18 October 2023

Understanding the Connection Between People Pleasing, Early Childhood Trauma, and Autoimmune Response


Many of us will have a friend or an acquaintance who will never say no to us, they will want to do everything that they can to please us regardless of the consequences for them these people are called people-pleasers. People-pleasers are generally not pleasing others out of the goodness of their own heart. That's why people-pleaser is a negative connotation. People-pleasers will do anything to obtain the validation of others; they'll do anything to feel validated.

Many people are wired to be pleasers, constantly seeking approval and validation from others. This personality trait can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it fosters harmony and cooperation in our social interactions. On the other hand, it may come at a significant cost to one's health. Recent research suggests that people-pleasers may be more prone to autoimmune diseases, and there's a strong connection between this tendency and unresolved trauma.

The Balancing Act of People-Pleasing

People-pleasers are individuals who often go above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of others. They are eager to please, reluctant to say no, and tend to prioritize the happiness of others over their own well-being. While this can lead to smoother relationships and successful social interactions, it can also have detrimental effects on their physical and mental health.

Autoimmune Diseases: The Body's Misguided Warriors

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system, instead of protecting the body from foreign invaders, turns against healthy cells and tissues. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus fall under this category. Autoimmune diseases are complex and can result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

The People-Pleaser's Immune System

Studies have shown that people with people-pleasing tendencies often experience higher levels of chronic stress and anxiety. Constantly striving to meet others' expectations and seeking external validation can lead to a perpetual state of stress. When the body is under chronic stress, the immune system becomes overactive, attacking not only external threats but also healthy cells and tissues.

The Trauma Connection

While not all people-pleasers develop autoimmune diseases, there is a significant overlap between this personality type and individuals who have experienced trauma. Trauma, especially when left unaddressed and untreated, can leave a lasting impact on a person's mental and physical health. It can weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to autoimmune conditions.


While being a people-pleaser is not inherently detrimental, the chronic stress and anxiety that often accompany this personality type can take a toll on one's immune system. When combined with unresolved trauma, the risk of autoimmune diseases can increase significantly. Recognising the connection between people-pleasing, trauma, and autoimmune diseases is a vital step in promoting both mental and physical well-being.

You don’t have to live with the burden of trauma anymore. You can get help and recover with hypnotherapy.

Are you feeling the pressure of trauma? Do you know someone who is struggling? They may not have mental health issues, but they may need some help to lighten the load. Contact me today to find out how hypnotherapy can help you or your loved ones heal from trauma.


References to scientific studies:


  • Felitti, V. J., et al. (1998). Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4), 245-258.
  • Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (2002). Depression and Immune Function: Central Pathways to Morbidity and Mortality. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53(4), 873-876.
  • Dhabhar, F. S. (2014). Effects of Stress on Immune Function: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful. Immunologic Research, 58(2-3), 193-210.


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