Want to overcome being a chronic people pleaser? These people pleaser quotes will help inspire you to take control of your life and move forward with confidence that you can set boundaries and still be a good person. Keep reading for 100 People Pleaser Quotes to Help You Stop Pleasing Everyone But Yourself.
What Is a People Pleaser?
According to the Merriam Webster, the definition of a people pleaser is:
- someone or something that pleases or wants to please people
- often : a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires
So, what does it mean to be a people pleaser? And is it a good or bad thing?
Is Being a People Pleaser Bad?
Being a people pleaser is not necessarily good or bad. It really depends on your unique situation.
“Being a people pleaser isn’t all bad. It shows that you are a caring person who values social connections and enjoys making others happy.”– Samantha Boardman
While caring about others is a great quality, being a people pleaser can veer into unhealthy behavior. This can happen:
- When you make unhealthy decisions or take unhealthy actions trying to meet the expectations of others.
- Or when you prioritize the wants and needs of others above your own wants and needs excessively.
- Or when you base your entire self worth on others’ approval and/or opinion.
Having empathy for others, being a considerate person, and practicing kindness are all great things. But you can take them too far.
Bottom line – to me, people pleasing is okay as long as it doesn’t start to negatively impact you. If it does, it’s time to check in with yourself to see if you want to make some changes.
“People pleasing is okay as long as it doesn’t start to negatively impact you. If it does, it’s time to check in with yourself to see if you want to make some changes.”– Diana Celestine
If you resonate with being a people pleaser and are thinking you want to work on this, that’s great! Overcoming harmful people pleasing can take a lot of self work. But these quotes can be a great step to help bring you awareness and even inspire you to take further action.
100 Best People Pleaser Quotes
Use the following quotes to help you drop your people-pleasing ways, set healthy boundaries with confidence, and care for your own needs in a healthier and more balanced way.
Tip: Gonna be honest, some of these quotes may sting a bit. As you read through, notice which ones make you feel good or bad and tap into why. This experience could be great to journal about to help you gain further insights and clarity as you continue on your personal development journey.
May these people pleaser quotes help you step into your power.
1. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
2. “When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened.” – Shannon L. Alder
3. “Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu
4. “Saying NO can be the most empowering word if you struggle with codependency, abusive relationships or low self-esteem.” – Unknown
5. “You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” – Mandy Hale
6. “Never seek to please anyone. Seek to evolve thyself.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
7. “Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.” – Jennifer Elisabeth
8. “Don’t be a people pleaser. Trust your instincts.” – Salome Mumba
9. “Pleasing everybody is never a responsibility. If they like you for who you are, good. If not, it’s their problem not yours.” – Unknown
10. “It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine” – Byron Katie
11. “I’m done living for other people. I’m done being a people pleaser. I’m done thinking about what people think about me.” – Shailene Woodley
12. “We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won’t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth—nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
13. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Brené Brown
14. “People pleasing hides the real you” – Unknown
15. “Let your light shine today, and let your personality blossom, too. You don’t have to be a people-pleaser, just a people-lover.” – Beth Moore
Here are some gentle reminders to take care of yourself too.
1. “People-pleasers are often tormented by a conflict between the needs and wants of others versus those of themselves. If you aim to please others, you tend to disregard your own needs and instead prioritize the needs of others, which eventually becomes a self-destructive pattern.” – Patrick King
2. “I’m a pleaser, but it’s not a good thing because you forget about pleasing yourself at the end of the day.” – Nikki Bella
3. “When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
4. “As a people-pleasing adult, your conscience still orients you to the expectations of others. By your demonstrated willingness to put others’ needs before your own, you continue to accord other people a position of authority over you. Even though you may be taking care of others in what often feels like a parental capacity, and meeting your adult obligations and responsibilities, your conscience still treats you like an obedient or disobedient child.” – Harriet B. Braiker
5. “As a people-pleaser, your perceptual antennae are attuned to the needs, preferences, desires, requests, and expectations of others. The psychological “volume” of other people’s needs is turned up high, while the relative volume of your own needs is very nearly muted altogether” – Harriet B. Braiker
6. “The deepest pain I ever felt was denying my own feelings to make everyone else comfortable.” – Nicole Lyons
7. “Stress, anxiety and depression are caused when we are living to please others.” – Paulo Coelho
8. “There’s a very fine line between trying to please others and making sure that your own needs are being met.” – Frank Sonnenberg, Listen to Your Conscience: That’s Why You Have One
9. “Sometimes you aren’t listening to your body because you’re listening to everybody else’s expectations.” – Ann Voskamp
10. “Being a people-pleaser takes its toll on your physical health. If you juggle multiple responsibilities at home and at work and try to keep up with everyone’s demands on you, you’re bound to lose sleep, not have enough time or energy for exercise, and rely on food options served up fast but greasy and definitely unhealthy. Keeping with this pattern is guaranteed to make you more vulnerable to catching diseases from the common cold to serious heart disease. This is the way being a relentless people-pleaser can literally kill you.” – Patrick King
11. “Self-Care is giving the world the best of you, not the rest of you.” – Katie Reed
Authenticity and Self-Acceptance
People pleasers can change themselves to be more accepted by others. May these people pleaser quotes inspire you to be your own, unique, beautiful self.
1. “Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.” – Jim Carrey
2. “If you’re trying to please everyone, then you’re not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don’t think, in the long run.” – Viggo Mortensen
3. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu
4. “If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself” – Jocelyn Murray
5. “When we’re looking to please, our focus is on how to say and do what we think the other person wants, regardless of what is true for us. This disconnect from our true selves immediately reduces our attractiveness. Then, to make matters worse, we’re operating from a place of fear. Fear of upsetting the other person, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of looking foolish, fear of being judged, and even fear of our own guilt. All this fear is another layer of attractiveness repellent that we spray on ourselves when we’re being nice.” – Aziz Gazipura
6. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Alder
7. “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?” – Brené Brown
8. “I’m a big people pleaser; I had a very awkward adolescence. Part of me is still that person who wants everyone to like me.” – Alissa Nutting
9. “You strive to please others, to fit in, and feel accepted. In spite of that, you still don’t feel accepted, and not because others don’t accept you, but because you haven’t accepted yourself as you are.” – Dragos Bratasanu, The Pursuit of Dreams: Claim Your Power, Follow Your Heart, and Fulfill Your Destiny
10. “Don’t be afraid of losing people, but be afraid of losing yourself trying to make everyone happy.” – Naguib Mahfouz
11. “You can never please people enough. But you can only be yourself.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
12. “I surrendered myself to the cages of others’ expectations, cultural mandates and institutional allegiances. Until I buried who I was in order to become what I should be. I lost myself when I learned how to please.” – Glennon Doyle
13. “People pleasing isn’t attractive because it’s not authentic. We’re not being who we really are.” – Aziz Gazipura
14. “You must stop pleasing others because those other people literally have no idea who you ARE.” – Julie Lythcott-Haims, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult
15. “The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Self Love and Self Worth
1. “The surest way to lose your self-worth is by trying to find it through the eyes of others.” – Becca Lee
2. “People-pleasers are driven by a deep and piercing fear of rejection. They fear being spurned or deserted by others, and that fear plays a far bigger part in their people-pleasing than real feelings of goodwill. If they give and give and give, they believe there’s less of a chance that they’ll be rejected or abandoned. They’re not really doing what they do to improve someone else’s life—they just want to feel more positive about themselves.” – Patrick King
3. “Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” – Brigham Young
4. “You are not designed for everyone to like you.” – Anonymous
5. “Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.” – John Lennon
6. “Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can’t accept who you are.” – Turcois Ominek
7. “Children who feel unloved and unprotected are like a half-filled cup. They become incapable of ‘filling up’ because they have come to believe they are unworthy of love. They try to please others, give to others, and care for others in a desperate hope that they may make themselves worthy.” – Beverly Engel
8. “People-pleasers feel they must constantly be performing acts of service to others to gain acceptance. That requires a lot of work, effort, and energy.” – Eddie Capparucci, Removing Your Shame Label
9. “Don’t be a people pleaser, be a self pleaser. It’s not ego, it’s called self-respect.” – Preeta Gupta
10. “If you find yourself craving approval, you are low on self-love. Stop grasping for a few scraps wherever you can. Go home and make yourself a feast. Love yourself deeply today.” – Vironika Tugaleva
Success vs Failure
Here are some people pleaser quotes related to success and failure.
1. “I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” – Ed Sheeran
2. “If you try to please all, you please none.” – Aesop
3. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle*
*Quote Correction: The above quote is frequently and incorrectly attributed to Aristotle. According to my research, he never actually said this. Not even a variation of it. The quote is likely a derivation of something someone else said: “Criticism is something you can avoid easily — by saying nothing, by doing nothing, and being nothing.” – adapted from Elbert Hubbard (thank you for sharing this Aristotle quote correction, Dan Spira). I’ve decided to leave the above quote posted so I can share this correction note. I’m hoping leaving it there will capture attention and invite others to be curious about the source like I was.
4. “If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae
5. “As women, we have more of a tendency to be people-pleasers, and I know a lot of women who are not vocal about what makes them happy.” – Katherine Heigl
6. “People pleasing pleases everyone but the pleaser.” – Sanjo Jendayi
7. “Sometimes you don’t realize you are actually drowning when you are trying to be everyone else’s anchor.” – Anonymous
8. “The only thing wrong with trying to please everyone is that there is always at least one person who will remain unhappy. You.” – Elizabeth Parker
Wanting to be validated by others is normal and human. But your own validation of yourself is so important too. Remember that!
1. “All of us need validation from others. We thrive on acclaim, compliments, praise, and overall kindness. There’s nothing wrong with that. But people pleasers rely solely on the approval of outsiders. Their low self-value makes them entirely dependent on other people’s opinions. They are like a shadow, as they are completely reactionary to other people.” – Patrick King
2. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
3. “Be wary of the praise of men; don’t let it pump you up unnecessarily and don’t let it paralyze your progress” – Bernard Kelvin Clive
4. “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln
5. “If I were surrounded by people who always approved of me, I wouldn’t need such a deep relationship with my own sense of right and wrong.” – Vironika Tugaleva
6. “What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.” – C. JoyBell C
Coping / Defense Mechanism
People pleasing can be part of a coping and / or defense mechanism.
1. “Niceness is the psychological armor of the people-pleaser.” – Harriet B. Braiker
2. “If the personality of a people-pleaser had to be summed up in one word, that word would be nice. But, if you have the Disease to Please, nice isn’t just a personality description. Being nice is shorthand for a full-blown belief system that dictates how to act with other people so that bad things won’t happen to you.” – Harriet B. Braiker
3. “So if someone exhibits a negative or sharp feeling due to you asserting yourself, the people-pleaser will immediately consider it their duty to change that feeling back or prevent it in the first place.” – Patrick King
One major challenge for people pleasers is setting boundaries – especially without feeling guilty. May these people pleaser quotes help you set boundaries with confidence.
1. “People-pleasers either don’t know about or drastically underestimate their need to establish boundaries, making sure others are happy before they’re allowed to even think about finding their own happiness. So in seeking to stop the people-pleasing routine, putting your foot down and making clear boundaries is a step you can’t overlook.” – Patrick King
2. “I gotta stop treating people like I owe them something.” – Tupac
3. “With too much respect you will end up as a weakling. Keep everything balanced. Don’t exaggerate anything, nor please others for your own ruin.” – Mwanandeke Kindembo
4. “Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.” – Rachel Wolchin
5. “I can only please one person per day. Today isn’t your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.” – Unknown
6. “The people-pleaser has a hard time thinking about what’s right for them — let alone standing up for themselves by carrying through on consequences.” – Patrick King
7. “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” – Edwin Louis Cole
8. “Don’t burn yourself, to keep others warm.” – Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
9. “‘No’ might make them angry, but it will make you free. If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger.” – Nayyirah Waheed
10. “No is a complete sentence.” – Anne Lamont
Creativity and Work
Sometimes people pleasing can impact our work and creativity. May these quotes help you create freely.
1. “The results of my work don’t have much to do with me. I can only be in charge of producing the work itself. That’s a hard enough job. I refuse to take on additional jobs, such as trying to police what anybody thinks about my work once it leaves my desk.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
2. “One day a long time from now you’ll cease to care anymore whom you please or what anybody has to say about you. That’s when you’ll finally produce the work you’re capable of.” – J.D. Salinger
3. “There are definitely people who disagree with certain creative decisions you make. Pleasing everyone is pretty hard.” – Dwayne Johnson
4. “We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” – Steven Pressfield
5. “I’ll be blasted’, he said, ‘if I ever write another word, or try to write another word, to please Nick Greene or the Muse. Bad, good, or indifferent, I’ll write, from this day forward, to please myself” – Virginia Woolf
6. “All I can do is follow my instincts, because I’ll never please everyone.” – Emma Watson
7. “Don’t go into the business of pleasing people. You can’t please everybody. Simply do your best at what you do” – Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom
8. “It’s no good being too easily swayed by people’s opinions. You have to believe in yourself.” – Donatella Versace
Here are some people pleaser quotes to help you navigate relationships.
1. “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – John Lydgate
2. “Important reminders for a people pleaser: Someone else’s thoughts and desires do not require a change in your own beliefs or another item on your to-do list.” – Unknown
3. “Nothing too good can come out from people always agreeing with you.” – Omar Cherif
4. “Both of my marriages have taught me the same lesson twice over really harsh: listen to your instincts. Don’t be a people pleaser.” – Drew Barrymore
5. “We cannot please all men but we can be a blessing to many.” – Mac Canoza
6. “To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others.” – Criss Jami
7. “While being you and truly sharing what you do will bring happiness to others, you won’t find contentment merely trying to keep others happy.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
8. “A people-pleaser is worried about rejection. They have a need, as we all do, to be accepted and treasured—to be loved. But in people-pleasers, this need is amplified to the extent that they will bend over backward just to not lose that love or acceptance. They are driven by avoiding negative consequences rather than creating positive possibilities.” – Patrick King
Focusing more on people pleasing than living for your authentic self can sometimes keep us out of alignment. May these help you to re-align to the true you.
1. “People pleasing doesn’t allow you to receive.” – Abiola Abrams
2. “When you are a people pleaser, you put others needs first before your own, sometimes at the expense of your own health and well-being. It is often linked to our own sense of self-worth.” – Unknown
3. “People pleasing and putting others first literally diminished my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. Overwhelmingly, most emotionally wounded people demonstrate this trait. Many of us have been programmed to put others first; to be of service to others before we serve ourselves.” – Christopher Dines
4. “There’s something very addictive about people pleasing. It’s a thought pattern and a habit that feels really, really good until it becomes desperate.” – Anne Hathaway
5. “There’s a fine line between helping others and being a people pleaser, and mistaking one for the other can be hugely detrimental. When we put others’ needs before our own, we deplete our energy, which can lead to depression, physical illness, and overwhelm.” – Gabrielle Bernstein
6. “When you engage in people pleasing you are out of integrity with yourself, your goals, your dreams, and your life’s mission.” – Eileen Anglin
Hope you found some inspirational quotes to help you worry less about the approval of others and focus more on the quality of your own life.
Summary: People Pleaser Quotes
People pleasing is not always a bad thing.
Whilst it’s great to be an empathetic and thoughtful person, it’s important to find the right level of balance that works for you. You are worthy of your own care, attention, and love as much as anyone else in your life.
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Hope you enjoyed this list of 100 People Pleaser Quotes to Help You Stop Pleasing Everyone But Yourself.
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