The 11 problems with being a people pleaser

Firstly, if you’re not already clear on what a People Pleaser is (and how it’s different from being a kind, caring and generous person), check out this introductory post: What is a Nice Guy?

The problem with being a people pleaser is that it’s nowhere near as healthy and helpful as you think it is. In fact, it is a cause of suffering not only for yourself but others as well, and if nothing else it’s one of the least effective ways to act if you want to enjoy your life and have great relationships.

Let’s dive into the top 11 problems I see people pleasing cause in my clients’ lives, and of course in my own life (at least before I stopped all this bullshit).

It’s impossible to respect you

A person without a backbone provokes the worst behavior in others. If you can’t say No, they will give you more work. If you can’t protect your personal space, they will invade it. If you can’t stand up for yourself, they will walk all over you.

They aren’t all bad people. They just can’t help themselves – people fill up the space made available to them and use the resources given to them. They can’t respect someone who doesn’t respect themselves.

And you can’t respect yourself if you constantly undermine your own needs and goals to serve others who don’t even really need you.

You must learn to stand up for yourself and take care of your needs first to build respect from yourself and others.

You are forced to be dishonest

People pleasing cannot coincide with powerful honesty. All people pleasing requires some form of deception. Maybe it’s hiding your dislike and disagreement. Maybe it’s pretending to find someone’s joke funny. Maybe it’s even sleeping with someone you don’t really find attractive.

People pleasers are polite and agreeable, meaning they’re dishonest about the more negative things that they think and feel.

If you think good people are honest, then you can’t say you’re a people pleaser and a good person. You can only be one or the other.

Check out this video for more on how being nice is a form of lying:

You are easily to manipulate

There’s no one easier to push around and maneuver than a people pleaser. It’s so obvious to everyone else what pushes your buttons. It’s clear that you’re desperate for approval and validation, so this will be used against you.

You know this because it’s already happened a lot, hasn’t it?

Even people who don’t want to manipulate you or aren’t even very good at manipulation will push you around. People pleasing invites bad treatment. 

Being resistant and disagreeable when something doesn’t feel right is a key step to preventing harmful manipulation.

Wanna escape Nice Guy Syndrome and become a confident authentic man? Take my social confidence quiz now to receive free advanced content:

Your career will stagnate and be a bad fit for you

Pleasing others may take you a certain distance in your career, but then it plateaus. While being the good little worker whom everyone likes might keep you in a steady paycheck, there are some serious downsides.

You won’t ever upgrade to positions of true influence and meaning. You need assertiveness, disagreeableness, and courage to play well at the highest levels, and people pleasers simply aren’t cut out for that kind of fight.

When people pleasers get into leadership and management positions, they tend to burn out. They struggle to delegate, to discipline staff, and to set a strong example.

Even worse than that, people pleasers have a tendency to commit to things they’re good at (and get approval for) regardless of how much they actually enjoy it. So there’s a good chance that your people pleasing has you stuck in a job you would rather not do (i.e. you’d quit if I gave you a million dollars).

This video dives deeper into why people pleasers tend to only do what they’re good at:

Your health will suffer

People pleasing is exhausting, anxiety-provoking and stressful. It regular ends up in periods of burn out and depression. Caring what people think all the time comes at a terrible emotional and mental cost.

Plus there’s a pretty good chance that you are neglecting your nutrition and exercise (unless being fit and good looking is how you please people). 

It’s very common for people need coaching after they suffer a mental breakdown, or a heart attack, or even a stroke, due to the life-long punishment of trying to keep others happy.

Others are actually best served from you taking good care of yourself. Like the airplane cliche of putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others, if you really want to help others, start by getting yourself into top shape so they’re not helped by an exhausted stress-monster.

You set a bad example for your children (and anyone else watching)

People pleasers are often defensive of their behaviour and claim to be good people, yet they wouldn’t want their kids to grow up like them!

When others witness your people pleasing, especially easily influenced people like your children or those who look up to you, they learn that sacrificing their own needs and health to keep other people happy just so that they are liked is a good idea.

Others, who want to be more genuine and self-serving, are put off from bravely giving it a go when they’re surrounded by people pleasers doing the opposite. When you go about being the nicest person ever, you make other people scared to live with more integrity.

You attract narcissists and users

Ever wonder why your relationships and friendships don’t seem as healthy and loving as other peoples’?

A narcissist’s favorite prey is the person who’s scared to receive negative feedback or be disliked.

People pleasers attract users and abusers. Confident people and healthy people are repelled by people pleasers, and so you never have them in your social circle or in your bed.

This video goes deeper into how to end and prevent connections with toxic narcissists:

You enable fragile people

You think that solving everyone else’s problems is a good thing. Have you ever stopped to think about the long term impact of this?

What happens when you solve other people’s problems and constantly make their life easier? Do they get stronger… or weaker?!

It should be obvious. When people aren’t allowed to suffer and solve their own issues because someone else is doing all the work for them, they miss out on vital life experience and learning.

The truth is, you like people to be dependent on you… even though this is extremely dangerous for them! How selfish of you.

Let people sort out their own struggles and deal with their emotions without your interference. They might look like they’re in pain, but wait long enough and they’ll get through it.

You’re not as helpful as you think you are

And continuing on from that, you aren’t doing as much good as you think you’re doing.

People pleasers think that their help is superior than someone doing it for themselves. And yet there’s really no reason to believe this idea.

You don’t know what’s best for someone else better than they do. You don’t know what they really need to grow and develop their confidence. There’s a really good chance you’re either annoying them, intruding on their method, or interfering with their growth when you sacrifice yourself to help them out.

And yeah, they might say Thanks and all that, but in my experience if you just stop helping people all the time, only the users and abusers even notice. Everyone else just sorts their own shit out… like they always could without you.

You cannot form deep connections 

People pleasing creates a wall between you and others. All they see is a smile and a helpful attitude, which if you’re honest with yourself is such a small side of who you really are.

If they only see the happy fluffy stuff, at best they can like being around you. They might even confuse this with love, but don’t fool yourself: if they don’t really know you, they don’t really like you.

For someone to love and connect with you, they need to see your dark side. They need to know about your depression and anxiety and hate and laziness. They need to see it all to love you.

If you want a real relationship or a real friendship, then you need to be real. You must face the risk of rejection or you’ll end up alone.

You neglect and hurt the people who really matter

People pleasers hate to admit this, but a vast majority of them are kinder to strangers and work colleagues than they are to their best friends, partners and children. It’s common for a people pleaser to be a pushover at work and yet a grumpy dictator at home.

When you expend all your energy sacrificing yourself for people who don’t even matter to you, you become tired and resentful. Your stress and anger must come out at some point, and that will be when you feel safe.

And when do you feel safe? Around your loved ones!

So they get the worst of you, while dickheads who aren’t important get your best! Does that sound like what a good person would do?

More on this issue in this video here:

You lose sight of who you really are

When you change who you are depending on your audience, and when you sacrifice your own preferences and values to make others happy, you start to forget what you were before you did that.

Many of my clients struggle to clearly identify what their values are, what they stand for and against, and to answer the basic question: Who are you?

In my opinion, this is the worst consequence of being a people pleaser. Having your identity attached to people pleasing and feeling that you’re just an empty shell without it. Feeling like there’s nothing unique or valuable underneath.

How can you ever hope to be confident if you don’t have any sense of worth that isn’t derived from pleasing others?

How you can make massive progress in just a few months!

You can do all this on your own.

Through trial and error, books, courses and online content, you can figure it out slowly piece by piece over time if you dedicate yourself to it and are willing to fail often and get uncomfortable in order to achieve social mastery and build strong self confidence.


You can work directly with me in your corner for a short period of time and achieve the same results in months that would take you YEARS on your own (or your money back!).

That’s what my confidence coaching is really all about. I accelerate your progress significantly by ensuring you:

  • Overcome your fear of rejection
  • Stop seeing yourself as not good enough
  • Develop easy practical social communication skills while still being honest
  • Unleash your masculinity to make you more assertive and attractive
  • Increase your self-confidence and self-respect
  • Get advanced practical tips to eliminate self-sabotage and give you the best possible chances at career advancement, dating opportunities, and deep connections with quality friends
  • Help you see your blind spots and errors and develop a measurement system that you can use on your own to ensure ongoing improvement for life

It took me about 7-10 years to figure this stuff out on my own. It takes my average coaching client only about 3-6 months to achieve a level of mastery that leaves them able to continue coaching themselves to further success while feeling absolutely certain that they’re on the right path (proven by the results they get).

I’ve turned virgins into fathers.

I’ve created assertive leaders out of meek people pleasers.

I’ve released overthinkers so they become powerfully decisive.

I’ve transformed shy introverts into social connectors.

I’ve moved highly anxious and depressed guys into a world of permanent self-confidence and optimism.

You don’t need to take my word for it. You can test it out for yourself. Fill out the application form below for a FREE trial coaching session with no obligation to continue, and no sales pitch!

My coaching will either blow you away and convince you that it’s worth it, or you’ll simply spend an hour talking to me without losing anything.

>> Click here to apply for a complimentary trial coaching session

Thanks for reading

Hope to speak to you soon

Dan Munro


Wanna escape Nice Guy Syndrome and become a confident authentic man? Take my social confidence quiz now to receive free advanced content:


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