The real challenge is it is a learned behavior and is typically passed down from one generation to the next, as most behaviors are. But just as with any learned behavior, the first step is to recognize it for what it is and then seek help to correct the tendencies to be “all” to everyone.
Sometimes, therapies might work, but they are a long tedious process and it takes a very special therapist to know exactly how to break the habit of feeling as though someone needs to please everyone.
In my case, I was born the middle child, the typical peacemaker. Then add to that the constant abuse, not only from my parents, but from my older sister as well. I don’t believe I ever “felt” loved or protected by my parents, especially when they would make excuses for my sister’s extreme behavior and tendency to lean towards drastic measures to exhibit cruel behavior towards me.
The first six years of my life I hid out, literally. I would hide behind the couch, under the closet in the drawer, under mounds of pillows and anywhere where I would feel I could escape. But after I started school I began to exhibit the typical trait of a “pleaser”, especially at school.
I went through high school replicating the pattern and even developed unique twists to the theme. I volunteered for everything I could, even at church. I was desperately looking for a way to feel wanted.