Last updated on April 20th, 2024 at 05:23 pm

Chances are, you’re all too familiar with the ceaseless dance of bending over backward to keep everyone around you happy. It’s a tiresome act, right?

It seems you’re always ensuring everyone else’s comfort and satisfaction, which leaves you feeling drained, undervalued, and discontented. 

But guess what?

You can transition from this pattern!!

In this post, we explore how to stop being a people pleaser and write how you can start embracing your true self.

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself,” eloquently stated Paulo Coelho, an acclaimed author. 

So, let’s dive deeper and learn how to stop being a people pleaser and begin leading life on our terms.

people pleaser

Recognizing The People Pleaser In You

The first stride in tackling any challenge is identifying it.

You need to be aware of the moments when you’re dismissing your needs for the comfort of others. 

Do the following points resonate with you?

  • Do you feel constantly obliged to agree with everyone.
  • It feels uneasy if someone is displeased with you.
  • Also, you’re always the ‘go-to’ person, despite your personal schedule or needs.
  • You frequently feel overwhelmed, stressed, and underappreciated.

Any of these sound familiar?

woman are people pleasers

Understanding Why You’re a People Pleaser

Before we can change our behavior, we need to understand its roots. See image below.

Quite often, the habit of people-pleasing stems from our past experiences and learned behavior. 

Here are some common reasons why we become people pleasers:

  • Fear of rejection or confrontation.
  • A desire for approval and validation.
  • It’s a learned belief that the needs of others are more important than your own.
  • Associating your self-worth with helping others.

As you relate to these points, remember the wise words of renowned psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw:

“You teach people how to treat you.”

It’s time to re-educate those around you about your needs and boundaries.

Where people pleasing behaviors Stem’s from

causes of people pleasing

Unpacking Emotional Triggers of People Pleasing

Let’s now delve deeper into the ‘why‘…

Understanding the emotional triggers is crucial in our journey to alter the habit of people pleasing.

Fear of Rejection: This fear of rejection fuels the desire to constantly please others, stemming from a belief that acceptance must be earned by meeting others’ needs.

Action Step: Recognize this emotion and reassure yourself that your self-worth isn’t dependent on others’ approval.

Craving for Affection: The need for affection is human nature. However, when this need turns into a compulsion to be liked by everyone, it could lead to chronic people pleasing.

Action Step: Understand that it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. Affirm that you’re deserving of love just as you are. This is a big step in learning how to stop being a people pleaser.

Avoidance of Confrontation: If you dislike confrontation to the point where you always acquiesce, you might be a people pleaser.

Action Step: Practice assertiveness in a safe environment. Assertiveness, like any other skill, takes time and practice.

people pleasing syndrome<br />

Learn How to Set Boundaries 

Learning to set boundaries is vital for self-care. It doesn’t make you selfish or unkind.

Here’s how you can start:

Oprah Winfrey, an emblem of wisdom and strength, said:

“You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.” 

Boundaries aren’t barriers. 

They’re the borders of your own personal world…

Designed to safeguard your energy and peace…

set relationship boundaries

Building Your Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience helps you manage the “How to stop being a people pleaser” triggers effectively. It’s like a muscle that needs consistent effort to strengthen.

Let’s see how to do this:

Practice Mindfulness: Remember, mindfulness helps you recognize when you’re slipping into people-pleasing behaviors.

Action Step: Set aside 5-10 minutes each day for mindfulness exercises.

Cultivate Self-Esteem: The more we value ourselves, the less we depend on others for validation.

Action Step: Each day, write down three things you appreciate about yourself to boost your self-esteem.

Develop Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing emotions can help you navigate social complexities and maintain healthy relationships.

Action Step: Identify and understand your emotions to manage them effectively.

stop saying sorry

Celebrate Your Progress

Each step you take toward self-empowerment is a win.

Celebrate your journey of learning how to stop being a people pleaser.

Share your accomplishments with a trusted friend, write them in a journal, or reward yourself with something special. 

The journey to breaking free from people-pleasing is one of progress, not perfection.

Finding Balance with being a people pleaser

One key thing to remember is that caring for others and helping out isn’t inherently wrong.

Pro tip: The shift happens when this desire to help infringes on your personal well-being and happiness.

The aim is not to swing from one extreme to the other but to find a healthy balance. 

Neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said…

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. That space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” 

This speaks to finding a balance between responding to the needs of others and our own as we learn how to stop being a people pleaser.

therapy for social anxiety

Give yourself permission to feel your emotions and express them in healthy ways.

Action Step: Start a journal to record your thoughts and feelings. This can be a safe space to express your emotions freely and openly, which can be incredibly therapeutic.

Social Self-care: While it might sound contradictory, especially in the context of people pleasing, building healthy relationships is a critical aspect of self-care. This means cultivating relationships that enrich you and severing or limiting those that drain you.

Action Step: Make time to connect with friends or family members who uplift you and respect your boundaries.

Balancing Caring for Others and Caring for Yourself

Finding a balance between caring for others and caring for yourself is an ongoing process, but here are some practical tips to help you along the way:

Check-in with Yourself: Regularly ask yourself, “How am I feeling? What do I need?” This simple check-in can help you identify your needs and feelings, which are often ignored in the hustle and bustle of life.

Learn to Delegate: You don’t have to do everything yourself. Share responsibilities with others, whether at work or at home. It can take the pressure off you and also empower others.

Schedule ‘Me’ Time: Allocate time each day or week for activities that you enjoy and that recharge you. This can range from reading a book to practicing yoga to spending time in nature.

Caring for yourself is vital

Remember the wisdom of Audre Lorde, a renowned writer and civil rights activist, who said: 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

The journey to stop being a people pleaser isn’t a quick fix; it’s a lifelong commitment to honoring your needs and well-being.

But with each step you take, you’ll find it easier to live authentically and find the balance between caring for others and caring for yourself.

The journey from a people pleaser is a testament to your strength and self-awareness.

So be patient, celebrate every victory, and remember – you deserve to prioritize your well-being and happiness just as much as anyone else.

What you can do right now

Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize.

We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “how to stop being a people pleaser”.

But, you’ll feel more confident, and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.

Steve Anthony

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