Common Characteristics of a Clutter Clearer

When you are a people pleaser, you consistently put other people’s needs before your own, want other people to approve of what you do or say, and feel responsible for their happiness. 

Those of us who are people pleasers often feel that people will only like us if we put them first, and our fear of losing that relationship or their approval, means we continue to put them first. Anxiety and depression can be a key factor in people pleasing.

Just to be clear – People Pleasing isn’t the same as putting other people first. Sometimes it’s important to put other people first. However, it’s not healthy to do it for extended periods of time, when it’s at the expense of your own wants, needs, opinions and dreams, or when you always put others first.

People pleasers take putting other people first to the next level. They don’t just put other people’s wants, needs, opinions and dreams ahead of their own. They PRIORITISE other people’s wants, needs, opinions and dreams ahead of their own, and they prioritise their time and energy to people pleasing.

People pleasing is a major reason why people believe they don’t have enough time for their Clutter Clearing. Yet when they then look at what they spend their time doing in Step 1, they discover they spend more time than they thought helping others.

People pleasers rarely make regular time to practice self-care, often because it feels ‘selfish’ to make time for themselves. They feel they must ‘earn’ it first.

When people pleasers try to make time for themselves, the discomfort and guilt they feel can actually fuel their people pleasing behaviour in order to avoid those negative feelings, so the vicious self-sabotage cycle of behaviour continues.

It’s not all bad though! People pleasers tend to be very empathetic, thoughtful and caring, although those people who want our time, energy, effort and skills can easily take advantage of this with flattery, to ensure we continue to put them and their needs before our own. They say things like:

  • ‘But you’re so good at doing x,y,z’. 
  • ‘You can do it much quicker / better than I can’. 
  • ‘But you helped me last time’.
  • ‘No one else can help me / do x,y,z.’

Constant people pleasing at the expense of your own needs, dreams and well-being can lead to some serious consequences such as:

  • Anger – towards those you are helping, and yourself for allowing them to take advantage of you. 
  • Anxiety and stress – both of which have negative impacts on your physical and mental health.
  • Overeating – A 2012 study that looked at the relationship between eating habits and people pleasing found that ‘people with a strong need to please others were also more prone to overeating in social situations.’

Less fulfilling life – you’re simply prioritising your time and energy to others, which leaves little or none to achieve your life goals to live your best life.


  1. You have a difficult time saying ‘no’ when people ask for help, regardless of whether they ask you in advance or on the spur-of-the-moment. As a result, people tend to ask you for help first
  2. When / if you do say ‘no’ to people you feel guilty and feel you have to have a reason / explanation / justification why you are saying no. You can’t ‘just’ say no
  3. You worry that saying ‘no’ will make you look selfish or mean
  4. You don’t think about the impact that saying ‘yes’ will have on what YOU want or need to do
  5. You feel as though you ‘should’ help if you are capable of doing what they are asking you to do. Saying ‘no’ might imply you can’t do what they want you to do, or that you’re being difficult
  6. You often find yourself thinking or wondering what other people think of you or your life
  7. You feel that you have to say ‘yes’ so that people will like you or approve of you
  8. You’re always saying ‘sorry’ to people to avoid upsetting them and avoid confrontation
  9. You’re always doing things for other people and have little time to do what’s important to you
  10. You think about what the ‘right’ answer is, or what you think they expect to hear before responding to people, rather than expressing what you really think or feel in the moment

If you need to start putting you and your Clutter Clearing head of other people, find out how Clare can help you do that in her free help centre:

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  1.  Image Name Virginia Brad on March 10, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    What I’ve read above I see my daughter in law ..

    For me though I have fibromyalgia.. how can your Dealing with Clutter help when it is a chronic illness, which means it’s permanent.
    Pain through out…and inadequate energy, sometimes a need to totally rest… by nature I like my home to be straight…up to date and above all tidy….
    Wish I had a way to tackle this inadequacy in myself.

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