People pleasers have a psychological condition referred to by some as “the disease to please.” This addiction is characterized by an overwhelming desire in the individual to please others and make everyone happy. In contrast to an altruistic desire to help people, or a general concern for others, people pleasers often possess a compulsive need to please others at all times, regardless of the price to their own health and well-being. People pleasing can lead to a large number of other mental and physical health issues, such as extreme fatigue, mental and physical stress, high blood pressure and even heart attack.
The addiction of people pleasing should not be confused with altruism, which is a natural concern for others. Altruistic giving includes such activities as lending a helping hand, donating to a worthy cause, or expressing typical acts of kindness. In contrast, people pleasers often have a psychological need to gain approval by continually striving to meet the needs of others. Individuals with this condition generally have feelings of insecurity and a low sense of self-worth.
To others, people pleasers might appear to be friendly, outgoing, and organized. These individuals often portray people who “have it all together” and are happy, cheerful, and supportive. While these traits are certainly not a negative thing, the fact is that the majority of these people do not feel this way inside. Other people might view a people pleaser as someone who is very giving, successful, and concerned, but the individual often has an entirely different opinion of himself.
People who are overly concerned with pleasing others tend to view themselves as being inadequate. Individuals with this psychological condition often feel that it is necessary to continually please others in order to be liked and accepted. A people pleaser generally feels a fear of letting others down and disappointing people. Individuals who have an overwhelming need to please others typically have a fear of rejection and a lack of confidence. They are often unhappy about not being able to please everyone and frequently feel like failures.
Health consequences of this psychological condition include both physical and mental ailments. Individuals suffering from this addiction can become extremely depressed as a result of not being able to continually please everyone. People pleasers might develop a lack of trust in others, feelings of worthlessness, and an inability to meet personal goals. Physical health problems include elevated blood pressure, high levels of stress, and general fatigue.