Don’t be a People Pleaser

Don’t be a People Pleaser


I must admit as a therapist of 30 + years , I am used to being up to date on all that is connected to mind therapy.  I have added many qualifications to my repertoire over the 30 years of my being in business.  But last year flicking through social media (as one does to pass away some time lol).  I started to see this word “fawn” coming up in quite few posts.  This led me to doing some research into what this new “buzz” word was all about.

The dictionary term for fawning

  1. displaying exaggerated flattery or affection; obsequious.

“fawning adoration”

So the definition of fawning is:

seeking or used to seek approval or favor by means of flattery …

OLD TERM: A people-pleaser!

Fawning is a term used for people pleasing to diffuse conflict, to feel secure in relationships and to get approval from others.

Ok now I get it.  I understand and have dealt with many clients over the years whom were people pleasers.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of where does the core of fawning actually start?

The art of fawning is often developed in early childhood through:

  • Abuse
  • Physical Violence
  • Sexual or Verbal abuse
  • Narcissistic abuse

The “fawn” response is driven by fear, letting go of their own personal power and a desire for validation.

To avoid any form of conflict, negative emotions, and a feeling as though a person is feeling traumatised, people who “fawn” when they feel triggered by someone, will mirror someone’s opinions and calm them in order to soften any potential issue or situation.

This comes across as a person who is very nice, generous and complimentary and concerned about the other person. They tend to blend in around others, never rocking the boat by saying no, or putting themselves first.  This way they feel safe.

Why is a people pleaser this way?

This tendency will usually stem from their childhood. They have often grown up in a somewhat controlling and pretty turbulent household, which they internally felt that if they were well behaved, could minimize any conflict and make them feel loved and secure.

In adult life will then have then put their own needs last, put conversations off, ignore their own boundaries.  Unfortunately, this behaviour can make them extremely vulnerable to emotional abuse.

This behaviour is a continuing story of their childhood.

This is the reason why people-pleasers can become drawn to abusive relationships and turn away from any loving relationships.  They feel safer if the relationship is controlling.

Why is this?  Because the individual feels that love must be “earned” to have the feeling of safety and security.

Now this does not just happen in romantic relationships, it can also be work or friendships.

An example of this In a romantic relationship, a fawner can be drawn to a narcissist, why, because that person is controlling and calls all of the shots, so the people pleaser feels safe and loved as they are always seeking the other person’s approval.  The narcissist will offer love and affection, but only so much then they will withdraw the affection before things feel stable,.  This way the people pleaser will keep trying to go out of their way to “fawn” and receive the affection again.

The fawn type is continually giving away their power and freedom for the abuse to continue  

At work a people pleaser will go out of their way to go above and beyond to impress their manager or boss who will take advantage of their boundaries.

In friendships the people pleaser will attract people who will take advantage of their nice and giving nature.  They will be in pursuit of these people to impress them, rather than the loving friendships that are healthy for them.

Fawners usually will struggle with addictions, because they attempt to numb every emotion they are struggling with.

It is imperative for the fawners healing, to practice setting new boundaries, putting their own needs first and practising self love.  Learning to say no and not feel guilty or feel they have to justify why!

You are important enough to put yourself first.

hen a fawner begins to heal from within and it will be a journey.  Their  beautiful caring personality will shine out more so that they will leave the toxic people behind.  The right people will find them and the ones that count already in their lives, will love them more.


Firstly, I am a trained, qualified, and practicing Dr of metaphysical Science, mind/body transformational/ manifesting master life coach, EMDR therapist and master of NLP, timeline therapist, empath and suicidal counsellor. I have over 30 years’ experience in these fields of helping people to divinely connect with and embrace their authentic selves. I guide people to weave the magic of their own inner strength and power into every aspect of their lives, creating a radical shift from within. This shift moves the person away from self-doubt, low self-esteem, sadness, depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and panic attacks.