Look over the following items, checking the ones that might apply to you on a fairly frequent basis:

  • I have opinions about right and wrong, yet I will not always stand firm when faced with a persuasive person.
  • I can be motivated by guilt.
  • It really bothers me if I have upset someone.
  • I feel that I try harder to make relationships work than others do.
  • People would be surprised to know about the resentment that is bottled up inside me.
  • When another person is angry I go into the appeasement mode.
  • If my decisions are called into question, I feel I’d better have a good justification.
  • When I do something for my own pleasure, I may feel selfish.
  • Too often, I’ll do someone else’s chores because they won’t do them.
  • Sometimes I just try too hard to be nice.
  • I have to tread lightly due to key people who are moody.
  • It seems my world is full of requirements and duties.
  • With certain people, I find myself measuring my words very carefully.
  • Even when I am nice to others, it seems that they still want more.
  • There are times when I just give up on being taken seriously or feeling understood.
  • I can let people determine too much of my schedule or priorities.
  • Too often, I explain my reasoning over and over, even though it is clear that the other person won’t hear what I have to say.
  • I have stayed in bad relationships long after I knew they were good for me.
  • Being firm can be hard for me at times.
  • It seems that others will accept me only as long as I conform to their ways.

If you responded to five or less of these statements, people pleasing is probably not a dominant trait. In fact, you may lean more in a headstrong direction.

If you responded to six to nine of the statements, you may have moments when your people pleasing produces some compromising moments, although it should be expected that you have enough of a mind of assertiveness to keep you from feeling chronically swamped by others’ demands.

If you responded to ten or more of the statements, you are likely to have frequent moments when you are too accommodating for your own good. There is a strong likelihood that you set aside your own good preferences for the sake of keeping others off your back, and it is likely that those efforts do not produce rewarding results.


Dr. Les Carter