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9 Key Reasons Not to Be a People-Pleaser

Have you ever had one of those lightbulb moments that stays with you for a lifetime? When I was in my twenties, I heard a speaker named Nancy Skinner say, "A strength overused is a weakness." Boom.

Those six little words sum up the problem with people-pleasing. It turns out that paying too much attention to what others think can do more harm than good—not only for you, but for the person you're trying to please.

9 More Reasons Not to Be a People-Pleaser

  1. Pleasing everyone is impossible. And what would you gain if you did?
  2. It’s exhausting. I once heard Dr. Bernie Siegel say with all warmth and sincerity, "When you learn to say no, illness doesn't need to say it for you." Ow. But there's some truth to that.
  3. Anyone who does expect you to cater to their every whim is probably not someone who adds joy to your life. At the very least, the relationship may need fine-tuning.
  4. Joy is part of the deal. You were made for joy. Excessive people-pleasing drains joy.
  5. Only God is God. Don't get me started on how many idols of mine the Good Lord has dethroned, from music to work to other people to good deeds. Dethroning is a good thing, even if it hurts at the time.
  6. You can get so good at pleasing other people that you expect them to do the same for you. If only it worked that way. To quote Jim Rohn, "I'll take care of me for you, if you will please take care of you for me." Love!
  7. The people who are right for you don’t want you to be a people-pleaser. It’s draining for them too. They love, like, and respect you for you—not what you can do for them.
  8. Pleasing other people can be surprisingly self-serving. Ever been around someone whose need to be needed was greater than your need? (Sorry if it was me.) That, too, is exhausting—and just not necessary.
  9. You are setting an example for those around you—especially those you love and work with. Make your example warm, sustainable, and fun. Make it one you enjoy following.

What other people-pleasing reasons or behaviors would you add to this list? Send me a message and let me know. Wishing you a great week!

People pleasing can be summed up in six words: "A strength overused is a weakness."

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at