Are you constantly seeking approval from others? Do you find it challenging to say no or set boundaries? If so, you might be caught in the trap of being a people pleaser.

In the world of business, being overly focused on pleasing everyone can hinder your growth and success.


In this article, we'll explore what being a people pleaser really means, how it reflects on the outside, the internal struggles it creates, the root causes behind this behavior, and most importantly, how to stop being a people pleaser and build a thriving, self-managing business.

What does being a people pleaser really mean?

As a people pleaser, certain patterns and behaviors shape your interactions and relationships. Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a people pleaser:

  1. You believe that if you upset someone, you are a bad person or that you did something wrong. This fear of being seen as “bad” drives your need to please others.
  2. You tolerate unacceptable behavior and convince yourself that the person didn’t mean to do what they did. You make excuses to avoid conflict and maintain harmony.
  3. In social situations, you strive to be present and make everyone like you and feel comfortable. Your focus on meeting others’ expectations overshadows your own needs.
  4. Saying no and setting boundaries becomes a challenge for you. You often resort to giving alternative explanations to free yourself from guilt.
  5. Apologizing becomes a reflex, even when you are not at fault. For example, someone bumps into you in a shop, and you find yourself saying, “I’m sorry.”
  6. The thought of expressing discomfort or disagreement makes you anxious. The fear of confrontation or rejection is overwhelming.
  7. You often feel resentment, as if your relationships don’t offer an equal level of energy or resource exchange. It seems like you give more than you receive.

What you see on the outside of a person constantly trying to please everyone is often a total contrast to what happens inside.

stop being a people pleaser

What Being a People Pleaser Reflects on the Outside

When it comes to the impact of people-pleasing behavior in a business context, several aspects come into play:

  • Motivation: Your primary motivation is to please others rather than fulfilling your own business goals and vision.
  • Accountability: By constantly seeking approval, you undermine your own accountability for the outcomes of your work.
  • Usefulness: While your intention to be helpful is commendable, constantly striving to please everyone can lead to a loss of focus on your core business tasks.
  • Self-organization: Neglecting your own needs and boundaries can result in poor self-organization and time management.
  • Kindness: Although kindness is a valuable trait, it should not come at the expense of your own well-being and business growth.
  • Productivity: The constant need to please everyone can divide your attention and hinder your productivity.
  • Understanding: While empathy and understanding are crucial, overextending yourself to cater to others can drain your energy and resources.
  • Care: Taking care of your clients is important, but it should be balanced with taking care of yourself and your business.
  • Loyalty: Seeking to please everyone can lead to a lack of loyalty to your own vision and goals, as you prioritize others’ desires above your own.

Do you see yourself in the image of a motivated, accountable, productive, and organized person? In that case, it may be time for some self-reflection.

What’s Happening on the Inside of People Pleasers

The internal struggles faced by people pleasers in a business context can be profound:

  • Self-criticism: Constantly seeking approval can fuel self-criticism and a harsh inner dialogue.
  • Isolation: Despite striving to please others, you may find yourself feeling isolated and disconnected from your own needs and desires.
  • Anxiety: The fear of not meeting expectations and the pressure to please everyone can generate significant anxiety and stress.
  • Search for approval: People pleasers often seek external validation as a measure of their self-worth, constantly looking for approval from others.
  • Lack of self-boundaries: Difficulty setting boundaries can lead to a lack of personal and professional boundaries, making it challenging to protect your time and resources.
  • Negative self-image: The constant need to please can erode your self-esteem and create a negative self-image.
  • Poor sense of self-worth: Placing others’ needs above your own can diminish your sense of self-worth and value.
  • Resentment: Giving more than you receive can breed resentment, as you may feel unappreciated or taken for granted.
  • Dissatisfaction: Neglecting your own needs and desires can lead to a general sense of dissatisfaction and unfulfillment.
  • Exhaustion: The emotional and mental toll of constantly striving to please everyone can result in exhaustion and burnout.

Let’s understand more about why this behavior happens.

Root Causes of Being a People Pleaser

Understanding the underlying causes of people-pleasing behavior can help you break free from this pattern and establish a self-managing business. Here are some root causes to consider:

  • The primary cause for being an agreeable people pleaser is the desire to calm others and maintain harmony in relationships.
  • A secondary cause is the avoidance of danger and threatening situations, including the fear of being put down or shamed by others.
  • Agreeableness is often seen as socially acceptable behavior, which can lead to praise and support from those around you.
  • Being a people pleaser is convenient for others, as they benefit from your eagerness to meet their expectations.
  • People pleasers are motivated by a fear of rejection or disappointing someone else, causing them to hide their true selves.

In conclusion, people-pleasing is an inauthentic and self-sabotaging behavior that indicates a poor sense of boundaries. Recognizing and addressing these root causes is essential to breaking free from this pattern.

Watch the video below to learn how to share your workload and create a supportive team to eliminate people-pleasing behavior:

How to Stop Pleasing Everyone

Now that we’ve explored what being a people pleaser entails and its impact on your business, it’s time to learn how to stop pleasing everyone and build a self-managing business that honors your needs. Here are some key steps to consider:

1. Define your business values and goals. 

Clearly articulate what you stand for and what you want to achieve. This will guide your decision-making and help you stay focused on your vision.

2. Set realistic expectations. 

Understand that it is impossible to please everyone, and that’s okay. Instead, aim to provide exceptional value to your ideal clients who appreciate your offerings.

3. Communicate openly and honestly. 

Be transparent with your clients about your capabilities, limitations, and boundaries. Effective communication builds trust and allows for mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Practice saying no. 

Learn to say no respectfully and assertively when a request doesn’t align with your business objectives or values. Remember, saying no doesn’t make you a bad person—it shows that you prioritize your business’s needs.

5. Establish clear boundaries. 

Define your boundaries and communicate them to your clients. This includes setting realistic expectations around availability, response times, and scope of work.

6. Focus on your strengths. 

Recognize your unique skills and strengths, and leverage them to deliver exceptional value to your clients. Emphasize what makes your business special and focus on providing outstanding service in those areas.

7. Cultivate a supportive network. 

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand the challenges of running a business. Seek support, guidance, and accountability from mentors, peers, or business communities.

8. Practice self-care. 

Prioritize self-care to maintain your well-being and prevent burnout. Take breaks, engage in activities that bring you joy, and prioritize your physical and mental health.

By implementing these steps, you can stop being a people pleaser and build a self-managing business to free your schedule and have more time on your hands.

You can be responsible, kind, and trustworthy in business without trying to please everyone. Honor your authentic business needs and build relationships with clients who value what you have to offer.

Click on the link below and get started:

self-managing business blueprint


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