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People Pleasers

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My super special guest blogger today probably needs no introduction as she has become one of the most popular and loved Extreme Weight Loss Season 3 transformations so far this year! And lately, she has also been seen gracing our Facebook , Twitter?and Instagram accounts with her recent visit to see us! As a dear, sweet friend, I love her authenticity, honesty, helpfulness to others and her willingness to be real. You know you matter when she is near you. In fact, she calls her followers “Matterers.” I love it! And as you come to know her, you’ll love her just as much as I do:-). ?So, after she takes us on a journey of understanding “People Pleasers,” I know you’ll want to become a Matterer yourself! I’ve included all the ways to connect with her below…

Celebrity Trainer Heidi Powell and Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at

People Pleasers
by Jami Witherell

Super stoked to be visiting (Especially after just recently visiting Heidi and Chris in real life!)?Blogging over at We Matter, ?I try to create a forum of honesty, growth, reality, change, and a little humor.

And that includes talking about some of the uncomfortable stuff:
I talk about how sometimes my thinks get so stuck.
And I work tirelessly to not let them get in the way of living.
And just enjoy the ride.

Celebrity Trainers Chris and Heidi Powell and Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at

But one of my favorite topics is: My Issues with People Pleasing.

I used to ? and on (many) occasions ? still do ? get my ?high? or my ?happiness? from pleasing others ? before taking care of myself.

It?s not really rational ? but it?s how I learned to cope with the world around me.
Having a bad day?
Well, let me get an A in the class and you won?t be sad.
Mad at a friend?
Well, let me bake you a cake, come over for a few hours, build you up, and then you won?t be mad.
And if I don?t get an A, or can?t make it over with a cake, you?ll hear me apologize 1,000 times. Because I?ve let you down or upset you in some way.

But my people pleasing is even preemptive.
I work relentlessly to be one step ahead of your emotions.

I weigh my options carefully.
If I do this, they might think I don?t care, but I DO, so I should do that instead, and then they?ll have to know I care.

Or that I?m perfect.
Which is really where this all stems from.

Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at

If I?m just perfect enough.
If I do everything you need me to.
You?ll be happy.
Not matter what the cost to me.

And for that matter, if you?ll be happy ? I?ll be happy.
The problem is:
I?m not in control of anyone else?s emotions ? but mine.
And if you ask me to meet you for dinner and I?m booked 17 ways until Sunday, but I could make it for 10 minutes, if I leave another engagement early, I?ll do it. Because that will make you happy, right? And it will make me happy (and more importantly ? I don?t have to feel guilty or bad or wonder if I hurt your feelings if I say no.)

But the challenge I?ve had to accept is:
I could do all of that and you might be happy?

Or sad.
Or disappointed.

And you might think I?m perfect or not.
And I?m not in control of how you receive that ?people pleasing?.

Relinquishing the ability to control others emotions, my ability to people please, was the single greatest challenge this year.

But at the root ? it?s what had been keeping me alive all these years.
Living for others.
Living to please others.
And I worried all year that if I STOPPED, cold turkey, pleasing others, I?d have no reason to live (well there?s a crazy think!)

Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at

But not ANYMORE.
I am certainly still a work in progress.
Can I get an AMEN!?

I try to go inside myself ? first.
And not let my knee jerk reaction kick in ? and do the first thing I think will make you happy.

I try to converse with my inner self.
And sometimes I?m more successful than others.
Some people I?m more successful with than others.
But when I get it ?right?, when I tell myself, ?You?re not in control of what they think when you say no, or maybe not today, or not right now. You?re not.?

In those small conversations inside myself, I glimpse the beginning of what MY light can do.
It can be strong.
And independent.
And powerful.
And it can be so full, my light, that I can give to others, without the worry about how it will make them feel, or view me.

Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at

This is specifically challenging for me as I return to the service field as an elementary school teacher. There are a lot of people to please there ? from students and colleagues to staff and administration ? but I will do my best to put my OWN best interest at heart ? first.

One other morsel, is something I read in a A Course of Miracles:

?Giving of yourself to the point of sacrifice makes the other person a thief!?

And I don?t want anyone in my life to FEEL like they?re taking something from me.
When I?ve been giving it freely all along.
And hoping it makes them happy.

Take care of yourself first.
That?s SELF FULL not selfish.

I always ask my Matterers ? what about YOU?
Are you people pleasers, too?
You can comment here and come join the conversation over at We Matter.
(Because YOU do!)

Celebrity Trainer Heidi Powell and Jami Witherell from Extreme Wight Loss - Learn more at to connect with Jami and join her Matterers? Find and follow her here:
website: ?

26 Responses

  1. Actually when you try to please anyone around it means that you still need to be loved by others you please in order to be sure you deserve love.
    It is linked to Napoleon complex.
    You still act as a child who wants to seduce others, to feel loved.
    It is quite selfish in fact and moreover childish .
    I don’t judge, I just explain that people who still live in order to always be loved enough do that to reassure themselves as they don’t feel quite good enough to be loved by anyone else and so ask people they take care of to love them the way they need to feel loved.
    “People pleasers” help or give their time like children show their love, their carefullness to their parents.
    They just need to realize they keep acting like this and to quit this “Napol?on Complex” link they have with people they help.
    To finish, when you show to someone that you need his love to feel strong or to be a good person, you first judge yourself with your acts but it’s not sure that the person you help thinks the same.
    So it can also be a waste of time!

  2. This is me to a T. I am using so much energy on making sure that everyone else is happy. I don’t even understand why I do it. When I make others around me happy it keeps me content or at least somewhat content. It is like I glow inside from knowing that I am pleasing someone…especially my family and friends. The bad thing about this is that you can’t ever always make people happy. It just doesn’t happen. I am not really sure how to change being one. Monica

  3. Not only do I do all this I also feel guilty when people do nice things for me. I feel I don’t deserve them. I tell myself I do, but I never quite believe myself. I work on these things all the time but that little voice is hard to shut up!

  4. I used to be a people pleaser. I hated it, and it eventually backfired on me. The people I was pleasing became complacent and expecting and took advantage of me. Eventually my ability to “be there” for people was overwhelmed and those expectant people were revealed as negativity vortexes. That eventually lead me to realize I had my priorities wrong and what I thought was healthy was killing me. I don’t have relationship with those people anymore because they couldn’t understand why I would want to take care of me (mentally, physically, spiritually). To be honest, as hard of a decision it was to leave those people behind me, I am a better person for doing it and have created new healthy relationships with healthy boundaries.

  5. I just cut and pasted this, printed it out at work and am going to read it every day. Your post is E X A C A T L Y what I needed to read and “hear”! Thank you for inspiring me to make a change and to be ME (a pretty awesome person to everyone else) to myself before others. Thank you SO very much!

  6. Heidi and the Readers :),
    I am once again humbled by the relate-ability of something that makes me feel crazy.
    Thank you friends for your connect, kind words, and pledges to want to do something about it.

    You can.
    We can.

    I believe that whole heartily.

    And Heidi, being one of my favorite people pleasers – thanks for letting me write a post that made us both happy 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing your heart! Excellent article! Emotions can run so strong; compelling us to either build ourselves up, or tear us down. That whole inner monologue thing does wonders; stopping yourself to process your emotions, responding rather than reacting. So inspiring to see that you are aware of this and making the changes necessary to have a full life. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I so needed to see this today. I was contemplating not making a move that would be beneficilial and much needed for my husband, kids and me because I didn’t want to have my family be mad at me. Further proof I need to stop trying to think of everyone first. I am also a people pleasing work in progress.

  9. This is exactly the issue I’m working on now.
    I try to learn to take care of myself first, without feeling selfish.
    Not always easy but I keep this quote from my favourite author Paulo Coelho in mind:
    When you say ?yes? to others, make sure you are not saying ?no? to yourself.
    It helps me a lot.

  10. This was such an eye-opener. This was definitely “meat and potatoes” and not “dessert and fluff”. This has given me lots to think about. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  11. I am 48 years old and have been a People Pleaser all my life. I am one of those that figure if I just make everyone else happy or be there for everyone else, they will do the same for me. Only it never works out that way. They go on with their lives being happy and I am left alone to wonder what I did wrong. Asking, why am I still alone and even more miserable than when it started. Always putting everyone else first has been my whole life. Hoping one day I will learn to love me and put myself first. Keep up the great job Jami.

  12. Hi Jami! This was so enlightening to read. I am the ultimate people pleaser and find myself sacrificing so much for others that I have nothing left for myself. I’m exhausted and unhappy most of the time, but I put a smile on my face so that others won’t see my true emotions. I even feel guilty for leaving my family for an hour to go to the gym…so I don’t. It’s awful living a life like this. I need to focus on the fact that I need to take care of me so I can take care of my family.

  13. My hubby has been helping me with this recently. I used to get annoyed that he didn’t “understand” – but he does and he has been trying to save me from myself. I was always volunteering to bake or cook something, get gifts for showers at work, basically a million last minute favors, etc. I still do that stuff occasionally, but ONLY if I have the time and am not busy with other things. It really helps to step back and weigh the pros/cons of going out of your way. My normal rule is family comes first.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I too feel like I am a “people pleaser” but It’s really nice to know that you’re not alone, and I really appreciate this post of yours. Thanks Jami! 🙂

  15. After the morning Ive had, I needed this. Ive always been a people pleaser. I was always teased growing up and as a young adult found myself in relationships that revolved around me pleasing that other person just to keep him around. That never works! The most important thing ever said to me and something Ive forgotten, is to love yourself and make yourself happy before you do for someone else. If youre not happy, how can you make someone else feel happy? You cant.

  16. This has always been a big problem with me. I now am a mom of three special needs kids. So its expanded over the years. I’ve been trying had the last year to put myself first sometimes. Its easier during the school year since I’m a stay at him mom and my kids take a lot of care and attention. I’m a pleaser with friends and family to. Never feel good enough for anyone unless I do everything. Guess. I still need to work on these things. Baby steps I guess.

  17. Its nice to know I’m not the only people pleaser out there! Can I ask how you stopped and started putting yourself first? This is probably my biggest problem…I will give up anything that has to do with me if it helps another.

  18. So so needed this today! Thank you for making this come full circle! I’ve always tried to please everyone before pleasing myself and it can be a roller coaster at times. I’m just beginning my journey but the one thing I’ve learned is that I have to love myself and make myself happy…no one can do that for me. So very thankful for your inspiration…I hope you realize how much of a wonderful role model you are. We are proud to “matterers”! =)

  19. Such an awesome post! I think there are many people out there that struggle with being people pleasers. But there comes a point where you are just exhausted and left wondering if you running around 10 minutes here 30 minutes is really spending quality time with the people you are trying to please – does that even leave you satisified? Nobody has that kind of time to dedicate to everybody’s elses affairs or that kind of money, because let me tell you what…it costs – gas money, a small $10 gift here and there, food/drinks. So, you are left exhausted, broke, and not sticking to your health goals. It’s a very tricky thing to break out of, but it is very possible.

  20. This is so me! The way this really clicked with me was when I overheard someone describe their feelings when someone had offered to help, but was really to overbooked. She had said it made he feel like she wasn’t important, that she was just being squeezed in and the person she was trying to connect with wasn’t emotionally there, because she was trying to prepare for her next item on her to-do list. This is definitely not something that I’m trying to do when investing time in someone, so now I try to make sure that I’m “all there” before I invest in someone else.

  21. I have done this my whole life to the point where I am afraid of how others, even loved ones, would react if I ever disappointed them in any way. By either not calling every day, or meeting with them on occasions, and even not living up to their expectations. I am learning each day to think opposite of that because that fear cannot rule my life. Your blog has helped me with my rethinking and to accept that it is okay to think and act on what makes me happy as well. You are an inspiration!

  22. Wow! That one is close to home. I have been working on ME for about two years now. This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. Like Jamie I am still a work in progress. I’ve gotten better but I remember the first time I told someone “No, I can’t make it.” They were truly shocked. The next thing they did surprised me even more. They told me it was time I finally took care of myself. It was my turn to be shocked. They didn’t get mad. They didn’t stop being my friend. They actually respected me more. I have learned that a no said with conviction is better than a yes said half heartedly.

  23. This is exactly what my therapist and I have been working on for the past 4 months! PEOPLE-PLEASING! I am thoroughly convinced that this is an issue many people struggle with. So grateful that you took the time to shine a light on this struggle. You’re awesome.

    – A matterer

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