Description of the People-Pleasing Pattern

If you have a People-Pleasing Pattern, you have a tendency to go out of your way to please people. You often try to be who other people want you to be, to agree with them, to fit in. You try to make yourself think, feel, and want the same things as others even if this doesn't reflect your true feelings.

If you are in a relationship, a part of you may be trying to “merge” with your partner, to feel and believe the same as they do. You just defer to their preferences, values, and goals without quite realizing you are doing it.

If you frequently agree with what other people want and they seldom go along with you, this is an indication that you have the People-Pleasing Pattern. Another indication would be if people express frustration that you never seem to come up with ideas or preferences of your own and always “follow the herd.” 

You also might go far out of your way to give people what you think they need to make them happy, especially when you do this without even considering what would make you happy or when you try to please others at your own expense.


The People-Pleasing Pattern is transformed by the Assertiveness Capacity.

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X Assertiveness involves having a firm knowledge of what you feel, think, and desire, as opposed to being overly influenced by other people's opinions, feelings, and needs. It is part of being an autonomous adult.

Assertiveness involves exerting power to ask what you want, explain why something is important to you, and follow through even if others don’t go along right away. You can bring up difficult issues with people in order to try to improve your relationship with them. You can stand up for yourself and set limits on people when they are harming you in some way. You can say No when someone asks you for something you don’t want to give.

Assertiveness involves being able to initiate action, take risks, accomplish goals, and move forward in your life. Sometimes it involves reaching out for connection with someone. Sometimes it means saying clearly what your opinion is or what you believe is right.

Assertiveness can also involve exerting power to take care of others or to achieve what you think is right or best in a given situation. It can involve assuming a powerful or responsible role in a group or organization.

But keep in mind: Assertiveness involves doing these things without needing to be aggressive, controlling, rigid, judgmental, or otherwise extreme. Assertiveness naturally integrates with cooperation, so you are open to other people's needs and opinions without giving up your own.