Being Kind V’s People Pleasing. What’s The Difference

Being Kind V’s People Pleasing. What’s The Difference

The number one question I get asked when it comes to people pleasing is what’s the difference between doing something nice for someone (aka kindness) compared to people pleasing. Today I’m going to flesh this out because I want people to know that it’s okay to be kind but it needs to come from a place that feels good. 

Us humans love to help others, we are a collective of social creatures who thrive in communities. Which means working together to build and create. This is how we have such amazing creations in the world today. We also love to nurture others and see them thrive. Communities stick together, looking out for one another – it’s how we create bonds, strengthen relationships and even fall in love. 

If we come to understand that being kind is a part of being human and it’s our nature then we can continue to give and love on others. 


When kindness is given from a place of wanting acceptance, seeking approval, validation, to feel loved or from fear – this is people pleasing. 

People pleasing is where we do something for someone else in return for something. For example, perhaps you take your mother to the hospital each week but it’s starting to affect your work, you have siblings that could also do it but you don’t ask them because you think they won’t do it, so you continue doing it otherwise your mother won’t get better and you don’t want to let her down.  Another example might be that your group of friends are having a big old party on Friday night and as much as you would love to go (and you do) you had a huge week at work and are totally shattered so you show up because you don’t want to let the birthday girl down even though an early night might be just what you need. 

Perhaps at work, you stay back late each day to get on top of tasks in order to show your boss how kick-ass you are at your job only to be lumped with more work because you are so darn capable, you keep saying yes to new projects but are burnout, your health is not great and you are trying so darn hard to show them that you deserve the promotion by sacrificing your wellbeing. 

People pleasing comes in all shapes and forms – take my quiz to find out your personality. However, this means we all have different quirks and mannerisms and a reason behind why we are doing it in the first place. 

Now it’s not to say you should stop taking your mother to the hospital, do overtime to get the promotion or ditch your friends. It’s about how you are doing these things. 

If you feel any resentment or frustration after doing an act of kindness – it possibly (most likely) means that you are in fact trying to please the other person. And you are actually sacrificing your own happiness. 

People pleasers sacrifice their own well-being for others. This means that when you are giving – you are denying yourself.  You rather make sure other people are happy than worrying about your needs first. This is the difference between being kind. 

Kindness is giving from a full cup, where you have the ability to share your energy without expectations, judgment or assumptions. You do it because you truly care and have the capacity and means to do so. 

This is why, it’s so important to love on yourself, to make sure that you are serving your needs first (if you need a little self-love help take my 5-day Self-Love Mini-Course) because when we do that it sets a standard of living.

People pleasing is where we are avoiding feelings that might arise or seeking to feel a certain way after giving. We are hoping for an outcome from our actions – inevitably we are hoping for the best – not to let others down, to live up to expectations, not hurt other’s feelings or even prove who we are. 

It’s almost like a game, keeping everyone happy but the person who isn’t happy is usually us. That is the big difference. We give and give, waiting for something in return but at the end of the day, the only person who is going to make us happy is US! That is why it’s so important to Prioritise You! to celebrate yourself and focus on your happiness so you can be kind because your cup is full and overflowing. 

I hope that this post shows both sides of kindness and people pleasing and that you can see the difference for yourself. If you have any questions just comment below.


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