well.” – Unknown

People Pleaser Quotes (2)

Related: How To Start A Self Love Journey? Top 10 Powerful Ways to Love Yourself More

35. “Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious and you get to decide how you use them. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

36. “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.” – Henry Cloud

People Pleaser Quotes (2)

Related: Emotional Abuse In Relationships Quiz

37. “A people-pleaser is worried about rejection. They have a need, as we all do, to be accepted and treasured—to be loved. But in people-pleasers, this need is amplified to the extent that they will bend over backward just to not lose that love or acceptance. They are driven by avoiding negative consequences rather than creating positive possibilities.” – Patrick King

38. “A people-pleaser must always cultivate a spirit of giving and selflessness— which is going to stuff more difficult feelings like rage, anguish, and animosity deeper and deeper inside you.” – Patrick King

39. “All of us need validation from others. We thrive on acclaim, compliments, praise, and overall kindness. There’s nothing wrong with that. But peoplepleasers rely solely on the approval of outsiders. Their low self-value makes them entirely dependent on other people’s opinions. They are like a shadow, as they are completely reactionary to other people.” – Patrick King

40. “Also critical to the People-Pleasing Mindset is that no one—including yourself—thinks of you as a selfish person. But, your definition and scope of the term selfish are overly broad and essentially wrong in important ways. There is a big, important difference between exercising enlightened selfinterest and being selfish. You may choose to be a martyr and sacrifice your own needs on the altar of those of your family and friends. But, in doing so, you are neither demonstrating nor proving that you are unselfish, but merely self-destructive.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Related: Negative Core Beliefs List (& 8 Tips On How To Challenge Them)

41. “Although as a people-pleaser, you abhor both giving and receiving criticism from others, you can be brutal when the attack is self-directed. Typically, in addition to more shoulds and shouldn’ts, (“I should have done more,” “I shouldn’t be angry or resentful,” etc.), your self-critical monologues are likely laden with other depression-producing language and distorted thoughts.” – Harriet B. Braiker

42. “Another thing people-pleasers often do in the presence of an angry person is to immediately try and make them feel better and get back in their good graces. They frequently do this without thinking. But you should resist the urge to make it all better as well, because you’ll still be ceding your personal power to someone who’s just going to consume it.” – Patrick King

43. “As a people-pleaser, you may feel more secure in relationships where you give far more than you receive in return. You may also subscribe to the mistaken belief that it is always far better to give than to receive, even among your friends and family.” – Harriet B. Braiker

44. “As a people-pleaser, you push yourself around with commanding orders, burden yourself with a strict, rigid code of personal rules, and measure yourself against unrealistic, judgmental standards. And, you do all this in order to be a nice person! But, why can’t you be nice to yourself?” – Harriet B. Braiker

45. “As a people-pleaser, you want and need everyone’s approval yet withhold approval from yourself.” – Harriet B. Braiker

46. “As a people-pleaser, your perceptual antennae are attuned to the needs, preferences, desires, requests, and expectations of others. The psychological “volume” of other people’s needs is turned up high, while the relative volume of your own needs is very nearly muted altogether” – Harriet B. Braiker

47. “As a people-pleasing adult, your conscience still orients you to the expectations of others. By your demonstrated willingness to put others’ needs before your own, you continue to accord other people a position of authority over you. Even though you may be taking care of others in what often feels like a parental capacity, and meeting your adult obligations and responsibilities, your conscience still treats you like an obedient or disobedient child.” – Harriet B. Braiker

48. “As a pleaser–if you’re good at it–no one harshly rejects you, tells you to buzz off, or gets upset at you. They just feel “meh” towards you and politely distance themselves, don’t return you calls, or say “no, thank you” to a second date.” – Aziz Gazipura

49. “As a veteran people-pleaser, despite your persistent efforts to make everyone else happy, you will rarely if ever feel satisfied with the job you are doing. You continually expand the circle of others whose needs you try to meet. The pressure this produces and the inevitable drain on your energy create profound feelings of guilt and inadequacy that you will attempt to repress by trying harder to please even more.” – Harriet B. Braiker

50. “As you let go of niceness, guilt, pleasing others, and fear of conflict, everything improves. Your relationships get better, your self-esteem skyrockets, your sense of personal and social power increase, your career and business success surge, and you feel more relaxed around people in all situations.” – Aziz Gazipura

51. “At the core of the people-pleasing syndrome is the central belief that others must come first. As a people-pleaser, you almost certainly know that you put others’ needs ahead of your own. And you most likely believe that to do otherwise would be selfish.” – Harriet B. Braiker

52. “Autonomous people generate real respect from others—not just the passing praise or idle compliments that drive people-pleasers.” – Patrick King

Related: Mindfulness Techniques For PTSD And Trauma: Top 4 Steps To Practice Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness (Safely)

53. “Because you are a people-pleaser, you wait too long to say “no” to nearly everyone. Your proverbial toes are black and blue from the constant invasion of your personal boundaries. Since you have avoided saying “no” and have not established clear and firm limits on your time and energy, you may now find yourself perilously close to the limits of your patience and self-control.” – Harriet B. Braiker

54. “Being a people-pleaser takes its toll on your physical health. If you juggle multiple responsibilities at home and at work and try to keep up with everyone’s demands on you, you’re bound to lose sleep, not have enough time or energy for exercise, and rely on food options served up fast but greasy and definitely unhealthy. Keeping with this pattern is guaranteed to make you more vulnerable to catching diseases from the common cold to serious heart disease. This is the way being a relentless people-pleaser can literally kill you.” – Patrick King

55. “Believing that you are indispensable and that your identity and self-esteem depend on how much you do yourself for others will keep you stuck in your people-pleasing rut.” – Harriet B. Braiker

56. “But the dilemma you face as a chronic people-pleaser is that, despite your impressive ability to meet almost everyone’s needs so far, the time inevitably will come when your energy will run out. Depleted by your own good intentions and desire to please, you will confront a breaking point after which you will no longer be able to do all the things for others on which your value has come to so crucially depend.” – Harriet B. Braiker

57. “Casual disagreement is the most common and most important kind of disagreement to learn because it is you simply expressing yourself. You’re sharing what you think, feel, want, and like. It’s a way of being yourself around others and letting them get to know who you are. When you hide this in an attempt to be pleasing or non-offensive, people are left with the vaguely uneasy feeling that they don’t really know you. Sure, you’re nice, but who are you really?” – Aziz Gazipura

58. “Despite what other people may say or do to people-pleasers their essential niceness prohibits them from saying negative things in response. Often, the nice people-pleaser cannot even acknowledge having negative thoughts or feelings toward others.” – Harriet B. Braiker

59. “Driven by an excessive need to gain the approval of other people—of everyone—people-pleasers will strive to do so at almost any cost to themselves. But this approval addiction can paralyze action.” – Harriet B. Braiker

60. “Everybody struggles with viewing their emotions from an unbiased, objective standpoint. Especially as a people-pleaser, when you’re placing someone else’s interests and emotions above your own, it can be hard to give your feelings the proper respect they deserve. You’re stowing your emotions in the trunk, after all. That’s why it’s important, as difficult as it is, to become aware when you’re about to do it.” – Patrick King

61. “For years, women didn’t seem attracted to me. My people-pleasing and excessive niceness repelled them, although I didn’t know this at the time. I thought it was because I was not cool enough, strong enough, tall enough. Too ugly, too boring, too nerdy.” – Aziz Gazipura

62. “If the personality of a people-pleaser had to be summed up in one word, that word would be nice. But, if you have the Disease to Please, nice isn’t just a personality description. Being nice is shorthand for a full-blown belief system that dictates how to act with other people so that bad things won’t happen to you.” – Harriet B. Braiker

63. “If we’re living in a world where we think we should be pleasing and nice, we should take on responsibility for the feelings of others, we should only feel loving and never angry, then we’re lost before we begin. We’ll never be able to speak up.” – Aziz Gazipura

64. “If you are a people-pleaser, it is a safe bet that you have difficulty saying “no” to just about any request, expressed need, desire, invitation, or demand —implicit or explicit—from nearly anyone.” – Harriet B. Braiker

65. “If you are like most people-pleasers, you believe that if you don’t put others first, you will be viewed as selfish. Further, you believe that if you were selfish, you wouldn’t be worthy of love. Ultimately, selfish, unlovable people are abandoned, left alone to be miserable.” – Harriet B. Braiker

66. “If you are like most people-pleasers, you have a peculiar relationship with time. There is never enough of it for you to relax, have fun, do pleasurable things, or just have some to yourself. On the other hand, your time seems to expand to make room for tasks—especially when the tasks involve things that you do for others.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Related: Best 15 Inner Child Exercises: How To Connect With Your Inner Child (& Heal Your Childhood Wounds)

67. “If you become known as a people-pleaser, you’re also opening yourself up to being taken advantage of. More people will think you’re willing to do anything for them, and they may start piling on more requests than it’s fair for you to handle.” – Patrick King

68. “If you have the Disease, your need to please is not limited to just saying “yes” to the actual requests, invitations, or demands initiated by others. As a people-pleaser, your emotional tuning dials are jammed on the frequency of what you believe other people want or expect of you. Just the perception that another might need your help is enough to send your people-pleasing response system into overdrive.” – Harriet B. Braiker

69. “If you’re a chronic people-pleaser, you may tend to have exaggeratedly negative thoughts about yourself. You think that nothing about you is likable, so you push yourself to serve and please others in an attempt to make them like you.” – Patrick King

70. “If you’re a people-pleaser or someone who constantly feels like you can’t assert yourself, the sensations described above might be all too familiar. You feel them every time you want to say no to others’ requests or have feelings and opinions that run counter to what people expect you to have or are faced with any situation that needs you to prioritize or assert yourself in some way.” – Patrick King

71. “If you’re a people-pleaser, you’re likely to be naturally caring and compassionate toward others, qualities that you may believe to be incompatible with being assertive. However, being assertive doesn’t have to mean you stop being caring and kind.” – Patrick King

72. “In all relationships, whether personal or business, people-pleasers take the attitude that they have to do everything they can to the nth extreme for them to merely survive. This feeling results in their working overtime, above and beyond, to make them work. To them, there appears to be a linear relationship between the amount of pleasing they do with how much approval they receive. At the very least, a huge effort on their part is a necessary part of the equation.” – Patrick King

73. “In most cases trying to be nice and pleasing people are just selffocused ways to avoid fear and discomfort. They provide short-term relief for us, but long-term pain in others.” – Aziz Gazipura

74. “In people-pleasing logic, if niceness fails to protect you from an interpersonal slight or hurt, you must not have been nice enough, and you must do even more!” – Harriet B. Braiker

75. “It seems that whatever the people-pleaser’s motives may have been when she started down the path of catering to the needs of others, the outcome is almost inevitably not what was intended.” – Harriet B. Braiker

76. “It’s typical for people-pleasers to feel or at least question whether they deserve the things they want. They’ve been putting everyone else’s needs ahead of theirs and haven’t been thinking about themselves, so how can they know if they really merit what they want?” – Patrick King

77. “Like most people-pleasers, your aversion to saying “no” is probably grounded in the negative, angry responses that you anticipate your denial might elicit. In this sense, you have empowered the word to such a degree that you are now afraid to even use it.” – Harriet B. Braiker

78. “Many people-pleasers simply fear confrontation. They hate the tension and discomfort and will go to extreme lengths to avoid it. They don’t want to make waves and are solely focused on flying under the radar.” – Patrick King

79. “Most people-pleasers think in highly polarized, distorted terms about taking care of others’ needs versus taking care of themselves. Even the word versus in the preceding phrase suggests an either/or, all or nothing choice in the matter.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Related: Do I Have Trauma? Top 4 Practical Exercises To Support Your Trauma Healing

80. “Niceness and people-pleasing were my story, my cage, my curse. I know how hard it can be to break free from the tentacles of guilt and fear that keep us in niceness. I know how strong the commands of that inner voice can be. The one that tells us we’re so bad for hurting someone’s feelings or saying no. That others will be upset with us for speaking our minds, or leave us for being honest. ” – Aziz Gazipura

81. “Niceness is the psychological armor of the people-pleaser. In a deep part of your personality, you believe that by being nice, you will gain love and affection, and that you will be protected from meanness, rejection, anger, conflict, criticism, and disapproval. But, when (not if) you are exposed to a negative experience with another person—which happens inevitably (and repeatedly) as part of everyone’s life—your thinking patterns will leave you holding the blame bag.” – Harriet B. Braiker

82. “Nobody knows the “real” you. People-pleasers have an image to maintain, and that comes at a cost. You shield and conceal your feelings to the point that people don’t know who you truly are. They only know your peoplepleasing disguise. Your desire to be well-liked and cherished by everyone, ironically, will make you more alone and detached—and maybe inauthentic as well.” – Patrick King

83. “Occasionally not having clarity and letting others decide is natural, and not problematic. But if it’s your default setting, then it’s a sign of too much niceness and low social power. Over time it can irritate and repel others and backfire as most people-pleasing strategies do. This is because always letting others decide puts the responsibility on them. They now have to decide for themselves and for you, but they don’t really know where you stand because you don’t share. This creates frustration, annoyance, and a desire for less contact.” – Aziz Gazipura

84. “Of course, this doesn’t mean it never works. I know many nice people who end up in long-term relationships as pleasers. Usually, however, there is some sort of suffering in this relationship–they feel inadequate, there’s no sex life or passion, their partner frequently criticizes them, they feel tons of (mostly unconscious) resentment, or the two of them never fight and live completely peacefully… as roommates who live separate lives.” – Aziz Gazipura

85. “One of the hardest lessons people-pleasers have to learn is that making yourself a martyr is no way to make friends. In fact, it is very difficult for most mortals to like the self-appointed, holier-than-thou “saint” who walks among them.” – Harriet B. Braiker

86. “Other people’s requests become demands. Other people’s urgency becomes our own emergency. The extreme example of this is when someone says to jump, and you say “how high?” This is insanity. It’s people-pleasing at its worst and it makes us feel our worst.” – Aziz Gazipura

87. “Paradoxically, in order to truly meet your obligations to others who are closest and most important to you, you must be able to take care of yourself. But, the problem you now face is that years of people-pleasing have made you nearly deaf to the inner voice of your own needs.” – Harriet B. Braiker

88. “People pleasing isn’t attractive because it’s not authentic. We’re not being who we really are.” – Aziz Gazipura

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89. “People-pleasers are always cheerful in all situations—on the outside. A people-pleaser never complains about anything. They have no apparent negative feelings. They have a smile on their face every moment they’re awake—at least when others are observing. They think they’re doing so to make everyone around them feel happy when, in fact, their sunshiney behavior is probably making those people uneasy. They are more transparent than they realize, and being around someone who is obviously putting a false face on is off-putting and uncomfortable. At best, it seems dishonest; at worst, it’s manipulative.” – Patrick King

90. “People-pleasers are driven by a deep and piercing fear of rejection. They fear being spurned or deserted by others, and that fear plays a far bigger part in their people-pleasing than real feelings of goodwill. If they give and give and give, they believe there’s less of a chance that they’ll be rejected or abandoned. They’re not really doing what they do to improve someone else’s life—they just want to feel more positive about themselves.” – Patrick King

91. “People-pleasers are not born—they’re made. They’ve been conditioned by the habits they have taken on and left unaddressed, because any letup in their constant efforts to make others happy could bring their house down.” – Patrick King

92. “People-pleasers are often tormented by a conflict between the needs and wants of others versus those of themselves. If you aim to please others, you tend to disregard your own needs and instead prioritize the needs of others, which eventually becomes a selfdestructive pattern.” – Patrick King

93. “People-pleasers become deeply attached to seeing themselves—and to being certain that others see them—as nice people. Their very identity derives from this image of niceness. And, while they may believe that being nice protects them from unpleasant situations with friends and family, in actuality, the price they pay is still far too high.” – Harriet B. Braiker

94. “People-pleasers don’t dare establish limits over which others may not cross. In the process, even those who don’t even want to take advantage of you—and most people don’t—might do so because they don’t know what your limits are.” – Patrick King

95. “People-pleasers either don’t know about or drastically underestimate their need to establish boundaries, making sure others are happy before they’re allowed to even think about finding their own happiness. So in seeking to stop the people-pleasing routine, putting your foot down and making clear boundaries is a step you can’t overlook.” – Patrick King

96. “People-pleasers in particular are vulnerable to being in a constant state of psychological torment. They are often plagued by insecurities, feelings of worthlessness, excessive anxiety and guilt when refusing others, unrealistic expectations on themselves, and distorted notions about what being a good person entails.” – Patrick King

97. “People-pleasers just don’t know what’s really compelling them to please everyone. And they’re very confused and mystified as to why, after all their efforts, they feel bitter, annoyed, or sad.” – Patrick King

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98. “People-pleasers may be tempted to turn to self-medication with alcohol, drugs, and/or food to continue to be able to push their limits in order to do even more for others. It is easy to see how the Disease to Please plays a major role in chronic fatigue syndrome, alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, and weight problems.” – Harriet B. Braiker

99. “People-pleasers never ask for anything—even if they need it. The people-pleaser pretends to deny that their needs are important at all and will therefore never request anything from someone else. They want to be seen as providing and unselfish. And even if a people-pleaser does muster up the nerve to actually ask for something, they’ll give the person they’re asking a million different options or opportunities to tell them no. They want to minimize the chances of inconveniencing or annoying others in the slightest. While they are talking about how selfless they are, the people-pleaser will grumble about their needs not being met or being addressed.” – Patrick King

100. “People-pleasers never assert what they think, believe, or want—even if they are unhappy. With people-pleasers, it’s all about everyone else. If they’re going out with someone, they’ll never recommend what to do or where to go. They’ll never speak up if they’re having a terrible time. They don’t want to ever be the reason for unhappiness or dissatisfaction. They’ll simply agree with the general sentiment of the group rather than risk rejection or being an outcast. They feel, whether accurately or not, that they are fine with everything. This allows resentment to build little by little over time until they are a volcano waiting to erupt.” – Patrick King

101. “People-pleasers promise to do everything for anyone—even if they hate it or are lying. People-pleasers are in the habit of offering the moon and stars to their friends. They’ll pledge to do things their friends don’t want to do or things they know will delight their friends and earn a reaction of “Thank you so much! You’re the best!” But people-pleasers don’t necessarily plan on actually doing these things; they just say they will with the intent to gain temporary approval and make their friends happy. In reality, their continued promises and inaction just tick their friends off, as it becomes apparent that they are willing to be dishonest and only say what people want to hear.” – Patrick King

102. “People-pleasers typically go the extra distance to ensure that they will be viewed as not just ordinarily nice, but as extraordinarily so.” – Harriet B. Braiker

103. “People-pleasers who give to the point of utter selflessness or self-effacing excess can create the unintended effect of making others feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, and even disdainful. When you put others’ needs so far ahead of yours that your self-denial becomes apparent, the effect on others can be doubly guilt producing. While others may characterize you as a “true giving spirit,” they may also desire you to give of your spirit elsewhere.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Related: 7 Trauma Release Exercises To Support Your Recovery After Trauma

104. “People-pleasers whose Disease to Please is predominantly caused by habitual behavior are driven to take care of others’ needs at the expense of their own. If you are this type, you do too much, too often for others, almost never say “no,” rarely delegate, and inevitably become overcommitted and spread too thin.” – Harriet B. Braiker

105. “People-pleasers whose distorted thinking is the predominant cause of their syndrome are ensnared in burdensome and self-defeating mindsets that perpetuate their Disease to Please problems. If you are in this group, your people-pleasing is driven by a fixed thought that you need and must strive for everyone to like you. You measure your self-esteem and define your identity by how much you do for others whose needs, you insist, must come before your own.” – Harriet B. Braiker

106. “People-pleasing is an odd problem. At first glance, it may not even seem like a problem at all. In fact, the phrase “people-pleaser” might feel more like a compliment or a flattering self-description that you proudly wear as a badge of honor. After all, what’s wrong with trying to make others happy? Shouldn’t we all strive to please the people we love and even those we just like a lot? Surely the world would be a happier place if there were more people-pleasers … wouldn’t it?” – Harriet B. Braiker

107. “People-pleasing is no benign problem. If you have the Disease to Please, you cannot afford to continue thinking of yourself as just a nice person who goes overboard by trying to make too many other people happy or doing too much for the people you seek to please.” – Harriet B. Braiker

108. “People-pleasing is not the same as generosity or goodwill. It’s not something you do because you have true interest in the betterment of humankind or concern for your loved ones. Rather, people-pleasing is a manifestation of unhealthy gaps in our emotional lives and the need to satisfy the ego. Being able to tell the difference between such counterfeit kindness and genuine compassion is easier than you might think, and found-out people-pleasers aren’t regarded highly. More importantly, they don’t regard themselves highly enough.” – Patrick King

109. “People-Pleasing Mindsets are logically flawed and incorrect. In addition to being incorrect, they are damaging and dangerous because they contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, self-blame, and guilt and perpetuate a self-defeating stress cycle.” – Harriet B. Braiker

110. “Sadly, some adult people-pleasers carry forward the childhood guilt that the bad events might never have happened if only they had been nicer and better kids.” – Harriet B. Braiker

111. “See, what many people-pleasers fail to see is that sacrificing so much of themselves in pursuit of serving everyone else around them is sabotaging their very capacity to continue being there for others when it truly matters.” – Patrick King

112. “So if someone exhibits a negative or sharp feeling due to you asserting yourself, the people-pleaser will immediately consider it their duty to change that feeling back or prevent it in the first place.” – Patrick King

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113. “So underneath the people-pleasing patterns of the nice person is insecurity. Of not being strongly and deeply connected with others. This is why I felt unlovable for many years; I wasn’t strongly connected to anyone.” – Aziz Gazipura

114. “Specifically, people-pleasers believe that by being nice, they will avoid painful experiences, including rejection, isolation, abandonment, disapproval, and anger. After all, if you don’t make waves or rock the boat, the other passengers shouldn’t want to throw you overboard.” – Harriet B. Braiker

115. “The difference between serving and pleasing comes down to what we are focusing on. When we are pleasing, we are focused on ourselves. Sure, we’re paying attention to the other person and the situation, but all so we can get a gauge on our performance and how others are liking it. Do they like me? Is this going well? We then say and do whatever we need to so that they are pleased with us. This leads to over-agreement, not pointing out challenges, and often taking on too much so that we end up over-promising and under-delivering.” – Aziz Gazipura

116. “The Disease to Please is a compulsive—even addictive—behavior pattern. As a people-pleaser, you feel controlled by your need to please others and addicted to their approval. At the same time, you feel out of control over the pressures and demands on your life that these needs have created.” – Harriet B. Braiker

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117. “The only way to avoid that breaking point and to preserve your ability to say “yes” to the people that matter most is to learn to say “no” convincingly and effectively to at least some of the people, some of the time. In fact, learning to say “no” is imperative to curing your people-pleasing syndrome.” – Harriet B. Braiker

118. “The people-pleaser at the same time also seeks approval, because approval is the sign that there has been no rejection. This is why they will jump through hoops for a simple smile and thank you.” – Patrick King

119. “The people-pleaser has a hard time thinking about what’s right for them— let alone standing up for themselves by carrying through on consequences.” – Patrick King

120. “The people-pleasing syndrome involves a number of expectations about the way other people should treat you, given how nice you are and how hard you try to make them happy. Many of these expectations about others fall into the category of “hidden shoulds”; that is, they are implicit in, or follow from, the more explicit commandments above.” – Harriet B. Braiker

121. “The solution lies in recognizing that the person whose acceptance you most need is your own. When you address the real issues that make you feel unworthy and separate your essential value as a person from some attribute of your appearance or fact of your background, the wound in your self-esteem will begin to heal and your people-pleasing problems will loosen their grip.” – Harriet B. Braiker

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122. “The spotlight effect can still be a problem, and it greatly worsens the plight of people-pleasers. They already feel concerned that they may fall short of others’ expectations. But if they’re also suffering from the spotlight effect, those feelings are amplified and multiplied because they believe their every move and mistake is being noted by everybody else. They’re even more flustered and motivated to right every wrong, bend over backward, and avoid any slight hint of disapproval or rejection. Their concern turns into full-on panic. They feel if they don’t fix a problem fast, they’ll be spurned by an entire group.” – Patrick King

123. “This is what being nice is. It’s monitoring yourself to make sure you come across in a pleasing manner and don’t offend anyone. It’s making sure others like you and don’t have any negative feelings. No upset, confusion, boredom, irritation, sadness, hurt, anger, or fear. No discomfort whatsoever. Just happy, positive, approving thoughts and feelings.” – Aziz Gazipura

124. “This neediness and inauthenticity is a strong relationship repellent. Others might not outright reject you, throw a drink in your face, or tell you off, because you’re being nice and pleasing. You won’t get harsh rejections, but you will have an endless string of polite rejections.” – Aziz Gazipura

125. “To make matters worse, we may have created relationships in our lives where we were constantly pleasing others and they’ve come to expect that. We may have trained everyone around us to demand we do their bidding, regardless of what we want.” – Aziz Gazipura

126. “Viewed psychologically, the world of the people-pleaser is a dangerous place filled with powerful others who are controlling, demanding, rejecting, exploitative, and punishing. Furthermore, the needs of these demanding others hold a position of primacy that must be served and satisfied, even at the expense of your own.” – Harriet B. Braiker

127. “We can’t stand up for ourselves, aren’t seen as sexually desirable by potential partners, and are generally overlooked in life. Others speak over us, dominate us, mock us, and make us feel small. They demand more, take it ungratefully, and then demand even more. And we keep doing it. We keep giving, we keep pleasing, we keep smiling because we’ve cut ourselves off from our own shadow, from our own power, from the very thing that can save us.” – Aziz Gazipura

128. “When we’re looking to please, our focus is on how to say and do what we think the other person wants, regardless of what is true for us. This disconnect from our true selves immediately reduces our attractiveness. Then, to make matters worse, we’re operating from a place of fear. Fear of upsetting the other person, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of looking foolish, fear of being judged, and even fear of our own guilt. All this fear is another layer of attractiveness repellent that we spray on ourselves when we’re being nice. ” – Aziz Gazipura

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130. “When you can endorse this seemingly simple statement, “It’s okay not to be nice,” you will have made giant inroads on curing your own Disease to Please problems.” – Harriet B. Braiker

140. “When you have People-Pleasing Mindsets, you believe that being nice will protect you from rejection and other hurtful treatment from others. And, while you impose demanding rules, harsh criticism, and perfectionist expectations on yourself, you simultaneously yearn for universal acceptance. In short, you have thought your way into the problem and, to a significant extent, you will need to think your way to recovery.” – Harriet B. Braiker

141. “While charity and altruism are positive and admirable, the mistake lies in applying the terms of self-sacrifice and unrequited giving to your personal relationships. When you constantly give of yourself to friends and family and do not permit others to give back to you in return, you actually are being manipulative and rejecting, whether you intend to be or not. By maintaining a stubborn posture as a giver who refuses to receive anything in return, you deny others the pleasure and good feelings to which they are also entitled by giving back to you in return.” – Harriet B. Braiker

142. “While people-pleasers may think they excel at making others happy, their real talent lies in making themselves feel miserable and inadequate.” – Harriet B. Braiker

143. “Women want to be pleased, but they don’t want a pleaser.” – Tony Robbins

144. “You are no doubt harder on yourself than you would ever be on any other person. Most people-pleasers, for example, rarely allow themselves to feel satisfied with how much they have accomplished in a given day. You may be reluctant to pat yourself on the back, give yourself credit for your accomplishments, or feel happy and satisfied with yourself for fear that you will grow complacent. Without the “edge” of discontent, you may fear that your performance will fall even shorter of some imagined high mark than it does now.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Related: Top 10 Gratitude Exercises To Practice Even When Depressed

145. “Your own Bill of Rights that determines who you want to be in this world and how you want to show up. Not because someone else told you that you should, or out of fear of displeasing others, but from deep in your own core. You will decide from a place of power what is right for you.” – Aziz Gazipura

146. “Like other addictions, People-Pleasing Habits are rewarded on a random, occasional basis rather than continuously. Just as a gambler at a slot machine becomes hooked by the periodic and random jackpot, you are addicted to the praise and absence of criticism or rejection that you receive for some but not all of your people-pleasing efforts.” – Harriet B. Braiker

147. “Learning to please significant, powerful grownups may have been useful and beneficial behavior when you were a child. But, like the People-Pleasing Mindsets in the previous section, compulsive approvalseeking and disapproval-avoiding habits are not working for you anymore now that you are an adult.” – Harriet B. Braiker

148. “Nobody is born a people-pleaser. Importantly, since people-pleasing is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned; or, perhaps more accurately for our purposes, it can be relearned in ways that are more effective and less costly emotionally and physically” – Harriet B. Braiker

149. “Your people-pleasing habits were learned through both positive and negative reinforcement. When people-pleasing behavior earns approval through praise, appreciation, acceptance, affection, or love, the habit is positively reinforced or rewarded. However, when your people-pleasing habits result in avoiding or stopping disapproval in the form of criticism, rejection, withholding of affection, punishment, or abandonment, your behavior is negatively reinforced.” – Harriet B. Braiker

150. “People-pleasers become plagued by the Disease to Please because they cannot and do not say, “no.”” – Harriet B. Braiker

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By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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