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How To Deal With The People Pleaser In The Workplace

How To Deal With The People Pleaser In The Workplace

People-pleasers will agree with everyone just to keep a quiet life. They tend to find it difficult to express themselves and keep their emotions hidden. They are terrified to give their opinions and avoid conflict whenever possible.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

People-pleasers tend to be highly accommodating and may find it difficult to refuse requests or demands from others. While this trait can be advantageous in some circumstances, working with a people-pleaser who struggles to set boundaries and could take on more than they can reasonably handle can be difficult.

Love the people-pleaser

People-pleasers want to be loved by everyone, even if some employees they work with are bullies, perverts, or lunatics. When it comes to being accepted, there are no morals with what the people pleaser will do.

They tend to love being micromanaged and will do whatever is necessary to impress and win people over—which is ultimately all they want—by going above and beyond. If you compliment them, they won't forget and will love you all the more for it.

Perhaps there is no need to be concerned with dealing with the people pleaser. However, you shouldn't count on them to be your only ally because, if you have an opponent in the office, they will seek to appease them and not just you.

Depending on how well they actually perform in the workplace, they may be promoted within the company but still could be portrayed by some around the office, as a brown noser.

They have also been referred to as "chameleons in the room" because you might not notice them. If they suddenly get promoted above you, they may feel guilty because they have realized they can no longer please you. However, if you are in a lower position and pay grade, this will help them get over it more quickly because you have no power over them.


If the desire is to please people then there is no harm in getting them to do some of your work or even pick up your groceries at the local store. They'll listen to your hard-done stories and agree with whatever unfortunate circumstances you're dealing with. Look it like free counselling.

If they start to show less interest in you as time goes by, cause some friction by clearly stating that you feel upset as they have been neglecting you recently. This will be sure to get you a coffee made and a nice cuddle and chat, telling you how wonderful you are as the people pleaser doesn't want to cause conflict of any kind.

How to deal with the people pleaser

Help them to delegate: Encourage your coworker to assign duties or obligations to others if they are overburdened with work. Their workload may be lightened as a result, and tasks may be successfully performed. More of your own tasks should be assigned to them if this doesn't work.

Provide support and encouragement: Offer your coworker support and encouragement as they work to set boundaries and assert themselves. Remind them that it is okay to prioritize their own needs and that it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Make sure they are working on your tasks first.

Be understanding and patient: Remember that it can be difficult for people pleasers to change their habits, and it may take time for them to become more comfortable setting boundaries. Be understanding and patient as they work to make these changes. Give them two days at most then report them to your line manager for being insubordinate.

Seek help if necessary: If your colleague's people-pleasing behaviour is causing ongoing problems or is affecting their well-being, it may be necessary to seek help from your manager or HR. They can provide additional support and resources to help your colleague improve their communication and assertiveness skills by firing them on the spot.

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James Mason profile image
by James Mason

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