4 Ways for the People Pleaser to be Trustworthy

People pleasers walk around constantly trying to please others for a number of reasons. They do this with the facade that they’re overjoyed to do whatever it is anyone and everyone asks of them. Always a kind greeting, a smile on their face, and manners out the wazoo. However, that’s not always the case. They (or we) are actually an untrustworthy group for this reason. We don’t actually want to do all the things for everyone. We don’t want to always smile or greet you nicely or use manners ALL THE TIME. It’s time we start speaking up and letting others trust that what we say is what we mean.

Here are 5 ways to be more trustworthy as a people pleaser:

Communicate What You Feel and Need

It’s your responsibility to let others know if something they’ve done bothers you. Let’s say you don’t speak up. Well then, the thing that bothers you continues to happen, and you begin to resent this person. When you’ve finally had enough and tell this person you want out of the relationship (whether intimate, friendly, or job related) they are blindsided. Looking back, it would’ve been easier for you to speak up in the beginning and state your feelings on the matter.

If your needs aren’t being met by a boss, partner, or friend, again, it’s your responsibility to share what you need. How can someone fulfill your needs if they don’t know what you need? People pleasers wish everyone could magically read their minds. I know because I still wish this sometimes.

Set Boundaries. Keep Boundaries.

Trust is doing what you say you will do. If you set a boundary, you better keep that boundary. If you warn someone that you won’t tolerate their degrading tone, you need to actually leave the room once they have a tone that you perceive as ugly. When you tell your teenager to be home by a certain time and they fail to do so, do they receive some kind of consequence? If not, they know they can’t trust you to follow through, so they continue to break curfew.

Even if the other party doesn’t like your boundary, it still needs to be set, and you still need to follow through and keep that boundary. Otherwise, you’re not trustworthy. And I promise, they would rather trust you than not.

Be Honest About Your Abilities

You can’t say yes to everything and still take care of yourself. If you’ve been on the earth any amount of time, you know that many people take advantage of other people. So, if you’re agreeing to help everyone around you, you’re being dishonest to them and you. You can’t possibly be a spouse, parent, child, friend, sibling, group organizer, volunteer, church member, employee and also be at everyone’s beckon call. Embracing all those activities causes you to neglect something, which ends up being yourself. Now, if you actually want to neglect yourself, that’s different. I’ve never met anyone that enjoys neglecting themself though.

Don’t be the Kindest Person in the Room

I say this because I can spot a people pleaser pretty easily. When that sweet as pie person approaches me with a smile and an unwavering willingness to help me with anything I might need, it’s a put on (not always but a lot of the time). I automatically don’t trust that whatever face they’re showing me is how they truthfully feel. I want to tell them they don’t have to overdo it for me to like them. Will people take advantage of this kindness? ABSOLUTELY they will!

But think of this from an employer standpoint. Do you really want employees who will do everything you ask of them without having their own opinions? So, you also want them to harbor built up resentment and easily burnout? Oh then, you also like a big turnover rate? You must also really love a low profit margin and love even more having nobody that likes or trusts you. I would venture to say you might think you love someone working for you that does exactly what you say, but in actuality, it does nothing positive for your business. Therefore, can you really trust an employee that says and does exactly what you want? Probably not.

Am I Trustworthy

Breaking trust in a relationship is sometimes thought to be only about cheating or having an affair. There’s so much more to it than that. There’s emotional trust. Financial trust. Basic need trust. An example could be that one person is always keeping the peace which goes against their personal needs. In this example the one with unmet needs hasn’t honestly laid out to people around them what those needs are and lets everyone assume everything is just fine.

I’m not saying be abrasive, blunt, passive aggressive or say the first thoughts that come to your mind. That would be more like emotional dysregulation and impulsivity. I’m saying be matter of fact, true to yourself, your needs, and your feelings. That’s not just being honest with yourself but with others. This gives everyone around you reason to trust you.

A wonderful book about trust is ‘Trust: Knowing When to Give it, When to Withhold it, How to Earn it, and How to Fix it When it gets Broken by Dr. Henry Cloud. It gave me great insight and a deep dive into the meaning of trust and when you should and shouldn’t trust somebody else. You can find the book on amazon Trust: Knowing When to Give It, When to Withhold It, How to Earn It, and How to Fix It When It Gets Broken: Cloud, Dr. Henry: 9781546003373: Amazon.com: Books.

Finally, are you trustworthy? Well, are you saying what you mean, are you keeping boundaries, are you being honest, are you taking time for yourself, and are you kind 24/7/365? Nobody wants to be sweet every second of every day. You’ll have to answer this question for yourself. Much love to you all!


Jenn Kemp, PMHNP, is a dedicated psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner with a personal and professional commitment to helping others overcome people-pleasing behaviors. Having navigated her own journey through these habits, Jenn combines clinical expertise with genuine empathy to guide her readers towards healthier, more authentic lives.

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