More women are people pleasers than men. We love to support, help and be there when others need us. It makes us feel good. We're there for our families, friends, and colleagues and sometimes have very little energy left over for ourselves.
The trouble is you can’t please everyone all the time. You end up feeling pulled in every direction and exhausted.
People Pleasing: The Downfall of Female Leaders
One quality people need from us as leaders are consistency. I once had a manager who was a pleaser. She was always cheering us on and supporting and praising until she wasn’t. More and more often, she would get angry and belligerent and yell at us. I resigned. I told her if you're going to be a jerk- at least be a jerk all the time; then at least we know what to expect.
People need consistency in relationships, especially from their leaders. Without it, we feel unsettled and insecure.
Is it easier to be consistent if you are a people pleaser? Or, is it easier to be consistent if you're more disciplined, rule bound, inflexible or stern in your ways?
If you are a pleaser, you can be inconsistent because your values revolve around helping others. We can’t control the level or timing of that help so we'll often feel torn and unable to consistently support others.
If you are more disciplined and rule bound, your helping parameters will be more clear to others.
Taken further, if you're positive and helpful versus negative or difficult, people rely on you more often. Whereas with difficult people, others just learn to steer clear. Studies show difficult people get better shifts, they work with better people, and they get to do the better jobs.
Thus, for some, it's a lot easier to be consistently difficult than to be always positive. The downfall of being a people pleaser is your energy and passion revolves around other people and can be inconsistent.
As a female motivational speaker, I speak for a lot of women's conferences. Women seem to suffer from people pleasing the most. Being a mother, a friend, a spouse and a great team player can be exhausting and almost impossible to please everyone.
Also, keep in mind if you try to be everybody's best friend, you avoid taking risks and your agreeableness makes you blend in instead of standing out. By trying to please others, you hold yourself back.