Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

People Pleasing – Are You Going Too Far?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Making people happy is one of the best feelings in the world. Putting a smile on others’ faces could occur for merely showing up at their party, but constantly making sure that everyone around you is happy is drop-dead exhausting. Trust me, I know. I spoke to two people pleasers like myself to challenge and narrow down whether people pleasing is such a bad thing.

Prina Dayal, a 22-year-old student at the University of Cape Town, studying Bachelor of Arts, suggested that people pleasing is not as fun as it sounds for the people pleaser. Looking at the root of the term in her life, she noticed she has constantly tried to please those of authority. In school, trying to impress your teacher and being on top of schoolwork became a pattern she has seen repeated in the bigger university space. Not only authority figures, but friends who set their own high standards slowly became her own. This is difficult to break-away from after a long time. Prina said that it becomes a “habit to try to fit in and be known as good to others.” I think we can all relate to wanting to be accepted society. But, should we change ourselves for others?

A 22-year old nursing student at the University of Western Cape explained that her people pleasing may be a result from her fear of confrontation. Confrontation, for most people, causes tension, so it gets avoided at all costs. She agrees that it may stem from a young age and a major lack of confidence. Being around very opinionated people can cause you to “silence yourself” and hide the hero that you try to be.

Both people pleasers have agreed that the key to unlock a people pleaser is the word “try.” To try and always please everyone around you may result in a loss of identity. To be a people pleaser, you need to get rid of Sheldon Cooper’s term the “satisfiser.” You need to start putting yourself first when making decisions and trust your own judgment.

In the workplace, to make your boss as happy as Captain Ray Holt, you don’t have to be Detective Jake Peralta. You just need to stay true to who you are. The person you really need to please is yourself.

Bachelor of Arts in Film, English & Media Studies I'm just a girl with the chance to write about beautiful places, people and other worldly phenomena (Desai, 2020) ?