The Pros and Cons of Being a People Pleaser!

Thursday, 11th April, 2013

Tired business person with headache working at nightDo you find yourself struggling to manage your time because you’re too busy running around after others?

Do you find it hard to say ‘no’ to requests for help/support and end up working late to catch up on your work?

A phrase I often hear from clients working on resolving time/stress management issues is: “It’s because I’m a people pleaser, isn’t it?!” Can you relate to this?

There are often times when the motivation behind our actions is to help or please others, and sometimes this can have a negative impact on other things. But being a ‘people pleaser’ isn’t all bad … it just depends whether or not you overdo it! Here’s my take on the case for and against ‘People Pleasing’ …

PROS …

Imagine you are starting a new job or taking on a new position, and you want to make a good impression. This can give rise to a tendency to say ‘yes’ to several requests for help, advice, guidance, etc. It can also be a great opportunity to showcase your talents and skills, as well as show everyone how good your ‘people skills’ are! Even in areas where you don’t officially hold responsibility, you may have experience, and this can be another opportunity to:

  • help others,
  • build rapport,
  • establish your place as one of the team (as long as you’re not stepping on someone else’s toes!)

CONS …

bigstock-Stressed-teacher-28408682Without keeping this in check you can become exhausted! Not only are you doing things to help others, but you’re having to find time to do the things that you should be doing for yourself … leaving you very little time to unwind. This can lead to stress and a feeling of overwhelm, because you can’t handle all the demands you’ve agreed to. If you’re not careful, the following may also happen:

  • you gain a reputation as ‘the person who gets things done for others’,
  • you are taken for granted,
  • you feel guilty when you realise you can’t please everyone!

A SOLUTION …

Saying ‘yes’ and looking for opportunities to help others should be done in moderation, whilst being mindful of the things that are important to do for you / your role. Learn to say ‘no’ more often, and be confident that your team colleagues will respect you for who you are and for your integrity when you need to say no … not just for your willingness to help others.

Would love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this topic :)


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.