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Everyone is different, with different personalities and learning styles. We have different ways of conversing with people that we don’t know. Sometimes we’re able to be open and express ourselves, and other times we’re shy and more closed off. It’s just a part of human nature and who we are as individuals. One personality trait of mine that isn’t my favorite is being a people pleaser. Being a people pleaser is something that you learn as you grow up and experience meeting new people. I find that this mentality comes out when I’m speaking with someone that I don’t know too well or someone that I’m trying to impress (yes, it’s okay to admit that we’ve all tried to impress others before). Sometimes, you just want people to know you as a genuine and reliable person. For people pleasers, this means going to extreme lengths, if that’s what it takes.

From my personal experience, being a people pleaser is rooted from being an introvert. I’m someone who is naturally shy and needs some time to open up to people. I hate conflict and confrontation, so I tend to check in with others and make sure that everyone is happy and able to be honest with me. This way, any kind of conflict can be easily dealt with before it progresses. Sometimes, being a people pleaser can force you to sacrifice your own time or mental capacity to make someone else happy. Being a people pleaser isn’t easy, and it’s something that I’ve been wanting to work on for a long time now.

With the pandemic, I find that it’s become a little bit easier to open up and slowly start to release some of these people pleasing habits. Having all this free time, it’s given me some valuable hours where I can focus on my mental health, which is something that I didn’t prioritize as much in a fast-paced environment with in-person classes and work. Now, I’ve started to prioritize my own thoughts and feelings and not always say “yes” to others. Some ways I’ve started doing this is by blocking out time during my day to have “me time”. This is a great way to destress and have some designated time to yourself with no distractions or other tasks calling for your attention. Releasing some of your people pleasing habits can allow you to start focusing on yourself and understand yourself better. It affords you the opportunity to speak up for yourself and focus on the things that you are comfortable with and not comfortable with. Being a people pleaser can have repercussions as simple as devoting a little bit of time to someone else, or as advanced as devoting your entire mental capacity to someone else. From personal experience, both repercussions can cause stress in the long run and make you slowly start to lose touch with yourself.

Losing touch with yourself is one of the worst feelings, and I’ve found that being a people pleaser significantly contributes to it. There have been times where I’m so devoted to something or someone else that I completely zone out and forget about my own problems or responsibilities. It’s almost as if you feel like the times you aren’t focused on someone else, there’s nothing to do. People pleasers have such tremendous responsibility when it comes to not only themselves, but others, which can be challenging to deal with at times.

All in all, if you’re reading this and can relate to my rant about people pleasing, take some time for yourself today. Block out some time to relax and focus on yourself. If you don’t want to be a people pleaser anymore, there are ways to work on it and improve. Hopefully all of the people pleasers that are reading this can relate to some of my thoughts and opinions. Being a people pleaser can be hard at times, but please remember to devote some of your time to yourself and try your hardest to stay connected with yourself. At the end of the day, you come first, no matter how much you may struggle believing it.

Alexandra Winter

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Alex is in her second year of kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University and is also minoring in psychology. She has been a writer for Her Campus for a couple of semesters now. Her hobbies include playing sports, listening to Harry Styles music, and rewatching Grey's Anatomy over and over again. She has a twin sister and 3 amazing pets who she loves very much.
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