What Is People-Pleasing?

Jan 13, 2022

You may be wondering, isn’t it good to be kind to other people?

The short definition of Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Yes. It is good to be kind, but people pleasing (PP) goes beyond kindness.

PP is going above and beyond to help others at your own expense.  You find yourself dropping the ball of your own responsibilities, financials, and time to do another’s bidding.  You find that you have signed up for too many responsibilities for others, and your own responsibilities aren’t taken care of many times.  You spend so much doing what someone else wants to do, or give to someone who asks, and then don’t have what you need for your own financial duties.  You spend time doing what other’s need and want, to the point where you may find yourself empty, and void—you may ask, who am I?  

You may not know who you are if you aren’t the person everyone can rely on.  But, deep down, you know there must be more to life…but, who has time to figure that out?


Years ago before doing my work, I was the poster child for people-pleaser.

I took on everything I saw as important, everything others needed from me, everything I was asked to do… and, if I felt inside that I didn’t want to, I felt guilty…so, I would agree to most anything… I was the mom of three young children. I was the head of Everybody Counts for my kid’s elementary school PTA. My husband was the head of a 300-member non-profit that I was required to be a big part of and wanted to be a part of, teaching kids every week, and director of a children’s club of about 100 children.  In the leadership over a Women’s Organization. 

Until, I found myself on my couch depressed, and resentful.  I began to be sick, physically, very often.  Headaches, stomach problems.  I just wanted to be left alone.  When the phone rang, I would cringe.  I wanted to run away.  I was over-extended and miserable with no way out it seemed. On one hand I didn’t want out of all of it—it was my identity, it was where I was praised for being such a hard worker, so kind, such a superwoman…I needed these things because I had low self-esteem.  On the other hand, I was sick and miserable, angry inside, resentful, envying those who didn’t have the responsibilities I’d signed up for.  I was a victim in my own mind.  This is when I called a therapist.

Because you matter! ~ Cindy