The Horrific, Hidden Destructiveness of HAVING to Be Nice To Others

My right ankle doesn’t bend as much as my left – causing imbalances, injuries, wear/tear, movement limitations, and pain across my body over the years.

One of the reasons for my ankle’s limitation?

My physical therapist was a hardcore People Pleaser.

After ~3 months of appointments, three times/week, diligently following her instructions, I had a gut sense things weren’t going right.

The repetition and lack of progress concerned me, and each week I asked her if I was improving on schedule.

She kept saying all was fine, TRUST THE PROCESS, Erin.

We hit the 5 or 6 month mark, and I knew all was not fine. I didn’t have proper range of motion.

So I called the PT one evening and demanded the truth.

“I’ve trusted the process. I’ve done EVERYTHING you’ve said. You’re telling me I need to keep coming back three times a week. Do you HONESTLY believe you can help me get my range of motion back???”

The PT broken down into tears on the phone. Sobbing, she said,
“No, you haven’t been making progress for MONTHS now, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell you because you’ve been so down about this whole situation and I didn’t want to make you even more sad, Erin.”

I was horrified. Dumbfounded.

Because my PT had been SO worried about “making me more sad”…

…I lost my opportunity to pursue proper physical therapy treatment…

…and my ankle had scarred down completely.

I’d wasted a half year of my life, hours away from work each week, time away from activity, and countless thousands of dollars, because my PT (who couldn’t help me and knew it) never told me.

Instead, she lied to me, three times a week, for MONTHS, harming my recovery, all because she couldn’t bare to see me sad.

I ended up needing to go in for ANOTHER surgery to clean out the scarring caused by the inadequate therapy, and start PT all over again.

My ankle (and life) have never been the same, in part due to my PT’s need to people please


Experiencing happiness from bringing joy to fellow humans is a lovely thing.

Being a full-blown People Pleaser, on the other hand, means you DERIVE YOUR SELF WORTH from doing so.

And anyone who’s followed me for a bit knows that when you derive self-worth from an action, that action becomes a COMPULSION for the entirety of your life.

You can’t stop taking that action, because if you do, you feel like an empty shell of a person.

If you disappoint or upset someone, you feel worthless. So you’ll do ANYTHING to prevent disappointment.

  • Lie.
  • Steal.
  • Cheat.
  • Fudge the truth.
  • Ignore your body.
  • Ignore your own needs.
  • Giving up hours of sleep.
  • Avoid difficult conversations.
  • Lower your pricing even further.

ANYTHING is better to you than letting others down

If you brag about being a “hardcore people pleaser”, you have a compulsion, not a positive trait.

Compulsions are destructive and hurt you as well as those you love, because they control you, NOT vice versa.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking people pleasing makes you a better person.

Chronic people pleasing is destructive.

But it doesn’t have to be something you struggle with forever.

Fortunately, we have the key at MindFix to turn people pleasing from a compulsion into a choice — meaning it can be a positive trait instead of something that has control over you.

Many of our clients overcome their people pleasing problems in a couple of months after working with us here at MindFix. You can too. Just take the first step and reach out; let’s talk.

< Return to previous page

When you're tired of getting in your own way, and you know you're capable of SO much more, it's time to talk to us.


    Questions? We’re here to help. Drop us a quick note and we’ll get back to you asap.