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Trigger warning: Mention of abuse

You have to wonder how some people always sacrifice themselves just for the sake of pleasing others. That goes beyond kindness. If that describes you, then why do you do it? I don’t mean to sound interrogatory. However, why would you want to step over your boundaries to help others when they likely will not even appreciate it? Are you afraid that they won’t like you? Are you willing to sacrifice your sleep and time for self-care for the sake of doing favors for people who are only taking advantage of you? Are you willing to go out of your way to help someone who really could not care less about you? If that is the case, then you are a people-pleaser.

What Is A People-Pleaser?

Being a people-pleaser doesn’t really sound that bad when you think about what it sounds like on the surface. I  mean, you want to be kind because there isn’t enough kindness in the world. I am all for that. However, the danger of being a people-pleaser is that you are doing everything for others while risking your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those who are close to you. What happens when your loved ones express anger and frustration when you are not taking care of yourself for the sake of helping others? What happens when your loved ones are frustrated with you because you are not really there for them when you help those who don’t even care about you? You will end up feeling more guilty and will even sacrifice more of yourself to them.

Being a people-pleaser is what today’s tarot combination represents. Today you have the Three of Swords and the Eight of Cups tarot card combo. The Three of Swords represents heartache, guilt, and depression. The Eight of Cups means having to move forward emotionally from a troubling situation. Eight of Cups can represent having to cut a toxic person out of your life, and that is hard to do, but if it is for the best, then that is the best form of self-care you can do. However, when you have this combination, the Three of Swords makes you feel incredibly guilty for cutting someone toxic out of your life, represented by the Eight of Cups. Instead, you keep trying to win their approval by being a people-pleaser. And before you know it, you are there to sacrifice everything you have to attempt to make others happy – which usually does not work and only results in them taking advantage of you.

Three Of Swords And Eight Of Cups Tarot Card Combination: Pleasing Others At Your Expense

Miriam Reads Tarot

The tarot card combination represents being a people pleaser because of feeling too bad and guilty from cutting bad people out of your life. And you will keep pleasing others beyond those people because you desperately want them to like you. People who are confident and sure of themselves will only help if it is not at their expense, and they will not hesitate to cut toxic people out of their lives no matter how difficult it may be. They will also have an easier time moving forward and past negative feelings.

What does that mean? Do only people with low self-esteem fall into the people-pleasing trap? Yes. That is what it means. If you have confidence and high self-esteem, you will not go out of your way to please others who don’t deserve it. You won’t go out of your way to make others happy if you don’t tend to your needs first (unless you are a parent and an exception).

If you are a people-pleaser, in addition to having low self-esteem, you struggle with saying ‘no,’ and you also cannot stand the idea of others not liking you. That is why, for instance, you will give up the idea of going to your favorite concert when your acquaintance (who only calls you when they need something) needs help with moving to another home. They will contact you because they know you will be there to help, and they are right because you struggle with telling them ‘no.’ After you work hard helping your acquaintance move, they won’t thank you or even show any grain of gratitude towards you. However, you care, and you notice that, and it angers you. The frustration and resentment pent up inside you cause you to binge-eat or max out your credit card shopping. Yet, if they asked you to do another favor, you would be there to do it and sacrifice doing something else you love or need. Winning their approval is more important.

You will even agree with others about things you do not agree with, but you will do it because you want them to like you! You will even apologize for something that you were never responsible for doing. You also have a hard time with authenticity as you won’t know who you are and what you feel. Pushing your needs and wants to the backburner to please others will do that to you. Not only do you give and not receive, but you never have free time for yourself because you are always out there rescuing or helping someone who doesn’t need you. And if they act as they do, then they will take advantage of you.

What Is The Reason For People-Pleasing?

Are some people just prone to being too nice? Maybe. However, even ‘nice’ people with confidence honor their boundaries and will only do favors for others when it serves their purpose. They will never sacrifice their needs and wants unless caring for their kids or an elderly parent. And even then, they will not hesitate to get respite by arranging help or babysitting if it is the former. They are not people-pleasers. They are people who have a kind of generous disposition.

People-pleases usually are damaged from a young age because of ongoing abuse. They were made to believe that they were unworthy of love and respect. Abuse victims suffer from the effects of childhood trauma due to the ongoing abuse, whether it is physical, emotional, verbal, or even bullying at school. Many abuse victims in adulthood struggle to heal from the damage inflicted on them. They just want others to like them and approve of them, which is why they will go out of their way to please others without even acknowledging their boundaries. Is it sad? Unfortunately, it is, but it is a reality of the way victims of abuse live.

The only way victims of abuse can become more confident and develop healthier self-esteem is by setting boundaries, saying ‘no’ when they should, and not sacrificing their needs and wants to those who don’t deserve their time and energy. It is very hard at first for those who are used to pleasing others and sacrificing themselves all of the time. However, with consistency and practice to say ‘no’ at appropriate times, they will not be known as people-pleasers so much.


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