Parent Pleasers become People Pleasers — How to overcome this common Childhood Wound.

Nicole Baptista
3 min readMay 14, 2021
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

“I hate that I’m unable to say no.”

“I hate that I’m unable to stick up for myself. How did I become this way?”

These are thoughts that cross the minds of the people pleasers frequently. People pleasers are experts at accommodating other people’s needs but often putting themselves last. As long as others are happy, people pleasers are happy — or are we?

These are some of the traits most people pleasers have in common:

>>A strong need for control.
>> Needing to be perfect.
>> Changing ourselves so that we blend into the group.
>> Feeling completely burned out from taking care of others.

So let’s get one thing straight:

We are not born as people pleasers. We don’t just pop out of the womb and then God says, “This one is going to be a people pleaser.”

All jokes aside, we learn what we see. The root of people-pleasing comes from the early stages of life; by this, I mean the way we were cared for, treated, and loved by our parents.

We all come into the world wanting love and nurturing.

For some of us, accommodating our parents’ wishes was the safest way to earn their love and respect. Some parents are highly critical of their children, withhold compliments and approval, hold high expectations of their children, or have angry outbursts when their children do something wrong.

Some people-pleasing children are confused by this as they grew up in loving and affectionate households. Therefore, this doesn’t apply to them. Yet, if our parents go from hot to cold when we do something right or wrong, this is really confusing for a child. One moment mum or dad is happy and affectionate, and the next moment, they are snappy and distant.

It could be something as simple as a child not wanting to eat (as they are a picky eater), and mum flips out and says, “Why do you have to be so difficult?” Or dad being disappointed when his child doesn’t get the best grades in maths at school.

Nicole Baptista

Writer I Poet I Language Teacher. Let's talk: Spirituality, education, feminism. Also baby goat obsessed. Insta: @nicoleandthemoon