Is it ok to be a people pleaser?

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I was recently talking to a friend about her relationship with her husband.  She said she knows how to keep him sweet.  She praises him (even when she’s angry).  She doesn’t ask him to help her in the house because she knows that upsets him.  When he does things that she does not agree with she keeps her mouth shut.  She does not want to rock the boat by  upsetting him.  I asked her why?  What stops her from being honest and this is what she told me.

“I want a quiet life.   I let things go because I cannot stand the hassle of an argument or a miserable face in front of me.”

So is she a people pleaser or is she pleasing herself?  Or perhaps there is manipulation going on?

Can you be happy in a relationship where you are not able to communicate honestly for fear of a backlash?  Perhaps a degree of happiness is possible if the payoffs are there.

There are times when pleasing others might actually be to your best advantage.  Think about being at work and doing a good job to please your boss.  What’s in it for you?  Promotion perhaps or a good annual review and pay rise.  Are you being a people pleaser or are you pleasing yourself?

When it becomes problematic of course is if you are compromising yourself because of another person.  For example not getting your own needs met.  Sometimes it is a balancing act.

With friends it might be a different scenario.   You feel like your voice does not get heard.  When making arrangements you always feel you are following the plans rather than making them.  In this case it is more about learning to be assertive to voice your opinion.  If your friends are caring about you and the friendship they will listen.  If they don’t then maybe its time to reassess the friendship.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Is it ok to be a people pleaser?

  1. Nashedur Rahman

    Hi Andrea,

    Interesting insight, I think it depends on what type of relationship it is employee to employer, husband to wife. I know personally that if i wasn’t able to communicate honestly and truthfully in my relationships, then i’d think i’m in the wrong relationship because i can;t be myself. Of course sometimes we have to take into account take, but as long as the majority of the relationship is based on honesty, then you have a good relationship.

  2. Helen Frances

    I have been a people pleaser my whole life. First with my mother, who had passive-aggressive down to a fine art. Then my sister, who was and is just an angry woman, so it is easier to give in to her. We now live a long way away from each other, so much better. I also worked for a woman for many years who had toddler tantrums when she didn’t get her own way. i stayed because, apart from that. it was a great job.

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