Why Women Seem To Be People-Pleasers More Than Men

Jan 28, 2022

Being a People Pleaser is being someone I’m not, in order to spare another person’s feelings.

A great deception, IMO, is that because we women are natural born nurturers, people come to expect more from us.  We are taught as girls/women to be helpful, to be nurturing, to be the gender that does EVERYTHING.

We are agreeable.  We put our longings away and do what others ask us to do.

Society seems to expect women to do it all.  Work full-time, just like men, but also, do the majority of the housework, and raising of children. This is changing somewhat as some of the modern men step up and help out, but it is still quite imbalanced according to women I talk to. We come to think it’s the sign of a good woman or mother to be busy, over-worked, stressed-out, and have way more than men on our to-do list.

This is not the truth.  We are human beings before we are women, and we can’t “do it all!” –and be fulfilled and live the life we want.  We can’t do both.  I tried.  I failed.  Many women have tried and failed.  It can’t be done.

However, I don’t consider not being able to do EVERYTHING a failure, it’s more of a waking up or a breakthrough that teaches us that we must take responsibility to care for our own selves and our own lives first.  Some things are just going to have to be ‘taken off’ of our plates, if we are going to have the time to care for ourselves in a healthy way.

My Story:

I realized I was a people pleaser while doing my personal work in therapy.  I began to recognize that I was incongruent in my inside world—let me explain.

I would smile and say “yes” to someone who was asking me to head up the PTA or one of my kid’s after school clubs, and walk away feeling angry or resentful.  Asking myself, why is she (the asker) so pushy?  I can’t stand her!

And that’s when I realized, wait a minute—I was just so friendly to her face and said I would do it, and made it all look fine—then, I’m inside me hating her for asking me.

Something’s not right here.  I spoke to my therapist about it.  She said, “Yeah, I see, its kind of like you’re being fake, isn’t it?”  She was very gentle, and she went on, “You are saying one thing and meaning another.  You’re also not being true to YOU.”

It began to make sense.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of me.  What matters is that I am authentic enough to deserve my own respect.  Can I act the way I’ve been acting and respect myself?  No.

I began to see the war going on inside me.  I knew I needed to take some time off of saying ‘yes,’ and decide who I was and what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do.  You begin to listen to yourself (your heart) for the first time.  It can be scary, but once you begin, you get to know yourself really well.  And, when you know yourself, you can decide what works for you and what doesn’t work for you and your life.  You become authentic and real.

You also begin to respect yourself, which is the start of being able to begin loving yourself.   Good, healthy, self-esteem or self-love is the key to ending people pleasing.

Is there a war going on inside you? How well do you feel you love yourself currently? Could your self-esteem use a boost?