Blog How to stop being a people pleaser

How to stop being a people pleaser


People pleasing is a common tendency that many of us struggle with. We can be people pleasers out of as a desire to be liked, a fear of rejection or conflict, or a need to feel needed or valuable. While it can be natural to want to make others happy and avoid causing discomfort, constantly striving to please others can lead to resentment, exhaustion, and a lack of authenticity in our lives and relationships.

I consider myself a recovering people pleaser. This is something I struggled with until my mid-30’s and can still have a tendency to fall back on old patterns. I didn’t like anyone being mad at me, but mostly I didn’t really know who I was or how to have healthy boundaries. While I love my family and they are good, loving, kind people, there is a lot of co-dependency and enmeshment (lack of boundaries). This made it hard to really know who I was or feel like I could be different or make choices that might make others unhappy. Working with a personal development coach and therapist, I have been able to get clear and confident in my own self-identity and now have healthy boundaries that keep me from people pleasing all the time.

If you’re looking to stop being a people pleaser, here are some steps you can take:

  • Identify the underlying causes of your people pleasing behavior. Why do you feel the need to constantly please others? Is it because you want to be liked, or because you’re afraid of rejection or conflict? Understanding the root of your people pleasing tendencies can help you better address and overcome them.
  • Set boundaries and communicate your needs. One of the key ways to stop being a people pleaser is to learn how to say no and set boundaries with others. This means communicating your needs and limits, and being assertive about what you are and are not comfortable with. Remember that it’s okay to prioritize your own well-being and happiness.
  • Practice your well-being and self-care. People pleasing can often come from a place of low self-worth or a lack of self-care. Take time to prioritize your own needs and well-being, and focus on building your self-confidence and self-worth. This can include activities like exercise, self-reflection, and spending time with supportive friends and loved ones.
  • Seek support from others. It can be helpful to talk to a supportive & trusted friend, family member, or personal development coach (like me) or therapist about your people-pleasing tendencies and how you can work to overcome them. Having someone to talk to and confide in can provide valuable perspective and support as you work to make changes in your behavior.
  • Remember that it’s okay to upset or disappoint others. One of the challenges of stopping being a people pleaser is learning how to be authentic and true to yourself, even if it means upsetting or disappointing others. We have to be true to ourselves, our goals, our values, our self-identity in order to be truly happy. Seek internal validation instead of external.
  • Work on building your confidence, self-trust and getting clear on your self-identity. When you know who you are, what your values and goals are and you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, it makes it a lot easier to make yourself happy, even when others might not be happy with you. (Check out my Cultivating Confidence Challenge for help on this.)

We need to stop being people pleasers in order to lead a more authentic and fulfilling life, where we are able to prioritize our own needs and values and form genuine and meaningful connections with others. Stop seeking external validation and start working on developing your own sense of self-worth and identity.


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