People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

 / 

,
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

We all want to be liked and accepted by others. It’s a deep human need. But there’s a fine line between being a genuinely kind person and being a people-pleaser. That’s why we need to understand the concept of people-pleasing vs kindness. 

Let’s explore the difference between kindness and people pleasing so you can figure out which one you are.

What is People-Pleasing Behavior?

People-pleasing is the act of going out of your way to make others happy, even at the expense of your own needs and boundaries. People-pleasers have a deep-seated fear of rejection or conflict, so they’ll often say “yes” to things they don’t want to do, just to avoid upsetting someone. They’re hypersensitive to others’ reactions and constantly worry about what people think of them.

people-pleasing vs kindness
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

People-pleasers are often the first to volunteer for tasks, offer to help, or make sacrifices. On the surface, this seems like kindness. But the underlying motivation is a need for approval and validation from others

Related: Are You A People Pleaser?

People-pleasers have trouble saying “no” because they’re terrified of the consequences – they think people will reject them or think badly of them. This leads to burnout, resentment, and a loss of their own identity.

It’s important to note that people-pleasing is not the same as being a kind or generous person. It is only a form of fear-based kindness. True kindness comes from a place of self-love and security, whereas people-pleasing stems from insecurity and a fear of being disliked.

What is Kindness?

Kindness is a self-expression. It is a genuine desire to help others and make their lives better. Kind people have empathy and want to relieve the suffering of those around them. But they also have healthy boundaries and practice self-care. They’re able to say “no” when necessary, without guilt or worry.

True kindness comes from a place of self-love and security. Kind people don’t need external validation or approval to feel good about themselves. They have a strong sense of who they are. When they help others, it’s because they genuinely want to, not because they’re craving approval or trying to earn love.

Kind people have their own needs met, so they can show up for others without becoming depleted or resentful.

Related: The Surprising Spiritual And Health Benefits Of Kindness You Need To Know

people-pleasing vs kindness
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

People-Pleasing vs Kindness: Understanding The Difference Between Kindness and People Pleasing

The key difference is that kindness is about giving from a place of abundance, while people-pleasing is about giving from a place of lack or fear.  This is the core of people-pleasing vs kindness.

Kind people have healthy boundaries and the courage to sometimes say “no” when a request is unreasonable or doesn’t align with their values. Their acts of service come from the heart, not from a desire to be liked or avoid conflict.

People-pleasers, on the other hand, often feel empty inside. They give to others compulsively, in the hope of getting the love, validation, and approval they crave. But this type of giving is ultimately unsatisfying because it’s not rooted in genuine care – it’s rooted in fear and insecurity.

People-pleasers end up feeling used, taken advantage of, and burnt out. Their “kindness” is really an attempt to control how others see them and get their emotional needs met. This is in direct contrast to true kindness, which expects nothing in return.

people-pleasing vs kindness
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

Recognizing the Signs of People-Pleasing

Now that we have gained some clarity about people-pleasing vs kindness, let’s figure out if you are a people pleaser. Here are some common signs that you might be more of a people-pleaser than a genuinely kind person:

  • You often say “yes” to things you don’t want to do, just to avoid upsetting someone.
  • You have trouble setting boundaries with others.
  • You constantly seek approval and validation from the people in your life.
  • You feel resentful or depleted after helping others.
  • You hide your true feelings and opinions to keep the peace.

If you recognize these patterns of fear-based kindness in your own behavior, it’s a good indication that you’ve slipped into people-pleasing mode, rather than coming from a place of authentic kindness.

Related: 11 Things People Pleasers End Up Doing Unintentionally

How to Cultivate True Kindness

The good news is that it’s possible to shift away from people-pleasing and towards genuine kindness. Here are some tips:

1. Work on self-acceptance and self-love

When you have a strong sense of self-worth that isn’t dependent on others’ approval, you’re less likely to engage in people-pleasing behaviors.

2. Practice setting healthy boundaries

As kindness is a self-expression, you have to understand that it’s okay to say “no” to requests that don’t align with your values or leave you feeling depleted. Kind people know their limits.

3. Become more aware of your motivations

Ask yourself whether your “kind” actions are really driven by a desire to help, or if you’re secretly hoping for praise, validation, or reward. This is why we must have a clear understanding of people-pleasing vs kindness.

4. Express yourself

Express your true thoughts and feelings, even if it means occasional conflict. Kind people aren’t afraid to respectfully disagree or stand up for themselves.

5. Focus on self-care

Make sure your own emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are being met so you have the capacity to show up for others in a sustainable way.

Related: How To Stop People-Pleasing and Still Be Nice: 5 Rules To Live By

people-pleasing vs kindness
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

Takeaway: People-Pleasing vs Kindness

Kindness and people-pleasing come from very different places within us. One is about genuine care and connection, while the other is about fear, insecurity, and a hunger for approval. 

If you want to cultivate more kindness in your life, start by learning to love and accept yourself, just as you are.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the difference between kindness and people pleasing?

Kindness is genuine and selfless, while people pleasing is driven by a need for approval and fear of rejection.

What is the root cause of people pleasing?

The root cause of people pleasing often lies in low self-esteem, fear of rejection, and a need for external validation.

Is people pleasing a red flag?

Yes, people pleasing can be a red flag, indicating possible issues with self-worth, boundaries, and emotional dependency.

kindness is a self-expression
People-Pleasing Vs Kindness: Are You Truly Being Kind?

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

The Zeigarnik Effect: The Reason You Feel Constantly Overwhelmed

The Zeigarnik Effect: Why You Feel Constantly Overwhelmed

Ever wonder why your to-do list seems to weigh you down, even when you haven’t touched it in hours? That’s the Zeigarnik effect in play! It’s the sneaky reason you can’t stop thinking about unfinished tasks and feel constantly overwhelmed. But don’t worry, we will discuss how to overcome Zeigarnik effect.

You know how having too many open Chrome tabs bogs your computer down?

The same happens to your brain.

Unfinished tasks keep “running” in the background.

It’s called the Zeigarnik Effect.

Here’s how it works and what to do about it…



Up Next

Why Do I Hate My Father? 8 Effective Ways to Mend Your Relationship

Why Do I Hate My Father? Tips to Reconnect with Your Dad

“Why do I hate my father?” – if you have ever asked yourself this question, then trust me, you are not alone. Not having a good relationship with your father is one of the most painful things to experience in life.

Father-child relationships can be really complicated in many cases, and it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions. Whether it’s due to past hurts, misunderstandings, or present conflicts, your strained relationship with him can be really challenging and hard to navigate.

But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and I have some good news for you: it is possible to improve your bonding with your dad. Today, we are going to talk about some of the best ways to strengthen your bond with your father, and turn things around for the better.

So, ready to know how you and your father can reconne



Up Next

8 Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotage

Ever wonder why he’s always gloomy and unhappy? These 8 signs reveal how he might be the source of his own misery, with self-sabotaging behaviors being an obstacle his own path to happiness.

Self-sabotage is often the biggest obstacle to happiness.

Self-sabotaging behaviors, negative mindsets, and the absence of emotional intelligence can unknowingly pave the path to a cycle of unhappiness. While external circumstances influence our success and well-being, the biggest obstacles to happiness are often found within.



Up Next

How To Talk To Anyone With Confidence? 14 Psychological Hacks For Any Situation

How To Talk To Anyone With Confidence? Fun Tricks

Do you ever wonder how to talk to anyone with confidence? Small talk may be intimidating at times but it is an ability that everyone can learn – the art of conversation!

Be it a party, a romantic date, or an office environment; one can use certain psychological tips that will help with the process and make it even more fun.

So, if you have trouble finding the right things to say, or are always in the corner of a gathering, here is how to talk to people and participate actively in different social settings with confidence.



Up Next

Why It’s So Hard to Admit You’re Wrong: 7 Surprising Psychological Barriers You Didn’t Know About

Why Is It So Hard To Admit To Being Wrong? Psychological Reasons You Need To Know

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a heated debate, feeling that gnawing sensation that you might be wrong, but don’t want to admit it? Or maybe you are watching someone double down on their stance, even when all evidence points to the contrary, and wondering, “Why can’t they just say they’re wrong?” It’s a common scenario that plays out in classrooms, workplaces, and even family dinners, leaving many of us puzzled about why it is so hard to admit to being wrong.

Admitting we’re wrong isn’t just about swallowing our pride. For some people, admitting an error feels like a failure on a personal level, thus threatening their self-esteem and identity. Others worry about being judged and what consequences may follow. It’s not stubbornness alone, but this innate fear of exposure and vulnerability that makes it hard to



Up Next

3 Relationship Check In Questions On Love, According To A Psychologist

Relationship Check In Questions For Couples In Love

It’s common for us to push relationships down our list of priorities when we get busy. We think we’ll make up for lost time later, assuming everything will be fine. But what if everything isn’t fine? Below are 3 crucial relationship check in questions for couples to make life simpler!

According to a recent publication of Current Issues in Personality Psychology, discussions were shown to be an effective strategy for solving disagreements and improving the quality of relationships.

So, a monthly relationship relationship check in questions can help keep your love boat afloat. Once a month, you and your partner can sit across from each other and talk. It isn’t about pointing fingers or finding fault; it’s about feeding the connection



Up Next

7 Situations Where You Should Stay Silent (Even If You Don’t Want To)

Situations Where You Should Stay Silent At All Costs!

Have you ever realized that being quiet might sometimes be the smartest thing to do? That’s right – there are 7 situations where you should stay silent in life, not because you fear speaking, but because it simply means gaining control over your own actions and thoughts.

Sometimes, silence is indeed golden. It can save you from unnecessary drama, stop a fight from growing worse, or even make you seem more knowledgeable and composed than you really are.

This is not about being scared to voice your opinions; it’s about knowing why you should remain