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An article about ‘people pleasing’ by a people pleaser person point of view. 

While I was writing this article, I asked some people if they knew about ‘people pleasing’. It was alarming that most didn’t even know the word ‘pleasing’ existed and that’s when I started worrying and I thought: how many people in society have this problem but they don’t identify it because no one has ever told them the big problem of being a people pleaser? To start with this topic we need to know what is ‘people pleasing’. According to Huntington (n.d.), people pleasing is the act of making others happy to avoid conflict of negative feelings — even if you don’t like what you’re doing. Now knowing what it means, we can say that a people pleaser is a person who puts the needs of others before their own. This practice can lead to loss of identity; you are beginning to be the reflection of others and your essence, who you are, begins to disappear, there is no longer a trace of you, only the will of others is seen. People pleasing not only affects you as an individual but deteriorates your relationships and gradually transforms them into unhealthy ones. Some of the situations involved in this issue that cause relationships to lose their quality are: 

“People pleasing is the act of making others happy to avoid conflict of negative feelings—even if you don’t like what you’re doing.”

Charlie Huntington, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
  • Neglecting your personal needs 
  • Lack of authenticity 
  • Difficulty setting boundaries 
  • Attracting manipulative individuals —> The character of ‘I do the will of all but mine’ can indirectly attract individuals who want to take advantage of you and exploit you whenever they wish. This imbalance with the people pleaser and the person that believes to be a tyrant creates a damaging relationship. These manipulative persons can be difficult to identify under the condition of pleasing.
  •  Unresolved conflicts —>  People pleasing makes it difficult for you to communicate. It feels like a lump in your throat to say that the person in front of you is not right or did something wrong to avoid conflict or to protect their feelings which leads to not solving problems properly. The person will be satisfied and you will feel discontent. 

This act of self-destruction is very common, but hey! Don’t be discouraged, let’s solve it. If you felt identified, I invite you to continue reading because I am going to give you seven tips that I have learned as a “people pleaser in recovery” and that are helping me in this situation.

Connect with yourself: 

This part may be the hardest, but trust me, it will not be in vain. This advice is more like the first step you have to take to recover from pleasing, and there is no escape from it. To connect with yourself, I suggest spending more time with yourself to start identifying what you want in your social relationships and your relationship with yourself. What has been working for me is going on “adventures” around El Colegio (UPRM) and blogging about how I feel about every place I go. I just grab my camera and start expressing my feelings about everything, but I do it in a place I like. So, for starters, you just have to spend time with yourself and make a connection with yourself.

This step might take some time, but it is vital for you to go through that phase because if you don’t know who you are, what you want, and what you like, who would let you know? There’s never going to be someone who gets to know you more than you can.

Learn to say no.

‘No’ is a word rarely used by people pleasers. Saying ‘no’ is a way to ensure that you are not doing or saying anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and it would make your relationships healthy by setting boundaries. Setting limits will be beneficial to you as it will communicate your self-respect and self-worth and as a result, people will begin to build respect for you. Another beneficial aspect of boundary setting is that it prevents others from infringing on your feelings, or needs, and also reduces stress and anxiety. In short words, it protects your emotional and mental well-being. This simple action will make you feel free and empowered. 

Find a space where you can be alone and in peace.

We tend to think that being “alone” is horrible, and we always want to be with people who are special to us, but, let’s be realistic, that can’t happen all the time, so, find peace in being alone. Don’t get confused; I’m not talking about actually being alone, like not having anyone to share your sadness or thoughts with. I’m talking about separating time strictly for being alone. It is relative to the first step that I mentioned (connect with yourself), but the difference between these two is the concept of peace. Find a place for you to be alone, and start liking being alone. In that place, just relax; you don’t have to think; just look around and admire. For me, that place is MUSA in UPRM. Some days I go there in the morning, sit at the piano, play something, and then sit to look at the Mayagüez Town Center. Sometimes I close my eyes and breathe the fresh air of the morning, and for me, that is peace. That place has everything that I like: balance between nature and city, not a lot of people at those hours, silence, fresh air, and most importantly, art. Look for a place that has all the components (or most of them) that bring you peace, and be there. Build that side in you, and you will find your inner peace.

Don’t go places you don’t want to be.

To get here, you need to know your favorite places and your least favorite places. In that mentality of “I don’t want to go,” there are two mindsets. One of them is “because I don’t want to” and the other is “I know something is about to go wrong”. Whatever those are, don’t ever go to a place just to satisfy someone else, but be careful; don’t isolate yourself from the world; just think about your reasons and choose wisely what you’re going to do.

Don’t go where you weren’t invited.

Some people-pleasers are overly social and try too hard, and, my peer, I will say that looks bad, and instead of making people close to you, they will maintain their distance from you. I know you want to be with them and be part of them, but if they don’t invite you, don’t go. Unexpected visits are the worst, and you know that, so don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. That might sound rough, so let me just fix it real quick: some people want to be with you, so don’t waste your energy trying to force the company of people who don’t want to be with you because you cannot change anybody (see next advice).

Don’t try to change people; you don’t have power over them.

This is going to be our main idea. As people-pleasers, we change our thoughts, acts, or anything else just to be liked by someone else, but that doesn’t mean that’s the reality for everyone. Some people, unlike us, don’t worry about whether you like them or if they satisfy you, so they’re just going to be themselves. Don’t try to change those people; instead, learn from them. I know that sometimes they’re going to make decisions that hurt us, and no matter how bad it feels for us, I want you to put on their shoes. They know what they want and go for it. So, no matter how hard you try to change someone, it’s not going to work. Sometimes it looks like it worked, but let me tell you something: that was you, that’s what you wanted and it’s not genuine. It’s always more special when you don’t have to ask for things. Sit down and relax; you are not responsible for people’s actions.

Do your own will.

At the end of the day, it’s just going to be you. You are with you in your bedroom, in your bathroom, and just inside your skin. So do whatever you want, be whoever you want, dress in anything you want, and laugh as hard as you can. Yes, use that dress, make that comment, drop that poem, confess your feelings, and start thinking with your head and for your benefit. Do not care what people think; just be you.


Life is joyful when you don’t expect anything, when you don’t chase anything, and when you don’t force anything. So join me on this journey; I’m sure we’ll get to the finish line.


Huntington, Charlie. “People Pleasing: Definition, Quotes, & Psychology.’ Berkeley Well-being Institute. https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/people-pleasing.html.

Welcoming everyone! I’m Michelle González Jiménez and I'm studying Politics Sciences to become a lawyer. I'm a sub-graduate student who comes from Eugenio Maria de Hostos High School. In this high school, I spent five of the most significant and crucial years of my life. I learned how the fall but also how to get up again. One thing I will never forget is when one teacher told me: “You can get more than this, just try.” After that, my life got progressively better. My interests are fashion, modeling, corporal language, expressing my feelings through writing, and how mental health influences our daily basis. Talking about them a little bit, I started getting interested in fashion in 2019 and have been helping with styling since then. Modeling is a recent thing for me. I started modeling on May 8, 2022 and graduated on July 29, 2023. Now I'm a certificated active model on my way to teaching modeling. One thing about me is that I'm multifaceted. I like something at first sight, I'm going to work to get to know it and then get better. That's what's happening with learning corporal language, writing, and mental health topics. I love the idea that we have the capacity to learn something new when we want. That's why I have the intention of doing a minor in psychology. My mission as a writer of Her Campus is to show the soft side of us, the human one. I want to show the world that we can be vulnerable and that that’s okay but we don't have to stay forever in the same position, we need to keep going. I'm willing to show the world my techniques and progression steps to inspire the readers to follow me and let them know that life could be short but happiness is over all things and is everywhere.