Leadership: People Pleaser

Posted on 09. Apr, 2013 by in Blog, Change, Character, Lead From Within, Leadership, Leadership Development, Life Balance, Life Skills, Personal Development, Purpose, Relationships, Self Help, Workplace

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Are you one of those people who say YES to everyone and everything?

Maybe you suffer from what Psychologists call being a people-pleaser.

People Pleaser: n. A person who spends a lot of energy pleasing others.

 

Abandoning our own rights often results in letting others mistreat us.

Some of us sacrifice self, because we want people to like us.

 

How can you be liked without giving in to being a people-pleaser?

Be choosy. As leaders we always have a choice.  People-pleasers often feel that they have to say yes when someone asks for their help. Remember that you always have a choice to say no. Ask yourself: Is this something I choose to do?

Be communicatiative.  When you clearly communicate your priorities and values, people can better understand how their requests fit in—or how they don’t.  Ask yourself: Am I letting those around me know what’s most important to me?

Be considerate. Be considerate of yourself and your time, and be considerate in your choices. Ask yourself: What are my options?

Be coherent. Be clear and consistent in stating your boundaries. When others overstep, let them know. Healthy boundaries go a long way in eliminating negativity and anger from your life. Ask yourself: Am I comfortable with where this request may take me?

Be confident. The attitude you bring to requests, whether you say yes or no, is an important part of how your response is perceived. Ask yourself: Why am I doing (or not doing) this? How does this response serve the bigger picture?

Most leaders are the kind of people you want to serve others, and true leadership is knowing that the greatest acts of kindness are those done by choice, not out of fear and guilt.

We are what we choose to be, so we must be careful about what choices we make.

 

Lead From Within: Heart-based leaders are givers, but they do not sacrifice self. They know when to say yes to what is important, and when to say no so they can save themselves for the important things.

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50 Responses to “Leadership: People Pleaser”

  1. Martina

    09. Apr, 2013

    Great post, Lolly and a very important issue.

    How can you be liked without giving in to being a people-pleaser?

    The bottom line is that we must be pleased with who we are, who we are becoming and what we bring to the table of life and leadership. If we cannot hold to our values and integrity while trying to please others, then they are not worth pleasing. You run the risk of losing the value of who you are by trying to please everyone.

    Know who you are; be that.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Apr, 2013

      Brilliant Martina!

      You have summed it up so eloquently:

      the bottom line is that we must be pleased with who we are, who we are becoming and what we bring to the table of life and leadership. If we cannot hold to our values and integrity while trying to please others, then they are not worth pleasing. You run the risk of losing the value of who you are by trying to please everyone.”

      KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND BE THAT!

      Thanks for your insight.

      I appreciate you.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Vincent Nguyen

    09. Apr, 2013

    I used to be a people pleaser. I still remember the glass-shattering moment that brought me on my course to change.

    I was playing a match of Doubles Tennis with three of my friends. These guys were way better than me, but I often had my streaks of luck. When my friend and I beat the other two guys, one of my buddies was visibly upset because he felt we cheated the point.

    I wanted to cheer him up so I asked him if he wanted to re-do the point or just take the point. “No one likes a people pleaser,” he said.

    Obviously, he was just upset at the time, but I realized that I really was being a people pleaser. Then I had the realization that I most likely was a people pleaser most of the time.

    So I did exactly what you described in the list because I knew it wasn’t about pleasing others all the time to get them to like me. It was just being my confident, fun self.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Apr, 2013

      Dear Vincent,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      We each learn so much from ourselves and others.

      Your story illustrates a profound change for you. Wisdom from within…..

      Recognizing the moment of growth is always profound.

      Thanks so much for sharing….

      Reply to this comment
  3. Samantha

    09. Apr, 2013

    Another excellent post Lolly. And very important subject that gets to the root of a large population. Many of us were TRAINED and conditioned to be people pleasers in childhood.

    Many.

    It was a ‘self’ we had to create in order to survive the people and environments we lived with in order to: avoid triggering anger/rage in others (avoid punishment) , or to receive ‘love’ or other ‘rewards’.

    It tends to be something that gets carried and acted out in adulthood unconsciously until people hit a crisis point, are exhausted from pleasing others, etc. It is also heavily rewarded in churches, schools, and work environments that can make it even more challenging to untangle from.

    Even when it comes to business, the chief aim is to ‘please the customer’. The challenge is for those on the front line to learn how to ‘please the customer’ while not giving up ‘self’ or integrity to do it.

    Learning to having compassion for the ‘why’ behind people pleasing is critical. Compassion from others that is absent of shaming certainly helps, and it teaches those struggling with it to be able to have compassion for themselves. It helps lift the burden of shame.

    All people-pleasing tendencies are a form of control. Often unconscious. How others used their anger/rage and other various means to control and help ‘create’ the people pleaser, the people pleaser adapts by trying to control the other to avoid the punishment or gain the reward.

    Thanks so much for sharing. It’s an important topic.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      10. Apr, 2013

      Dearest Samantha,

      I really appreciate how you have IDENTIFIED the PEOPLE PLEASER source: CONTROL.

      Its control of inner demons.
      Its control about wanting others to like us
      Its control about wanting to be liked.

      People pleasers is an inner source of wanting, needing, desiring to be loved and liked.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Alan

    09. Apr, 2013

    Hi Dolly,

    Wonderful post to read this morning. The “Pin Note” is such a great image.

    I can’t say how important that thought is and how impacting it can be when people understand how to implement it into their daily lives.

    I worked with a client who’s life purpose it seemed was to please others…he was always referred to as “The nice guy”…so nice in fact, that he always met others needs before his and as a result he felt like he was always going without. One of the key successes for him was learning that is was OK for others to possibly not like him.

    We had such a blast coming up with daily ways where he could create the “Possibility” that someone may not like him. This freeing of his desire to please others all the time made leaps and bounds in his ability to please himself.

    Cheers,
    Alan

    Reply to this comment
  5. Abiolawrites

    09. Apr, 2013

    A well detailed steps to realising sewlf and loving who you are. This is a great post. Thumbs up to you Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Daniel Buhr

    09. Apr, 2013

    Wow, this post and the excellent comments are rich with wisdom. Thank you, Lolly and all. If I am not who I am I don’t even give people the opportunity to be pleased with me, because they won’t even know me. At best they will be pleased with who I pretend to be. My inauthenticity also dims the reflection back to them of who they are, and denies them an opportunity to gain a better sense of self and the pleasure that comes with that.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      10. Apr, 2013

      your wisdom Daniel its priceless!

      I truly liked when you say, If I am not who I am I don’t even give people the opportunity to be pleased with me, because they won’t even know me.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply to this comment
  7. Wayne McEvilly

    09. Apr, 2013

    Lolly-
    A very timely post for me! As a musician-pianist for the past 72 years i have all my life been under the spell of pleasing the “experts” (my teachers, the cognoscenti of classical piano) and only recently did I make the leap into a brave new world of realizing the one I am responsible for pleasing is myself – and the audience – this awakening has given my playing new beauty depth and freedom. My “teachers” (all of them ghosts now) may think what they want. I am finally having fun playing Mozart and I am pleased. My earliest teachers “tried to break Wayne of playing by heart.” I sign this -
    Unbroken

    Reply to this comment
  8. Marc

    10. Apr, 2013

    Great post, Brilliant !

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      10. Apr, 2013

      Thank You Marc!

      Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      as a people pleaser you avoid criticizing others so you wont be criticized.
      you avoid confrontation and you are conflict avoidance.

      but remember criticism. confrontation, and anger are inner feelings. keeping them at bay only draws them in closer.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Sterling Ledet

    10. Apr, 2013

    I was just discussing with some others setting appropriate boundaries and when one crosses the line between being a victim to being a volunteer.

    Like it says in your article, I don’t think People Pleaser is detailed and accurate enough. I am thinking Approval Seeking and Rejection Fearing are two aspects that perhaps point out a bit more precisely the more pathological aspect.

    Personally, I don’t really have a problem with being a people pleaser. That is, at least as far as the per se definition (not the popular usage of the term), in keeping with my own goals and aspirations for myself. I want to be someone that spreads joy and inspiration, and in a sense, pleases people. I certainly want all clients to be pleased (actually, I’d prefer them to be ecstatic). So in some sense, being a people pleaser is a complement.

    However, when my behavior centers around Fear, such as Rejection Fearing or Approval Seeking, in a way that sacrifices who I want to be for myself, then I am laying the seeds for resentment and engaging in unhealthy behavior.

    It was gratifying to see this post so soon after my discussion.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      10. Apr, 2013

      Sterling in my blog, i am addressing “people pleasers” as a person who pleases others in expense of themselves.

      Your comment:I want to be someone that spreads joy and inspiration, and in a sense, pleases people.

      I feel you are saying you want to SERVE people – because you honestly and genuinely care about others.

      So we are talking about two different people.

      My person pleases and say yes when they really want to say no!

      My person pleases at the expense of their own well being!

      …..

      Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Driven by an excessive NEED to GAIN the approval of others- or even of everyone- People pleasers will strive to do so at almost any cost to themselves.

      Sometimes being NICE is too HIGH a price.
      Because people pleasers become deeply attached to seeing themselves and for being a certain time of person to others.

      people pleasers identity derives from the image of being perceived NICE LIKED AND ADMIRED.

      and while you are feeling these feelings will protect you from unpleasant situations they actually COST you a great PRICE and the PAY is far to HIGH.

      Being nice may cause others to manipulate you
      being nice may cause others to exploit you
      being nice may cause you to turn deaf and blind to the exploiting.

      Is this what you want for yourself as a leader?

      Reply to this comment
  10. Takis Athanassiou

    11. Apr, 2013

    A very significant contribution, Lolly and a major issue of today. Your word are not only of essence but touch a major problem of many leaders today. The tendency of one to be likable by everybody. As brilliantly you put it, a leader should be chose a course of thought, action, people may or may not please. I think, if I read you correctly, that you imply that a leader first should be have made his inner choices (his/hers principles), and based on them he or she should act upon. Your post reflect me the old Latin saying “Memento mori” (remember your are mortal) transferred in modern times as “Remember, you have to choose”. Excellent post!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      We need to stop this dis ease of pleasing others when its tied up in our own self esteem.
      fulfilling the needs of others SHOULD not become the magic formula for gaining LOVE and SELF WORTH
      or protection for ABANDONMENT and REJECTION.
      Because in reality it simply does not work that way.

      Reply to this comment
  11. david

    11. Apr, 2013

    Thanks Lolly! I needed that

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Basically David we all needed this article. Especially those of us who take leadership and service – to heart.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Solomon

    11. Apr, 2013

    Lolly, another wisely put thoughts! Thanks.
    We need not become merely other people pleasers at the expense of sacrificing our core values and principles by which we stand. I really enjoyed reading your pieces!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      For some you are thinking SHOULD WE NOT ALL STRIVE TO PLEASE PEOPLE we love and want to SERVE.
      the answer is YES.
      What we are talking about in this article is something deeper and darker.

      We are addressing a mindset that is compulsive and even sometimes addictive a pattern in our behavior.

      as people pleasers —the feeling is a controlling factor that is about pleasing another in order to gain approval.

      The biggest issue of a people pleaser they are so fine tuned to OTHERS that you turn DEAF to your own needs and you end up operating against your own self interests.

      stop and look at yourself – ask yourself what do you really want….

      Reply to this comment
  13. dawoodchishti

    11. Apr, 2013

    Love your Self; Respect the soul of others.
    Lolly! You have rightly screened the menace of pleasing.
    A beauty from a beautiful mind.
    Keep glittering!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Jeremy C

    11. Apr, 2013

    Hi Lolly. Yes, it’s almost a disparaging comment – to label someone a “People pleaser”. Kind of a double edged sword. And I’ve never thought I was one. But reading your piece, I do actually do a number of things just so am I like more or thought better of. And often at my cost – and I am not great at maintaining boundaries. I do assume that others will “re-pay” the time or effort I’ve given them. But maybe the reality is that because I set no boundaries I contribute to their notion that “they did it”, which us often my polite intention.
    Great article. On an old subject, but with a twist tgat at last enabled me to get it. Thanks. Jeremy

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Jeremy,

      We are NOT labeling anyone. We are bringing AWARENESS TO ourselves.

      We are finding out about our mindsets that cause us to have DIS EASE with our selves.

      … if you see some behaviors, some thoughts, some actions that sound like this (in this article) ….PLEASE look in the mirror you may have the DIS ease of being someone who is a people pleaser.

      People pleasers are filled with fear, and to better understand and manage their anger and conflict they yield.

      If you have the awareness that you might be a people pleaser you can address three areas:

      your thinking
      your behaviors
      and your feelings

      by looking closely at these elements we can break habits and overcome fear feelings that collectively and completely comprise this difficult and demeaning mindset.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Your tweet lead me hear. And you know, to say that this article was written for my sake is definitely not an exaggeration. It has helped me to see my own reflection and how I can turn down unwanted invitations and yet retain relevance.

    Am that kind of person that always want to help, and if perhaps I realise I can’t help, there is this feeling of guilt which usually set in.

    Thank you so much Lolly for sharing this wonderful thought.

    SPECIAL REQUEST:
    Although it is optional, but I would appreciate if you can give me the permission to re-post this article on my blog so as to inspire my readers and also to keep it as a reference.

    Regards!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Ebenezer you can repost but please do not leave out who wrote it and where its from.
      Please include website….

      Reply to this comment
  16. David Hain

    12. Apr, 2013

    Hi Lolly

    More great thoughts, and excellent calls to action.As a a lifelong people pleaser, it took me a good few years to realise that I was not cashing in on the goodwill bank I had generated. I think it’s a great way to be, provided you have it under control. Givers gain, after all.

    The key for me was when I recognised that what I really needed (and had confused with being liked) was being respected. And that comes from saying what you really think (always with heart,Lolly!) – so, if I used my goodwill as an invite to let people know the ‘tough stuff’, the result tended to be the opposite of my previous faulty thinking. No less liked, much more respected.

    And people pleasers stay that way forever, they just have to get better at managing the tendency. Your post offers lots of good, authentic ways to do that.

    Thanks, David

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      David,

      You are so brilliant…. I love when you said…The key for me was when I recognised that what I really needed (and had confused with being liked) was being respected. And that comes from saying what you really think (always with heart,Lolly!) <<<< There is the brilliance and the secret ingredient.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Rajeev Raghavan

    12. Apr, 2013

    An excellent post, people pleasing is a sickness and requires one to be mentally and emotionally strong to say NO and avoid being used as a doormat. One has to make this a discipline in life, the point you had stated “Am I comfortable with where this request may take me?” because later you may have to regret the decision. So it is better not to sacrifice self and regret later which lasts till your last breath. Thank you, Lolly for this excellent post as this has provided food for thought for this weekend.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      People pleasing is not a SICKNESS it is a mindset of dis ease caused by wanting to be liked.
      It can be changed it can be adjusted and it can be cured.

      By having awareness of our feelings. we can make tweaks to our mindset.

      people pleasers is primarily caused by avoidance of frightening and uncomfortable FEELINGS.

      If you have high anxiety about the anticipation or possibility of an angry confrontation with others – you will go inward or you will become someone who people pleases.

      People pleasers operate on avoidance. they protect themselves against FEAR, CONFLICT, ANGRY, CONFRONTATION.

      But as you and I know this is faulty, because your fears not only fail to diminish, they actually intensify as you try to avoid patterns.

      What you resist – persists. <<< This is the cycle of dis ease…..

      Reply to this comment
      • Rajeev Raghavan

        25. Apr, 2013

        Thank you Lolly for your valuable input on this, never thought so deep that this being a mindset disease, and the end quote will always be there in my mind.

        Reply to this comment
        • lollydaskal

          29. Apr, 2013

          if we learn early enough to unconsciously associate love with pain, disappointment with loneliness, we may not even realize that we are creating those feelings in our conscious daily leadership.

          therefore, if we hold tenaciously to the beliefs that we know ourselves and no one else does we will become separated from who we can be.

          Reply to this comment
  18. Agus Safudi

    12. Apr, 2013

    ‘Are you one of those people who say YES to everyone and everything?’

    If we are honest to our self, the answer is NO, Lolly. And no further explanation why must NO :). But NO could be meaning YES in particular leadership condition.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Blessing,
    Agus

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      People pleasers is a mindset that is caused by habitual behavior driven to take care of others needs at the expense of their own.

      if you are that type you are doing too much for others and you almost never say NO
      and you rarely DELEGATE and you have most certainly become over committed and spread to thin.

      This mindset of people pleaser is self defeating and stress producing this takes a toll on your health and relationships.

      BE nicer to yourself and be kinder to your health and be thoughtful of your relationships.

      Reply to this comment
  19. Tom Rhodes

    12. Apr, 2013

    Lolly,
    I could probably write a book of short stories on the times I have been a people pleaser now that you have been kind enough to teach us what that is. I can’t say for sure how many of the things I have done I would have changed but I have no doubt I could have saved many a sleepless night by making better choices on when I said yes.

    Thank you again for a wonderful article.
    Tom

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Tom if you can write a book of short stories I can write a series of books. …..

      I had to learn the difference between people pleasing and being of service.

      For some there is no difference to me there is.

      I start off every action. Does this serve the bigger person and does it bring value
      if it does I am in.

      If not…. I find someone who really needs me.

      You and I are on this journey together

      Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      people pleasers have distorted thinking and its a syndrome that is ensnared in burdensome and self determined mindset to please others.

      most people pleasers strive for everyone to like them. and they measure their self esteem and define their identify by how much you do for others and how many needs you meet for others, and basically and more importantly these needs come before your own.

      People pleasers mindset. is one where you believe that being NICE will protect you from REJECTION and other hurtful treatment from others.

      In order to change we must change OUR MINDSET. when should we start. RIGHT NOW.

      Reply to this comment
  20. mohammed

    13. Apr, 2013

    thank you very much for your post .I declare that I am people pleaser (with my childern ,colleques at work ) but do you think its in our nature and we can not get rid out of it

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      13. Apr, 2013

      Mohammed,

      you are so welcome. we must remember to ask ourselves the important questions.
      how do i measure up to myself.
      how do I feel?
      Do I really want to do it.
      You SEE most people will forget you have sacrificed self. But you will long remember.
      Be good to yourself.

      Reply to this comment
  21. Roxie

    14. Apr, 2013

    wow, all you words hit home. It is strange how all these you see everyday if you work in an office. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  22. FARAYI MHERE

    16. Apr, 2013

    great teaching lolly give when necessary say no to things you dont like that makes you unique not to just do things as they come

    Reply to this comment
  23. FARAYI MHERE

    16. Apr, 2013

    Lolly i am not going to please anyone anymore but i am going to the right thing to anyone from this day on . Pleasing people have cost me so dearly in the past years and just this past weekend i nearly lost US$100-00 by trying to please an old irresponsible collegue Thank God i survived that one

    Reply to this comment
  24. Adil

    17. Apr, 2013

    Thank you for the article Lolly. This article is really helpful to me keep it up.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Joan

    08. Jan, 2014

    Great post Lolly. I can relate to that because I am also a people-pleaser. :(
    I would like to say that it’s not easy to get rid of it. That’s why I am making research and read books. This book really helped me a lot. ‘Backbone Power’ I have dowloaded it here for free: http://backbonepower.com/sneak-preview

    Reply to this comment
  26. Joan

    08. Jan, 2014

    Great post Lolly. I can relate to that because I am also a people-pleaser. :(
    I would like to say that it’s not easy to get rid of it. That’s why I am making research and read books. This book really helped me a lot. ‘Backbone Power’ I have dowloaded it here for free: http://backbonepower.com/sneak-preview

    Reply to this comment

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