What Drives Me to Please People?

  • Do you frequently go along with what people want? 
  • Do your needs get overlooked?
  • Are you always trying to make people happy?
  • Are you stressed out because you say Yes to every request?
  • Are you afraid to assert yourself? 
This quiz will help you to explore your underlying psychological motivations for pleasing people, so you can work through these issues and change your behavior.  Your people pleasing may be driven by fears, defenses, and inner conflicts that you are only partially aware of, which are your psychological motivations. This quiz will help you to understand these motivations and what to do about them. 
As you look over these questions, keep in mind that a (subconscious) part of you might be afraid of something even if you aren't rationally afraid of it.

Tip: As you think about which motivations apply to you, please don’t judge yourself. It is common for our Inner Critics to use this information to make us feel bad about ourselves. They tell us that we are really screwed up, that we’ll never be happy. Don’t believe these self-attacks. Everyone has a variety of fears, needs, and other motivations underlying their behavior. You aren’t bad or pathological or inadequate because of the ones you have. If an Inner Critic is beating you up about your fears, don't take it seriously. If you can take in this new information from an open place, it will help you to see yourself more clearly.

Adopt an attitude of looking at yourself objectively and compassionately as you explore this list. This approach is enormously helpful in learning about yourself. You had to develop these patterns of defense because of the ways you may have been hurt or the type of parenting you received when you were very young and vulnerable. They aren’t your fault. Appreciate yourself for being interested in delving into this material so you can make changes in your life.

Painful emotions can come up while taking this quiz. If you need help with this, click Self-Soothing Help

If you are having trouble staying with the quiz, click here
  • Most people take between 4 and 8 minutes to complete the quiz.
  • Answer these questions to the best of your ability, without giving them a great deal of thought.
  • Write down your first reaction.
  • You must answer all the questions.
I try to get attention by pleasing people.




I please people to get them to appreciate me so I can feel good about myself.




I am afraid of being rejected if I don't please people.




I am afraid of being yelled at or hit if I assert myself.




If I don't please people I am afraid of being attacked by my Inner Critic.




I expect other people to get their way.




I want to avoid conflicts by pleasing people.




I try to please people that I believe can help me get ahead.




I try to get love by pleasing people.




I try to stop people from judging or shaming me by pleasing them.




I please people to get them to like and accept me so I can feel good about myself.




I am afraid of being dismissed if I assert myself.




I am afraid of being judged or ridiculed if I assert myself.




If I don't please people, I am afraid someone will be hurt and I’ll feel guilty.




I assume that someone I’m close to will run my life.




I am afraid of getting into fights if I assert myself.




I please people to get them to take care of me.




I try to stop people from attacking me by pleasing them.




   ...so you can review your results or change an answer later.