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Trying to keep everyone happy while maintaining your sanity can be a difficult line to balance.
People pleasers can get a bad rep but it often comes from a good place, so, if you’ve ever been told that you bend over backwards to accommodate your family, coworkers, and friends and you’re wondering if that’s a “problem” to solve then this post is for you.
However, before we get onto the quotes, let's establish a bit of context and understand what a “people pleaser” really is.
What You Will Learn
It may seem obvious, but a people pleaser is someone who works too hard to keep everyone around them happy. While this may not seem so bad, the motivation for this behaviour is usually not so great for your happiness in the long term and not to mention your long-term health.
I sometimes think people pleasers get a bit of an unfair reputation. Going out of your way to keep people happy and going above and beyond for those that you care about are fantastic personal qualities and traits to have.
The primary issue is that these helpful traits are easily exploitable. Unfortunately, a whole chunk of humans (especially the narcissistic types among us) do not respect people whom they see as easy to use.
The other issue is that in going out of your way to please others you’re usually hurting yourself. Why? It could be due to trying to avoid a conflict, or it could be because of misplaced loyalty. Whatever the reason, it’s going to take some introspection to discover why you’re a people pleaser.
These people-pleaser quotes are here to help you see how your behaviour can harm you in the long term. If you’re looking for answers about people pleasers, then that’s a subconscious signal that you know something is out of place.
1. “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
2. “People pleasing pleases everyone but the pleaser.” – Sanjo Jendayi
3. “Sometimes you don’t realize you are actually drowning when you are trying to be everyone else’s anchor.” – Anonymous
4. “I feel joy when I do a great show. I get fun out of making other people happy. I'm a terminal people-pleaser. I suppose that's why I'm a frontman.” – Ozzy Osbourne
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. “If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself” – Jocelyn Murray
7. “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
8. “You are not designed for everyone to like you.” – Anonymous
9. “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
10. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle
11. “We cannot please all men but we can be a blessing to many.” – Mac Canoza
12. “Never seek to please anyone. Seek to evolve thyself.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
13. “For 25 years, I did take my responsibilities as a pleaser of others sufficiently seriously.” – Joyce Maynard
14. “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
15. “They try to please others, give to others, and care for others in a desperate hope that they may make themselves worthy.” – Beverly Engel
16. “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
17. “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
18. “As much as I don’t want to admit it, I really am a people pleaser. If I throw a party at my house, it’s hard for me to relax. I’m too obsessed with whether everyone’s having a good time.” – Rachael Harris
19. “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
20. “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” – Anonymous
21. “If you try to please all, you please none.” – Aesop
22. “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. From the book: Removing Your Shame Label.” – Eddie Capparucci
23. “I gotta stop treating people like I owe them something.” – Tupac
24. “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
25. “If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself” – Jocelyn Murray
26. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu
27. “If they were there for you when you had nothing, they are the ones worth having now. If they only notice you because of what you have gained, are they worth having at all?” – Donna Lynn Hope
28. “Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can’t accept who you are.” – Turcois Ominek
29. “You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” – Mandy Hale
30. “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
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
31. “When you say yes to others, make sure you arent saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coehlo
32. “The biggest mistake we commit in life is to think that others will get affected by our action and we shall leave some effect on them.. In this hope, we make others' reactions our priority and fail to perform the task we're supposed to do right at the moment.” – Himmilicious
33. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
34. “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
35. “To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others.” – Criss Jami
36. “I can't tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” – Ed Sheeran
37. “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
38. “Don’t be a people pleaser. Trust your instincts.” – Salome Mumba
39. “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
40. “Self-Care is giving the world the best of you, not the rest of you.” – Katie Reed
41. “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
42. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Alder
43. “People pleasing doesn't allow you to receive.” – Abiola Abrams
44. “The surest way to lose your self-worth is by trying to find it through the eyes of others.” – Becca Lee
45. “The deepest pain I ever felt was denying my own feelings to make everyone else comfortable.” – Nicole Lyons
46. “Nothing too good can come out from people always agreeing with you.” – Omar Cherif
47. “You must stop pleasing others because those other people literally have no idea who you ARE.” – Julie Lythcott-Haims
48. “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
49. “I can't help it. I want everybody to love me and it hurts so when anybody doesn't.” – L.M. Montgomery
50. “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
51. “Sometimes you aren’t listening to your body because you’re listening to everybody else’s expectations.” – Ann Voskamp
52. “I used to be a major people pleaser, but that way purgatory lies.” – Tracie Bennett
53. “Niceness is the psychological armor of the people-pleaser.” – Harriet B. Braiker
54. “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
55. “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
56. “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
57. “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
That brings us to the end of our compilation. These quotes will help you understand how your people-pleasing ways are negatively impacting your mental and physical health. The balance between staying true to yourself and compromising is a hard one to walk, it takes time and wisdom to develop your boundaries.
In the meantime, check out these 11 steps to be emotionally independent from others. The first step is to become more sure of yourself and de-couple yourself from needing their approval.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.
Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.