Young woman huddling on her bed after realising the danger of being a people-pleaser

Do you always put others’ needs before your own, even if it means sacrificing your own happiness and well-being? Do you have trouble saying “no” to people, even when you really want to? If so, you might be a people pleaser. Pleasing others may look innocent at first, but there is a danger in being a people pleaser.

While it’s natural to want to be liked and accepted by others, constantly putting others’ needs before your own can be harmful to your mental health. The habit has hidden dangers and can damage your mental well-being.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the dangers of people-pleasing behavior and how it can harm your mental health. We’ll also provide some tips and strategies for managing this behavior and prioritizing self-care.

So, if you’re ready to take charge of your mental health and break free from the people-pleasing trap, read on!

The Psychology of people pleasing

People pleasing in psychology is when you put everyone’s needs before your own. It’s like always being the “yes” person, even when they really don’t want to do something. People-pleasers often go to great lengths to avoid conflict and keep everyone happy, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness and well-being.

The desire for acceptance and belonging is often the root of people-pleasing. People who engage in people-pleasing behavior may feel like they need to earn the approval of others in order to feel valued and accepted. This can be especially true for individuals who have experienced rejection or trauma in their past. As they may have learned to associate people-pleasing with safety and security.

Some common signs of people-pleasing behavior include saying “yes” to everything, over-committing to others, avoiding expressing their true feelings and opinions, and neglecting their own needs and desires. This behavior can stem from a fear of rejection or a belief that their worth is tied to their ability to make others happy.

While people-pleasing behavior can be problematic, it’s important to recognize that it often comes from a place of kindness and good intentions. People-pleasers genuinely want to help and support others. But they may need to learn how to balance their own needs with the needs of those around them.

While being kind and considerate towards others is a noble quality, being a people pleaser can have negative consequences on your mental health. There is a danger in being a people pleaser. Approval-seekers may struggle with anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of fulfillment in life. It’s important to recognize and address people-pleasing behavior in order to prioritize your own well-being.

Negative consequences of people pleasing

There is a danger to being a people-pleaser. Psychology says that people-pleasing can be bad for your mental health. If you’re always putting other people’s needs before your own, you can end up feeling anxious, depressed, and really burned out. People pleasers have a tough time setting boundaries and saying “no” when they need to, which can lead to a lot of resentment and frustration.

On top of all that, always being a people pleaser can actually hold you back from achieving your full potential in life. If you’re constantly putting everyone else first, you might neglect your own needs and desires, which can prevent you from growing and living your best life.

So, while it’s definitely important to be nice to others, it’s also super important to take care of yourself and your own mental health. If you’re always putting other people before yourself, it could be time to make a change.

Is being a people pleaser a problem?

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to help others and be liked by those around us, being a chronic people pleaser can be problematic and form a danger to our mental health. When we prioritize the needs of others over our own needs and desires, we can experience feelings of resentment, burnout, and even depression. Over time, people-pleasing can erode our self-esteem and leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Another issue with people pleasing is that it can lead to unhealthy or one-sided relationships. When we are constantly giving to others without receiving much in return, it can create a dynamic where we feel taken advantage of or undervalued. People-pleasing behavior can attract people who seek to take advantage of others, as they may sense that we have a hard time setting boundaries or saying no.

Ultimately, being a people pleaser can be a problem if it is causing you distress or preventing you from living a fulfilling life. However, it’s important to remember that people pleasing behavior can be unlearned with time and effort. By practicing self-care, assertiveness, and setting healthy boundaries, you can break free from the cycle of people pleasing and cultivate more balanced, fulfilling relationships with those around you.

Is it unhealthy to be a people pleaser?

While being a people pleaser may seem like a harmless personality trait, it can actually be quite unhealthy. It can be a danger to our mental health. Chronic people-pleasing behavior can lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout, as individuals may feel pressured to constantly meet the demands and expectations of others. Over time, this can take a toll on mental and physical health, as individuals may neglect their own needs and wellbeing in pursuing making others happy.

Besides the toll on personal wellbeing, being a people pleaser can also lead to unbalanced or unhealthy relationships with others. Individuals who are constantly giving to others without setting boundaries or practicing self-care may attract people who seek to take advantage of them. This can lead to one-sided or even abusive relationships, where the people pleaser may feel trapped or unable to leave because of their need for external validation.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to prioritize your own needs and wellbeing, and that saying “no” or setting healthy boundaries is not selfish. In fact, it’s an important part of maintaining healthy relationships and cultivating a fulfilling life. If you struggle with people-pleasing behavior, consider seeking support from a mental health professional who can help you develop coping strategies and set healthy boundaries.

People pleasers in relationships

People pleasers may struggle in relationships, as they may prioritize the needs and desires of their partner over their own. This can lead to an unbalanced dynamic, where you are constantly giving without receiving much in return. This approval-seeking behavior can attract partners who want to take advantage of others. As they sense that the people pleaser has a hard time setting boundaries or saying no. This can lead to abuse.

Over time, this can erode the self-esteem of the people pleaser and lead to feelings of resentment or burnout in the relationship. It’s important for people pleasers to practice assertiveness and set healthy boundaries in their relationships in order to cultivate a more balanced and fulfilling dynamic.

Is there anything good about being a people pleaser?

While being a people pleaser can have some downsides, there are also some potential upsides to this personality trait. People pleasers are often superb listeners, and they’re good at tuning into the needs and emotions of others. They are sensitive, compassionate, and easy to talk to, which can make them great friends, caregivers, and teammates.

Another benefit of being a people pleaser is that it can help diffuse conflict and keep the peace. People pleasers are often skilled at finding solutions that work for everyone—which can be really helpful in both personal and professional settings.

Of course, it’s important to remember that being a people pleaser shouldn’t come at the expense of your own happiness and well-being. It’s essential to set healthy boundaries and prioritize self-care so that you don’t burn out. And, if you’re really struggling with people pleasing tendencies, it might be helpful to seek support from a therapist or counselor who can help you develop coping strategies and prioritize your own needs.

Dealing with the need to please others

Recognize that change is possible. One key strategy for dealing with the need to please others is to practice assertiveness and learn how to set healthy boundaries. This may involve saying “no” to requests or learning how to prioritize your own needs without feeling guilty.

It can also be helpful to work on building self-esteem and self-worth so that you don’t rely solely on external validation from others.

Another strategy is to practice self-care and make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. This can help you shift your focus away from constantly seeking approval from others and towards developing a stronger sense of self.

Our mindsets are also important areas to deal with when we have been exposed to the danger of people-pleasing behavior. If we think positively about ourselves, it will lessen the possibility of us trying to please everyone.

Finally, seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional can also be beneficial in navigating the challenges of people-pleasing behavior.

Remember, breaking free from the need to please others is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. With practice and dedication, it is possible to develop healthier habits and cultivate more fulfilling relationships with others – while also prioritizing your own well-being.


Being a people pleaser can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can lead to feelings of burnout, resentment, and even depression. On the other hand, people pleasers often have a lot of positive qualities, such as empathy, sensitivity, and excellent conflict resolution skills.

If you’re someone who struggles with people-pleasing tendencies, it’s important to balance your desire to please others with your own needs and well-being. This might mean setting healthy boundaries, practicing self-care, and seeking support from a mental health professional. Working on this will help you in your personal growth journey. Your life matters!

Ultimately, the key to managing people-pleasing tendencies is to cultivate self-awareness and self-compassion. By learning to recognize when you’re putting others’ needs ahead of your own, and developing strategies for prioritizing your own well-being, you can live a fulfilling and authentic life while still being sensitive to the needs of those around you.

You can do it!

Christel Owoo is a professional Life Coach with ACC-credentials from ICF.

She is passionate about helping women gain confidence.

Do you want to gain confidence in life and live fully in your God-given potential?

Reach out to Christel…

Christel Owoo Christian Confidence Coach
Christel Owoo, Christian Confidence Coach