Every day we interact with people with a variety of personality issues. Sometimes we recognize these issues and put names to them; codependent, enmeshed, addicted, loner, passive-aggressive. These behavior patterns are ones that we mostly know about and even how to deal with. One common behavior pattern I often see is the people pleaser. They are often easy to spot in behavior, but can be challenging to define with words. I can say for certain I am not a people pleaser. I know a few people pleasers. They seem to have several similar traits that make them easy to spot. Once you know what to look for you can then protect yourself if you feel the need to.
These new friends don’t know the people pleaser and thus can’t judge them. It’s easier to be nicer to the people who don’t know you well. The People Pleaser (PP) works hard to let these new friends know that they are important. Invite them to events, make them the center of attention. The new people feel really wanted. The down side is the moment other new people come on scene the PP moves on.
Because the PP has difficulty in how they view themselves and how others view them, validation from others become all important. If someone challenges them they will avoid this person at all costs or eliminate them from their circle of friends. Appearances are of utmost importance to the people pleaser. They need to make sure that they are doing the “cool” things. With the advent of social media, it is has become easier for the PP to keep up appearances.
No one likes confrontation normally, a PP will lose sleep because of a potential confrontation. Because of the desire to appear cool or hip, numerous shallow relationships are often the key. This if often because deeper relationships take work and often include confrontations or critiques of behavior.
A PP is constantly moving to avoid rest which then could possibly lead to self-reflection. They will make commitments to others that they will consistently get out of or not complete. They will look good for the fact that they agreed to do this thing, and then come up with what seems to a perfectly legitimate excuse on why they can’t keep the commitment.
A PP gets stuck emotionally because they are compelled to be nice instead of expressing how they really feel about things. If they were to express how they really feel, someone may not like it which would then lead to a possible confrontation. This would lead to a PP feeling overwhelmed because somehow they are less of a person if someone were to think poorly of them.
Due to the constant pressure to perform and keep up appearances a PP often suffers from anxiety and discontentment. These mental health issues can often go unrecognized and be seen by the PP as simply a fact of life. It can affect family relationships in a negative way if they don’t get the right help.
If you run into this type of personality they need your help and understanding. It will be difficult to go deep and help this person see where they need help. Yet, they need someone like you in their life. They need someone willing to accept their ways while also being willing to make the consistent attempt to help see that there is another way to interact with people. It will be a challenge, but ultimately will be worth it.