Personal Development

Do People Pleasers Have Low Self Esteem?

People pleasers are praised for their selflessness and kindness, but what lies beneath their desire to please others? It’s commonly believed that people-pleasing behavior is linked to low self-esteem, as individuals who struggle with valuing themselves turn to pleasing others to feel validated and accepted.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of people-pleasers, examine do people pleasers have low self esteem, and discuss the effects of people-pleasing on mental health.

We will provide strategies for overcoming people-pleasing behaviors and improving self-esteem. By the end of this article, readers will have a better understanding of the potential negative consequences of people pleasing and the importance of valuing oneself.

Who Are People Pleasers And What Are Their Traits?

People pleasers prioritize others’ needs and happiness over their own, often at the expense of their well-being. This behavior is typically rooted in a deep-seated fear of rejection, criticism, or disapproval from others. Some common traits of people pleasers include:

  • Tendency to avoid conflict or difficult conversations
  • Difficulty saying “no” to requests or invitations
  • Need for external validation and approval
  • Lack of clear personal boundaries
  • Willingness to sacrifice their own time, energy, or resources to help others
  • Fear of being perceived as selfish or unhelpful

How Do People Pleaser Behave In Social Situations?

People pleasers tend to behave in a certain way in social situations. They often put others’ needs and desires before their own, going out of their way to please others and gain their approval.

They are overly agreeable, avoiding conflict and agreeing with others even if they don’t honestly agree. And they also hesitate to assert their opinions and ideas, instead deferring to others.

In social situations, people pleasers feel pressure to keep everyone happy and satisfied, leading to anxiety and stress. They also feel uncomfortable receiving attention or compliments, as they do not deserve them.

People pleasers also struggle with setting and enforcing healthy boundaries, allowing others to take advantage of them or overstep their boundaries.

What Are The Thought Patterns And Behaviors Of People Pleasers?

People pleasers often have common thought patterns and behaviors observed in various situations. Some of the behaviors include:

  • Difficulty Saying No: People pleasers struggle with saying no to others, even when it means sacrificing their time or well-being.
  • Over-Apologizing: They apologize excessively, even for things that are not their fault, to avoid conflict or maintain harmony in a relationship.
  • Need For External Validation: People pleasers rely on external validation from others to feel good about themselves and seek approval from others.
  • Avoidance Of Confrontation: They avoid conflict or difficult conversations to maintain harmony in relationships.
  • Difficulty Setting Boundaries: People pleasers struggle with setting healthy boundaries and find themselves overextending or allowing others to take advantage of them.
  • Putting Others’ Needs Before Their Own: They often prioritize the needs of others over their own, even at the expense of their well-being.
  • Fear Of Rejection Or Abandonment: People pleasers deeply fear rejection or abandonment and go to great lengths to avoid it, even if it means compromising their own needs.

Read Also: How Self Esteem Affect Ones Ability To Communicate?

Do People Pleasers Have Low Self Esteem?

People pleasers often struggle with low self-esteem. They believe their worth and value are tied to how much they please others and gain external validation. People pleasers also fear rejection or abandonment, causing them to prioritize others’ needs over their own to avoid conflict and maintain relationships.

This constant need to please others leads to neglecting their needs and desires, further contributing to low self-esteem. Additionally, people pleasers struggle with setting boundaries and saying no, leading to feelings of guilt or shame when they are unable to meet others’ expectations.

What Is The Link Between People-Pleasing And Low Self-Esteem?

People pleasing and low self-esteem are often linked, as people-pleasers seek external validation from others to feel good about themselves. They fear rejection or abandonment, leading them to prioritize others’ needs over their own and struggle to assert themselves and set boundaries.

This is a form of self-sabotage, as people-pleasers neglect their well-being and end up feeling resentful or burned out. By constantly seeking approval and validation from others, people pleasers also develop a skewed sense of self-worth and struggle to create healthy relationships with others.

It’s essential for people pleasers to recognize their tendencies and work on building self-esteem and healthy boundaries to improve their overall well-being.

Effects Of People Pleasing On Mental Health

People pleasing have significant effects on mental health, leading to a range of negative consequences for those who engage in this behavior.

  • Anxiety: People pleasers often feel anxious about meeting the expectations of others and worry excessively about disappointing them.
  • Depression: When people pleasers consistently prioritize others over their own needs, they experience sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of control over their lives.
  • Low Self-Esteem: People pleasers struggle with feelings of self-worth and have difficulty valuing their own opinions and needs. This lead to a cycle of seeking external validation to feel good about themselves.
  • Burnout: They take on more than they can handle, leading to exhaustion and burnout from trying to please everyone around them.
  • Relationship Problems: People pleasers struggle to set healthy boundaries and assert themselves in relationships, leading to difficulties with communication, trust, and intimacy.
  • Codependency: They become so focused on pleasing others that they lose their sense of self and become dependent on others for validation and a sense of identity.

What Are The Strategies For Overcoming People-Pleasing Behaviors?

Several strategies that help overcome people-pleasing behaviors and improve self-esteem. In this part, we will discuss the strategy for overcoming people-pleasing behaviors:

  • Recognize The Problem: The first step is recognizing your problem with people-pleasing behaviors. Acknowledging that these behaviors are unhealthy and negatively impact your mental health is essential.
  • Identify Your Triggers: Identify the situations or people that trigger your people-pleasing behaviors. This will help you understand when and why you engage in these behaviors.
  • Practice Saying “No”: Start practicing saying “no” to requests that don’t align with your values or priorities. It is helpful to have a script ready for these situations.
  • Set Boundaries: Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial in overcoming people-pleasing behaviors. It means learning to say no when needed and being clear about what you will and won’t tolerate.
  • Practice Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is crucial to improving self-esteem and overcoming people-pleasing behaviors. This includes exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, and pursuing hobbies.
  • Seek Therapy: Working with a therapist is incredibly helpful in addressing people-pleasing behaviors and improving self-esteem. A therapist can help you identify the root causes of your behaviors and develop a plan to overcome them.

Why Are Self-Care And Setting Boundaries Important?

Self-care and setting boundaries are crucial for maintaining good mental health and well-being. Here are some reasons why:

  • Reduces Stress And Burnout: Self-care and boundary-setting help prevent stress and burnout by allowing individuals to prioritize their needs and avoid overextending themselves.
  • Increases Self-Esteem: When individuals prioritize self-care and set healthy boundaries, they send a message to themselves and others that their needs are important, increasing their self-esteem.
  • Improves Relationships: Setting boundaries helps individuals communicate their needs effectively and lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
  • Prevents Resentment And Anger: When individuals don’t set boundaries or prioritize self-care, they become resentful or angry, negatively impacting their mental health and relationships.
  • Increases Productivity: Taking care of oneself and setting boundaries increases productivity by preventing burnout and allowing individuals to focus on their goals.


After reading this article, we hope you understand do people pleasers have low self esteem. This article can serve as a valuable resource for those struggling with people-pleasing tendencies and low self-esteem.

By increasing awareness and providing practical strategies for change, this article can empower individuals to take control of their lives and cultivate a healthy sense of self-worth.

People pleasing behavior is a sign of low self-esteem, as individuals seek external validation to compensate for lack of self-worth. However, note that not all people-pleasers have low self-esteem, and there are various reasons why someone may exhibit people-pleasing tendencies.

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