3 Signs You’re a People Pleaser and How to Stop Being One

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It’s nice to be liked, right? Having the approval of others, being appreciated, and receiving appreciation is one of the best feelings in the world. The desire to be liked is normal, and it feels good when you are, but remember, this is reality—there are bound to be people who just won’t like you.

Remember, not being liked is normal, but if it’s something you can’t seem to accept, then maybe there is something you need to address within yourself.

The Need to Be Liked

Everyone wants to be liked—some people make themselves pretty to charm their date, others study interview questions to impress the hiring manager, while some others buy gifts to please their friends. One way or another, everybody has their ways to get people to like them. However, wanting to be liked is different from needing to be liked.

The desire to make others happy is a nice gesture, but at what expense? Have you been going to great lengths just to please others? People-pleasing can be a serious problem, and it could do more harm than good if you stay this way for too long. 

Here are a few signs that indicate whether you are a chronic people pleaser:

  • You Can’t Say “No”

It’s difficult for you to disagree or decline because you worry that it might cause them to dislike you. Pretending to agree because you want to be liked, even though it goes against your values or opinion, could turn out to be harmful.

  • You Over-Apologize

Are you the type of person who says “sorry” over every little thing? Being accountable is good, but accepting fault when you aren’t to blame is something else entirely.

  • You Struggle to Be Yourself

Can you freely do what you like without being afraid of what others may think, or do you force yourself to act like the people around you? This may make you feel comfortable in social situations, but it is actually very self-destructive when you look at the big picture.

How to Overcome It

So, you have accepted that you are a people-pleaser and you want to change. Don’t be ashamed! It happens to the best of us. All that matters now is you’re trying to overcome this unhealthy practice so you can lead a better, happier life. 

Overcome your need to be liked by following the tips below:

  • Say “No” When You Want to

Being a Yes Man is draining and exhausting. No matter how many yes-es you give, it will never be enough to make everybody happy—and that’s okay. It’s time to put yourself first! If you don’t feel comfortable with something or disagree with someone, don’t be afraid to say the magic word.

  • Don’t Apologize If It’s Not Your Fault

Before you say sorry, think to yourself, “Have I done something wrong?” if the answer is no, then hold your tongue and forget about the s-word. 

  • Be Yourself

When you try your hardest to make everyone like you, you begin to lose yourself in the process. Everyone is unique—don’t put yourself in a box that you made for yourself. 

Free yourself from inhibitions and become as authentic as you can be! Finding your identity and prioritizing what you value is the first step towards healing.


Overcoming your people-pleasing tendencies is not going to happen overnight. Remember, progress isn’t linear—there may be days that you fall back on your old habits, but don’t hate yourself for it. What’s important is you are constantly making an effort to change. If you think you need a bit more help, you can always reach out to a therapist and subscribe to free mental health newsletters to assist you in your journey to healing.

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