Coffee Date Vol. 8: People Pleasing Vs. Inspired Leadership


I feel like my coffee dates are getting increasingly intense! Ha! They aren’t I promise.  I just have had so much going on in my heart that I feel like this is the perfect space and time to share.  You can find last month’s coffee date here. My hope in sharing is that many of you can relate to what I am saying.  A few months ago I wrote a post about “Fear Of Man” also, what I would relate to as people pleasing out of a motive of fear.  Since then, I feel like I have grown and changed a lot.  I want to share a bit of the contrast between a people pleaser and an inspired leader.  I will be honest and say that I can often lean more towards the side of people pleasing but have made a HUGE effort in recent months to be a true inspired leader.

People Pleaser:

  • Eager to agree with others.
  • Trouble saying no or setting limits
  • They have a tendency to not accept genuine praise or feedback
  • They put themselves on the back burner and sacrifice their own needs for others
  • Difficulty being honest about how they really feel
  • Can see from anybody’s point of view
  • They fear people will stop liking or respecting them if they don’t to agree to others requests
  • Can be very sensitive to criticism

Inspired Leader:

  • These are people who have boundaries
  • Honest and transparent in conversation
  • They live with vision and integrity
  • They have a balance of action and reflection when it comes to decision making
  • They are decisive and facilitate solutions well with others
  • They inspire others to be leaders
  • They stay true to their beliefs
  • Constantly looking to grow and be a better individual regardless of what people are doing around them

Now that I have kind of broken down attributes of both kinds of people, which one are you?  It’s funny, as I was doing my research, reading and learning about this topic, I would write down people pleasing attributes and thought, oh dear, that can totally be me! As I stated earlier I can definitely lean more toward a people pleaser.  I love people.  I want people to be happy and I don’t want them to be upset with me.  What I am learning however, is that no matter what I am going to offend or upset someone.  It cannot be avoided.  My happiness, well-being and growth is equally as important to yours but no one can take care of me, but me. Does that make sense? I am learning the hard way that leadership requires boundaries, balance, sometimes offending others and putting oneself first from time to time. This is good, its how we grow, its how we lead and make lasting impact on this world.  We cannot pursue and fulfill our dreams if we are too busy trying to take care of everyone else.  Let me know your thoughts on all of this! I am a work in progress!


Ph: Nicole Quiroz Photography


  • Comments ( 15 )

  • avatar

    What a great post! It definitely made me think about which category I fall into!

  • avatar

    I love this! You are DEFINITIVELY a leader in our blogging community! And someone who inspires me!

    xo Jessica

  • avatar
    Emily anne

    Such a great post that really made me think!

  • avatar
    Sarah Lindner

    Such a great post! You are def a boss and a leader girl!

    Sarah Lindner

  • avatar

    Really good stuff, RuthiE! I’ve been learning so much about the difference between the two as well. it can be quite disOrienting at times but tHe growth and character building that follows is powerful!


  • avatar
    Lauren Sheriff

    Ohh this is challenging for me! I think i’m a mix of both and it depends on the person/situation!


  • avatar

    This eye Opening. I am defintely a people pleaser but also an inspired leader ! Thanks for sharing this!

    Xo, steph

  • avatar

    WOw this is such an interesting topic. I think sometimes we think that being an inspired leader, you must be a people pleaser- but I see that it is quite the opposite. Thanks for the perspective, I am trying to be a more inspired leader!

    cute & little

  • avatar
    Stephanie Whitman

    Wow, this was an excellent post, Ruthie! Thank you so much for sharing. It made me really consider how I was living out my day-to-day life and relating with others. I need to work on growing more as a leader rather than just a people-pleaser! You’re such an inspiration!

  • avatar
    Tiffany nicole

    It’s always amazing to me how many people don’t understand the characteristics of a true leader. it doesn’t mean that you please everyone… it just means that you have the ability to inspire them to action. great post

  • avatar
    Abby Darlington

    Hi Ruthie-

    I relate to this so much, i too am a bit of a people pleaser. I think it has some positive effects, like usually it means we do indeed get along with the mass majority of people. However, I agree that in order to fulfill our own dreams we cant be held back by the need to apease someone else.

    great post!

  • avatar
    angelle Marix

    AHH, I LOVE you!!! This is so good!!! i use be a people pleaser. God’s love wrecked my world and made me realize that I can never truly please man. girl, setting boundaries has changed me and my view about relationships!!!! YOu are a beautiful soul. Don’t ever question that!!


  • avatar

    What an eye opening post! I t was very interesting seeing these two types broken down side by side!

  • avatar
    Annette Dattilo

    Great post. I am a mixture of both for sure.

  • avatar
    Debbie Savage

    I am definitely a mixture of both! I can’t help it but i am making strides for a better me. i love self-reflective posts and this one really hits home!

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