People-pleasers spend their time trying to make other people happy while neglecting personal needs. They do this because they want people to like them or approve of what they’re doing or saying. If you think you might be people pleasing and ignoring your own needs, identifying the signs can help.
By spending your time pleasing others, you will find yourself feeling exhausted and overcommitted. It leads to you ignoring your own needs because you feel like you don’t have the time. You can’t become your best self or the person that you want to be, either.
Being a people pleaser also leaves you feeling like you’re living your life for someone else. Embrace the things that you want or need before you worry about anyone else. When you put yourself first, you’ll be happier, fulfilled, and live a more meaningful life.
Fifteen Signs You Are People Pleasing but Ignoring Your Own Needs
You might notice that you can’t say no or that you avoid conflict at all costs. These are both signs of people pleasing that shouldn’t be ignored as they interfere with your well-being. Many other signs indicate your people pleasing patterns, too, so learn what to look for.
1. You Can’t Say No to Others
It’s a sign of people pleasing if you struggle with saying no, even when you already have too much to do. Part of your inability to say no stems from wanting to be helpful, but it also comes from wanting to be accepted. You might feel like saying no will make people dislike you, so saying yes is a safer option.
If you don’t want to do something or don’t have the time, you’re ignoring your own needs by saying yes. When you do this regularly, it’s a sign that you have a problem. Work to overcome this by forcing yourself to say no in some situations.
2. You Don’t Have Time for a Hobby
Reflect on the way that you spend your free time. If you spend it doing things for others, you’re likely neglecting yourself. After spending time on responsibilities at work and home, you need time for hobbies that make you happy.
If you find that you don’t have time for hobbies, it’s a sure sign you’re a people pleaser. Pinpoint the last time you worked on a hobby and use that to reference how you’re spending your free time.
3. You Feel Like You’ve Lost Your Identity
When you’re always trying to please other people, you might feel like you don’t know yourself anymore. Your goals and dreams might be forgotten or continually pushed back. If you notice that you don’t feel like yourself anymore and you’ve let your goals slip away, it could be a sign.
4. You Think Your Worth Correlates to What You Do for Others
People pleasers get some of their identity and sense of worth from what they do for others. If you do this, it’s a sign that you’re people pleasing and ignoring your own needs. Your worth doesn’t come from what you do for others, but it comes from how you live your life for yourself.
5. You Feel Guilty for Setting or Enforcing Boundaries
Setting boundaries is beneficial for your well-being, and there is nothing wrong with doing it. If you ever feel guilty for setting or enforcing limits, it could be that you’re a people pleaser.
Sometimes the guilt happens because you’ve felt shamed for setting boundaries in the past. Other times it happens because you’re not comfortable speaking up for yourself. Whatever the reason, you should work to get past the guilt you associate with setting boundaries.
6. You Apologize When It Isn’t Necessary
Apologizing when it isn’t necessary is a common sign of people pleasing. You might apologize for other people’s feelings and reactions, implying it’s your fault or your issue even when it isn’t.
7. You Avoid Conflict by Trying to Prevent Other People’s Anger
People pleasers don’t like anger or conflict, and they do whatever possible to avoid being in the middle of it. If you have this issue, you might do whatever you can to keep people happy and prevent them from becoming angry. Plus, if someone does get angry, you might feel like you failed at pleasing them.
Try to remember that you are not responsible for the way other people feel. Their feelings are their choice, and you can’t always keep everyone around you happy. Focus on your happiness and positivity, and let other people take care of themselves.
8. You Agree to Things You Don’t Want to Do
If you often find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, consider why you’re doing it. People pleasers do something they don’t want to do to make others happy or to fulfill expectations.
If you find that you’re not happy with what you’re doing, ask yourself if you could stop. You might not have to do it all, or you could simplify the process to make things easier on yourself. Additionally, stop agreeing to do something that you don’t want to do.
9. You Don’t Take Any Time for Yourself
People that don’t take time for themselves tend to dedicate all of their time to other people. Self-care and alone time are essential to your overall well-being. By neglecting yourself and not taking that time, you put other people’s desires before your needs.
Another sign of being a people pleaser is canceling your alone time to make someone else happy. You deserve and need time to yourself, so interrupting it for others isn’t beneficial.
10. You Miss Out on Things to Please Others
If you miss out on opportunities or events to do things for or with other people, it’s a sign of people pleasing. When you have plans in mind, even if it’s sitting at home alone, keep your plans even if someone calls.
You don’t have to agree to go out with friends every night or have lunch with a family member every other day. Do the things you had in mind already, unless you genuinely want to change your plans. Plus, if opportunities ever appear, go after them despite what anyone else wants or needs.
11. You Worry What Other People Think of You
Feeling anxious about other people’s opinions of you is a sign of being a people pleaser. You might try to conform because you feel insecure or afraid of how others will perceive you. Doing this causes you to lose your true self in the process of pleasing others.
You might also feel the need to get approval from everyone around you. When this is the case, you will also worry about rejection, so you agree to do anything that will make you needed.
12. You Don’t Like to Share Your Feelings
Being reluctant to share your feelings is a sign of people pleasing and ignoring your needs. You might feel like your feelings don’t matter or that other people’s problems are more critical.
Additionally, you might find that you always agree with the way other people feel so that you are accepted. You might ignore your feelings so that people will like you better, even if you secretly disagree with them entirely.
13. You Suffer from Low Self-Esteem
People with low self-esteem tend to be people pleasers because it helps them feel worthy. They look for validation from others to fill in what’s missing within. If you have low self-esteem, it could be a sign that you’re a people pleaser.
When you feel that people only care about you when you’re helpful, then it’s your low self-esteem bringing you down. That thought doesn’t stop you, though, as you keep working to earn praise and appreciation from others.
14. You Feel Overwhelmed and Exhausted Because You Overcommitted
Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted are sure signs that you’ve overcommitted yourself. People pleasers often take on more than they can comfortably handle because they don’t want to disappoint. Before you take on more tasks or activities, consider what you already have to deal with.
Along with your job and family life, you also must take care of your physical and mental health. Don’t overcommit to things because you’re afraid to let people down. Put yourself first so that you don’t become burnt out.
15. You Worry People Will Think You Are Selfish
If you ever worry that people will think you are selfish for saying no or putting yourself first, you are likely a people pleaser. You deserve to put yourself first, and you don’t have to agree to anything. The people in your life that matter won’t make you feel bad, either.
Final Thoughts on Signs You Are People Pleasing but Ignoring Your Own Needs
If you’re people please but ignoring your own needs, it’s time to stop that pattern. Recognize the signs so that you can consciously correct them. It won’t be an easy change at first, but the more often you put yourself first, the easier it becomes.
Acknowledge your habits and find ways to overcome the people pleasing ones. Being a people pleaser might sound nice, but it hinders your growth and holds you back from your goals. Take care of yourself first so that you can handle the things that truly matter.