12 Traits of Someone Who’s Always Putting Others Before Themselves

People-pleasing has its pros and cons. It can make you a hard worker but lead to burnout and boundary issues. Here are 12 traits to be aware of to help you find a healthy balance.

Avoiding Replies that are “No”

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A people pleaser often struggles with saying “no.” Instead of directly declining, you may dodge the situation by avoiding a response altogether, changing the subject, giving vague answers, or pretending not to hear. This behavior stems from your aversion to saying “no” to others.

Saying “Yes” Too Often

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Along with avoiding saying “no,” people pleasers frequently say “yes” to things they don’t genuinely want to do. This can lead to resentment toward others for asking too much of you when it’s difficult for you to refuse.

Avoiding Delegation

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People pleasers often struggle to delegate tasks because they fear inconveniencing or appearing selfish to others. They carry a constant sense of responsibility, making them unwilling to depend on others.

Telling People What They Want to Hear

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If you find yourself always giving others the answers you think they want to hear, even if it means overlooking inappropriate behavior or offering insincere compliments, you may be a people pleaser. Your priority becomes making others happy at the expense of your own comfort or truth.

Constantly Worrying About Others’ Opinions

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Caring too much about what other people think of you is a clear sign of being a people pleaser. You may find yourself constantly wondering if people like you or what they think of your actions. You may also do anything necessary to ensure others hold a favorable opinion of you.

Difficulty Expressing Anger

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If you frequently doubt yourself when feeling frustrated and hesitate to express anger because you fear hurting others’ feelings, it indicates your inclination to please others. It then becomes challenging to communicate when someone has hurt you or made you sad because you worry about upsetting them with your emotions.

Sensitive to Criticism

As a people pleaser, criticism can affect you more than it does others. Accepting criticism is difficult since you devote much of your energy to making others happy. You may feel hurt and find it hard to repair the relationship with the person who criticized you. Criticism tends to linger in your memory for a long time.

Feeling Constantly Tired

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Though less obvious, exhaustion is a common sign of being a people pleaser. Your constant efforts to please others leave little energy for yourself, your needs, and your mental well-being. This results in agreeing to commitments you don’t have time for, neglecting to set healthy boundaries, and overworking.

Feeling Underappreciated

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Feeling underappreciated can be disappointing because of the immense effort you put into making others happy. You may believe that others don’t reciprocate the effort you invest in them. This can lead to frustration and harm your relationships. You might start thinking that others are selfish or doubt whether they genuinely care about you.

Hating the Thought of Letting Others Down

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While no one enjoys disappointing others, people pleasers have an intensified aversion to it. Even the idea of telling someone that you can’t fulfill a commitment can cause extreme discomfort. You become overly concerned about what others think of you.

Lack of “Me” Time

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As a people pleaser, you likely struggle to carve out time for yourself. Constantly finding things to do for others means your hobbies, social events, and personal downtime get sidelined. Protecting your time becomes crucial, as there will always be tasks or requests from others that demand your attention.


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Many people pleasers are perfectionists because they believe being exceptional in various areas will make others like them. You may continually strive for perfection in projects, hoping to impress and please others. This drive often stems from disliking criticism and a desire to avoid negative feedback by ensuring flawless work.

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