So if you clicked on this, you probably either are a people pleaser yourself, or you know one. Either way I am glad you're here. Now, I'd like to start by saying I am not a psychologist, nor do I claim to be, but I have learned a little bit in my 23 years of people pleasing and am ready to share it with you.
Why do I feel the need to please everyone around me?
So many of us have asked ourselves that question, no matter what degree of a people pleaser you are. You tell yourself you're going to say no to that next person that asks you for a favor, but then you're in front of them and find yourself committing to everything they want, and are left wondering why you have this innate need to please others. Most of the time people pleasers tend to be those that are afraid of rejection or failure (I mean, who likes to feel like they've failed or been rejected?) and so that causes us to bend over backwards for others. Or maybe being able to help people whenever they need it makes you feel needed and rewarded. While never saying no to people around you may make you more popular and well-known--it causes so much harm that you may not even realize.
When you feel the constant need to please everyone around you, you start to develop a nervous habit of it. Even if you don't realize it, being a people pleaser puts an enormous amount of stress on you to never let anyone down. "What if I have to confront someone and tell them no?" "What if they won't like me anymore?" "How will they get it done if I tell them no?" Meanwhile, your stress levels are going up and taking your health down. Stress/anxiety causes our immune system not to function properly, our digestive system not to function properly, insomnia, premature heart disease, and much more. So how do you avoid this? You have to remind yourself that people will be okay without you. You are no good to anyone if you're making yourself sick by worrying about how to help everyone. You also have to remind yourself that if telling a person no to something means them being angry with you or even ending a friendship then they weren't the friend you thought they were to begin with.
2. You'll never be good enough
No matter how many people you try to please, its a never ending cycle that will always leave you unsatisfied in the end. Someone is always going to need help, or want something for free, and you can't continually say yes while the list piles on. This is where you have to decide what makes YOU happy, and what will satisfy YOU the most. You have to find a balance between putting everyone first that you are ran over by those around you, and being so selfish that no one ever comes to you for anything. Life is all about finding this balance, and those around you will appreciate you more when you do.
3. You're losing your ability to say no
Just as I said before, its a vicious cycle that grows. Once you tell someone yes and experience how good it felt, you continue to do it. Before you know it, you've forgotten to say no even when you want to. It starts to become unnatural to say no to someone, especially if you've been doing this people pleasing thing for a while. You have to tell yourself that saying no doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you aware of your well-being. This, in turn, makes you aware of what is best for others as well.
4. You start to lose time for yourself & loved ones
When people start to catch on to this trend that you'll do anything for anybody, vultures start to come out of the wood work and use you. You'll find your true friends (who don't use you) asking for some quality time, and you'll have to tell them no because you've committed yourself to the wrong person, or you'll have to double book yourself and go down that rabbit hole. You'll also lose quality time for yourself. We all need time in our day to reflect what we have done and recharge. You've got to say to yourself, "I am no good to anybody if I don't take care of myself first."
5. People take advantage of you
I just talked a little about this before, but people really will take note of your giving spirit and use it for their own laziness. "Why should I do this work when I know she/he will do it for me?" These are the opposite of people pleasers, and they will do anything to get to where they need to go, including destroying you in their path. These are the type of people that leave people pleasers feeling drained and unsatisfied. You have to develop a radar for people who are willing to suck the life out of you because of your kindness.
6. You'll start to question who you are
If you can't help people with these simple tasks, then what kind of friend are you? If you reject people and leave them all alone, how kind and giving could you be? These are the thoughts that wreck a people pleasers spirit, and they are dangerous to anybody. Your self esteem is so important, and when you kill it with these types of thoughts just to please others, it causes you to forget who you are--things like your morals, your beliefs, your boundaries. You'll begin to do things you never thought you'd do, go places you'd never thought you'd go, and be uncomfortable with who you are becoming.
Don't let these things happen to you! Before you say yes to someone, ask yourself, "Am I comfortable with this?" "Is this person using me?" and "Will I still have time for myself and those that I love?"