kindness, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, people pleaser syndrome, psychology, self-esteem, self-help

People Pleaser Syndrome

If you are always finding yourself at the bad end of unfair and unbalanced relationships, then you might have People Pleaser Syndrome. Most people who have People Pleaser Syndrome, including myself, have come from a background of being emotionally and mentally abused, manipulated and scapegoated.

It may not be readily apparent to you that you had emotional abuse as a child, because this syndrome will cause you to question any abuse that you have experienced. People may have manipulated you into thinking that your childhood was free of abuse, as part of the mental abuse itself.

Gaslighting a person into doubting their own feelings of being abused, is mental abuse. When you feel like you are being treated unfairly and cannot communicate about it, your reality about the abuse can become confused.

I have done a lot of research recently about People Pleaser Syndrome. There are many lists that you can find that will describe various characteristics and qualities of people that suffer from it. I have also gone through my own situations in my mind, to identify what characteristics that I have tended to demonstrate over the years.

I recommend that you do your own research about this topic, if  many of things on this list  seem to ring true for you.

I have written this list off if the top of my head. Some of these characteristics have been brought to my attention from articles that I have read.

Some of them are direct examples from my own life. All of the things on this list have caused me problems in my own life over the years.

I have not intentionally copied anything on this list from any other site, although you will see other lists of compilations of characteristics.  These are all in my own words and from my own life examples.

Characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome

1. You take on the feelings of others as if they are your own.

2. You feel the need to fix the problems of other people

3. You feel responsible for other people’s problems and guilty about them

4. It is easy for other people to make you feel guilty

5. You can easily be forced by others to feel shame

6. You carry toxic shame

7. When other people are unhappy, angry or disappointed with you, it makes you feel like you have the responsibility of fixing their feelings

8. You have trouble doing, not-doing or saying anything if it will get a negative reaction from the other person

9. You want people to always approve of you, your beliefs and your actions

10. You feel the need to always justify your actions and decisions to others

11. You have great difficulty in saying “no” to people

12. You are often talked into doing things you really do not want to do.

13. You are talked into not doing things, that you do want to do

14. You tend to do whatever will keep the peace, even if it is not good for you

15. You have trouble standing up for yourself, but always listen to other people who are standing up for that they want

16. You give other people their way, much more often than you just do things the way you want to

17. You question the validity of your personal wants and needs, when it conflicts with those of others

18. You often put your own dreams and goal on the back burner, in order for someone else to fulfill their dreams

19. You do not express your anger about being treated unfairly by others

20. You tend to allow your partner more benefit of the doubt than they allow you

21. You cover  for other people,  even if they would not cover for you

22. You have C-PTSD from some sort of childhood abuse

23. It is sometimes unclear to you how you feel about things and if your feelings / thoughts are being “put into your head” by the other person

24. You allow other people to tell you “how you should feel” about some things

There are a few reasons that you need help for People Pleaser syndrome. If you are recognizing very many things from the above list, then I encourage you to do some further research, get materials which will help you and work on a plan of overcoming this.

In some cases, professional mental health treatment may be appropriate. I am not a therapist and this article is not intended as a replacement for professional mental health treatment. I am just validating your experiences with my own and hopefully helping you to take a look into your own tendencies and patterns.

If you have the characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome, then you are likely to be a target for predators that will take advantage of your good intentions. There are narcissistic people and other toxic personalities that look for people that are easy to manipulate with guilt and shame.

There are people that actively seek “people pleasers” in order that they can subject their will upon them. If people can easily push our anxiety buttons about confrontation, then you are the type of person that can end up in domestic abuse situations and abusive relationships.

People pleasers try to avoid confrontation that makes them feel guilt or shame. Abusive personalities will sense this about you and deliberately force you into anxiety, in order to manipulate you.

Other problems you probably experience are in work situations and social situations. Dominating people will overcome you at work and in social circumstances. It is just the way they are.

It is hard to compete and get ahead at work if people take advantage of you. Even if there are nice, kind people where you work, there is always one that will destroy you, when they realize that they can use you as a means to get ahead.

It is nice to want to believe that the world is full of people who are compassionate and caring, but as we grow up we realize that this is not the case. You may be around many good people in your situations, but it only takes one person to really injure you.

We will talk more about this issue and ways in which we can retrain ourselves to have different habits. These are habits that are rooted into us, but they are not unbreakable.

The most important things are to be able to identify when we are being treated unfairly and not to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves, or otherwise protecting ourselves from abuse.

You have a right to your boundaries, your self confidence and your self esteem. In fact these things are necessary for you to live and thrive well. Your dreams matter and your happiness matters, just as much as anyone else’s.

Blessings to all,


11 thoughts on “People Pleaser Syndrome”

    1. Thank you for letting me know that it helped you. I am working on these things myself and I want to post anything that I discover that helps me. If things are helpful to me then they are bound to be helpful for some other people. We can find ways to learn the things we missed during our childhoods.
      There is a secondary problem to any abuse during childhood. The first problem is that we have the trauma issues.
      The second problem, but not less, is that we missed critical developmental information. Other people were learning about drawing boundaries that are healthy. They were learning about how to advocate for themselves and take care of themselves. If you are spending your time trying to keep your brain in tact, then you are not getting any of the “software” that is needed to make your brain work right.
      We guess at patterns and behaviors, but we never learned the right ones. So now we have to go back and learn what we missed.
      I got a lot of help about this issue from a 50 dollar downloadable course that I bought called “overcoming narcissistic abuse” by spartan life coach. If you are interested, I would recommend it. You can type Spartan Life Coach into you tube to see his videos about overcoming C-PTSD and narcissistic abuse.
      There are hypno-audio tracks with the course that help to get better patterns into your brain
      IN the mean time, I will keep researching and finding ways to get better.
      We can keep up with the others better, if we get these lessons that we missed when we were growing up. Right now, it is like we are handicapped.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you answered yes to most of them, then you are like me and have People Pleaser Syndrome. But this is okay to find out because once we realize that other people do not handle situations the way we do, then we can learn to change our habits over time. It is more of a matter that we did not learn the correct patterns to begin with, during the developmental stages in our childhood that we were supposed to be taught about boundaries and saying “no” etc.
      The part that you mentioned about not liking yourself is a different issue, although they may play hand in hand for you.
      My guess is that things that happened during your childhood caused both of these issues for you. These are still things that can be improved.
      I like you 🙂
      I am proactively searching for answers to my own C-PTSD and the issues that is has caused me as an adult to have difficulty functioning like other adults do.
      As I find anything that works for me, I will post about it. We can find solutions together. I think it is like a puzzle that we need to solve.
      Much love,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow thanks Annie…it is a long journey but being aware of it is probably the biggest step for all of us
        I really do hope you are dealing with things even if slowly and have faith that you will get there surely 😊😊
        Big hugs and thank you for sharing this with all of us ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Almost every single one of the 24 points you mentioned applies to me. It is frightening. I’ve known for some time that I am a people pleaser. It’s also why I often end up in codependent relationships where I am the one doing all the giving. It’s hard to change something like that…Thank you so much for your post. It was eye-opening.


    1. I am glad the information was helpful. I always thought that this is how people are supposed to be. I never realized until recently that people who come from more normal childhoods do not allow other people to make them do things. They know what proper boundaries are and they say No to people when they are trying to cross them.
      If the other person tries to make them feel guilty, it does not work.
      The tendency to fall easily into guilt, is from being blamed and manipulated by guilt as children and teenagers.
      I was constantly manipulated into doing things i did not want to do. I was constantly reprimanded if I expressed any negative feelings about anything that was happening.
      I was shoved back into situations that I hated. When i was resistant, then I was shamed or guilted.
      I never associated those things from a long time ago, with tha fact that I have tolerated being with narcissistic abusers for years beyond when any normal person would have walked away.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had similar experiences as a child…I was also manipulated by guilt and when I was resistant I was shamed. I was convinced that something must be wrong with me and never questioned my parents’ judgment. I did everything to please my parents. I didn’t know how those experiences were still influencing me as an adult. I’m increasingly growing aware of it. However, I still find it hard not being a people pleaser all the time. It makes me accept being used and taken for granted without finding the strength and conviction to opt out. I wish I was different.

        Liked by 1 person

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