People pleasers, a term used for those who want to acceptable to everyone, are inclined to overeat at parties or social gatherings. This is because the pressure of a social setting and the desire to be acceptable in it makes them forget about their waistline. They just want to match what others around them are doing, even if it means eating without being hungry.
According to lead author of the study, Julie Exline, psychologist, the desire of not harming the sense of social harmony gets the better of such people pleasers. Although refusing a piece of cake or cookie is hard for most people, it is especially difficult for people pleasers. Exline further added that although they cannot resist giving in to social pressures, they regret their decision later. They are emotionally disturbed after doing this, and do not like giving in to these pressures.
Hundred undergraduate students were studied in two different situations. They were made to answer a questionnaire which was designed to evaluate the intensity of their desire to please others. In the first situation, the participants were asked to take candies from a stranger who they thought was another participant in the study. The amount of candies taken by them was noted and they were also asked why they took as much as they did. It was clear that people who wanted to please others took more.
In the other experiment, the participants were asked to recall a situation in which they wanted to avoid eating something, perhaps some kind of junk food, while the person they were with wanted to eat the stuff and even overeat it. Most people pleaser persons said that they felt threatened about their relationship with the other person if they did not eat. It was their idea of not posing a threat to others and going out of the way to please the other, despite it being unhealthy for their body.