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  • Mason Hancock

Will You Die A People Pleaser?

People pleasing is something most of us will be guilty of doing at some point in our lifetime whether it be towards a partner, family member, friend or colleague. But what are the health dangers of pleasing people? And how hugely successful companies satisfy buyers' needs by doing the opposite.





People pleaser is defined “as someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them”. Which on the surface doesn't sound like a bad thing. Their goal is to make other people happy, how can that be a bad thing?


People pleasing much like the definition of an addiction, negatively affects the person when they continually and unnecessarily put the needs of others ahead of their own. Often to the detriment of their health and wellbeing.


Many Doctors of Psychology stated that people with the inability to say no can have 5 major health consequences;


  1. Self neglect- The time an energy spent devoting oneself to the needs of others takes those resources away from their own.


  1. Resentment- Bending to the needs and wants of others before our own will often result in resenting that person and this resentment may seep out in the form of passive aggression.


  1. Reduced ability to enjoy- This resentment can lead to no longer enjoying the activity. For example going to a child’s football game due to the stress of worrying about all the things you should be doing while your there.


  1. Stress and Depression- Stress can be defined as having more tasks than you can handle and constantly completing tasks for others while yours build in the background can often lead to increased stress.


  1. Being taken advantage of- People quickly build habits and associations subconsciously and can begin to ask more than is reasonable of you. We are taught to treat others how we want to be treated. So it is your duty to yourself to reinforce that boundary and stick to it.


If we look to the world of business for inspiration of people pleasing we rarely see it in its truest form. Many are quick to believe that a company's sole purpose is to please the consumer. But the truth is any person or company can ask a consumer what they want and then meet that demand. The problem is there are 7.7 Billion people on this revolving rock we call earth and it is impossible to meet the demands of everyone without upsetting others.


Instead what hugely successful companies like Apple or Barclays Banking do is create and innovate things we never knew we wanted but then can't live without. Rather than ask for a need and fulfill that need. They create a service the consumers want, which turns the tides of the relationship.


For example, who knew that putting 4 digits into a machine to pay for a £3 coffee was so difficult until they introduced contactless. We never knew we wanted that. At the time we were quite content putting those 4 digits in. But now the idea of a card machine not having contactless receives a communal grown of despair.


The same goes for Apple. I was very happy with my 4 digit password to unlock my phone before face recognition was introduced. Now the idea of putting my password in each time is enough for me to lower my face mask in public during a global pandemic to save time. Who’d have thought.


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