People-Pleaser?
10 Signs You May Be One.

A people-pleaser is someone who habitually prioritizes others’ needs, wishes, or happiness over their own.

That was me for decades.

Everyone overextends themselves from time to time, but a people-pleaser does it habitually, even when it results in negative consequences. Not all people-pleasers exhibit their need to please in the same way, to the same degree, or under the same circumstances. As in all aspects of life, each of us is unique.

Below are ten typical behaviors of people-pleasers, all of which I’ve experienced. Read each one and take a moment to decide if it applies to you.

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“In a recent phone call, I called myself a 'recovering people pleaser'. I'm not sure if I would have such awareness if I was not connected to you. Thank you!”

Gail, a subscriber

10 Signs You May Be a People-Pleaser

  1. You don’t like to make waves, make a stink, rock the boat, or put up a fight. You let people walk over you. You’re a doormat.
  2. You avoid conflict whenever possible.
  3. You have a hard time saying “No.”
  4. You compliment people frequently, excessively, and sometimes untruthfully.
  5. You have a hard time setting boundaries.
  6. You feel extremely uncomfortable if someone is mad at you.
  7. You apologize for things that aren’t your fault.
  8. You make excuses for others who fail you or wrong you.
  9. You back away from your opinion if someone disagrees with you.
  10. You need lots of praise and validation.

If more than a couple of these behaviors ring true to you, you may wonder what next? How do I break this bad habit?

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“When a dental hygienist wouldn't wear her mask properly, I didn’t want to say anything because I HATE conflict. Then I literally thought, "What would Karen DeBonis do?" So I politely asked the hygienist to fix her mask, which she did. I felt so proud of myself. Thank you.”

Danielle, a Facebook follower

You don’t have to be a people-pleaser forever.

I’ll be honest: healing the disease to please is a process. It’s taken me years, and I still have work to do. But it is possible and I can help you get started.

I put together a tipsheet of 50 Simple Ways to Stop People-Pleasing; ideas so simple even folks who are really stuck can achieve success! I've tried most of them, and I'd love to hear what works for you. Click the link above to download the pdf. Happy asserting!

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“Karen’s insight inspired me to take a closer look at my own ‘people pleasing’ issues, causing me to identify what triggers me to slip into this behavior. I had never given much thought to the particular people and situations that act as triggers for me, but now I’m much more aware and better equipped to deal with them.”

Carol, a focus group participant

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