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June 18, 2021

5 Ways that Being a Pushover is Harmful to Your Mental Health

People pleasing and being a pushover tends to be a very common problem, one that is wrought with insecurity and fear. People pleasers tend to sacrifice their own wants, needs and opinions, ensuring that others will approve and like them.  When you neglect yourself in this way and live in constant fear of what others think, it not only drains you physically, but it takes a serious toll on your mental health. Here are 5 ways that your mental health will suffer as you attempt to people please your way through life. 

High Stress

As a pushover, your inability to say no will have you adding even more activities and tasks that you don’t want to do to your already busy plate. This could mean taking on more responsibility at work or simply saying yes to a night out when you’d rather stay in. Either way, consistently putting others first and your own wants and needs last will eventually send your stress level off the charts. Instead of saying yes to a whole bunch of things you don’t want, decide what makes YOU happy and say yes to that instead. 


When you put your all into making everyone else happy, you aren’t being true to yourself. Your wants, needs, likes, opinions – all of that goes out the window as you try to edit yourself to “fit” whoever it is you’re trying to please. It’s extremely stressful to put on a show, keep up appearances and give 110% of yourself to someone else because you feel as if you need their approval. This makes it very easy to slip into depression and loneliness because you neglect who and what really matters – YOU. 


When you spend most of your time caring for and pleasing others, without getting much in return, a huge load of resentment will start to set in. On the surface you will be full of smiles and yes’s, however behind closed doors it will be a different story. You’ll start to resent yourself for giving so much and also resent others for not caring enough to return the favor. If you don’t change course, this is a dead-end road that will lead to frustration, discontent, and unhappiness. 

Losing Yourself

As you focus more on pleasing other people, you begin to sacrifice your own identity and lose who you really are. Changing yourself to fit in for the approval of others causes you to stop walking your own path and take theirs instead. This leads to an internal battle that leaves you feeling drained, frustrated, and uncertain about who you are and what you want. It will also impact your close relationships because you spend so much time placing your energy in the wrong corner.  


The longer you put the needs of others front and center, the more anxiety you’re going to have. If you are a chronic people-pleaser, you tend to worry constantly about being good enough, fitting in, and being accepted by those around them. For this reason, your imperfections and mistakes are magnified at all times and you become your own worst critic. This alone can cause your anxiety to go through the roof because you feel like you don’t measure up to the image that everyone expects. 

Being a pushover can have a serious impact on your mental health and will keep you stuck in a vicious cycle of anxiety and depression. Rather than looking for approval from everyone else, start searching inward and give yourself some of the love and energy you’ve been doling out to everyone else.   

Do you worry that you might be a pushover? Take my quick and easy quiz to find out!

Click here to take the quiz

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Dr. Monique Belton

Executive Coach and Clinical Psychologist, Monique Belton, Ph.D. helps empower people to create their dreams.

Dr. Monique Belton

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