Are You A Pleaser Or A Server?



I am a recovering people pleaser. It has taken me many years to overcome this addiction. I had to understand why I wanted to please and I had to learn new behaviours to replace my old pleaser tendencies. But my recovery was not complete until I learned the difference between trying to please someone and being of service.

Do you know the difference?


People Pleaser

  • Looks for validation of themselves in others. They seek external rewards.
  • They abandon their authentic self and try and mold themselves into what they think others expect them to be or act as.
  • Pleasers are living from a position of fear. Fear of not being loved. Fear of being alone. Fear of rejection. Fear of intimidation. Fear of being insignificant.
  • Are disconnected from source. Feel alone and so seek connection externally.
  • The ego rules the thoughts and action of a people pleaser.
  • Pleaser live their life small. Live in others shadows. Take subordinate rolls.

To be a people pleaser is a vicious battle that can never be won because all approval of self comes from outside sources.

The ego is the external identity that you constructed of yourself. Humans need an ego to understand their relationship of self and how it fits into reality. A wounded ego will strive for acceptance anyway it can by seeking, even craving outside influences. Disappointments in life only fuel the egos need to seek even more approval from others.

Both negative and positive stimuli feed it but can never satisfy it because whatever label we take on by our egos is not our truth. I am smart. I am stupid. I am pretty. I am ugly. All labels we use to validate who we are. All descriptions we learned from outside sources.

People pleasers use their energy helping others, pleasing others to make themselves, via their ego feel emotions, good bad or otherwise.


The Server

  • Has a strong sense of self.
  • Helps others with no expectation of eternal rewards.
  • Understands that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
  • One who serves understands that by helping others they feed their own soul and that is, in itself the best reward.
  • Servers understand their own feelings and emotions and are soul centered.
  • Servers get validation from themselves and their connection to source.
  • There is no ulterior motivation in their desire to help or even please another other than wanting and being able to help.

When you can step away from your ego and open yourself to the infinite community of souls you can work from your heart. Understanding that gratification comes from self and that authentic pleasing, through service to others, fills your heart as well as other’s hearts and is the true path to wholeness.

I use to think that to be of service to others, giving selflessly of myself would result in diminishing myself in some way. The loss of my time, the loss of potential income and even the loss of external recognition, those fears where really coming from my old people pleasing paradigm. But the truth is, serving others is actually a selfish act because the internal happy dance of love that ones heart does when we serve is a very pleasing emotion.

As Ricky Nelson once sang in his song, Garden Party, “You can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.” Wise words indeed. We were meant to give freely of our unique gifts. Using our gifts pleases us and in return we serve others by honoring them with those gifts. Once I understood that, I was able to put my ego centered, people pleasing past behind me.


Friends don’t let friends serve alone. By sharing this post you can be of service to a friend.

Published by Diana Frajman

Wisdom blogger who believes that the wise older woman is the most powerful brand females come in.

8 thoughts on “Are You A Pleaser Or A Server?

    1. Maybe it has to do with getting into the Crones years and you finally realize what a waste of energy trying to please others is 😉
      Thanks for the comment. Haven’t heard from you in a while. Good to know you are still out there.

  1. My poor son is a people pleaser, I worry about that. My daughter however….actually paid attention when I spoke. Two servers and one pleaser in this house. 🙂

    1. One of the tough parts of being a parent is allowing your children to figure out their own path. My husband and I are always butting heads with this. As a father he can not help but feel he should “fix it” for his children. What can I say he loves his kids 🙂

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