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Stop being a people-pleaser

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A people-pleaser is someone who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires. Also, it is someone who cares a lot about whether other people like him or her, and always wants others to approve of his or her actions.

According to Psychology Today, people-pleasing may be a symptom of other underlying issues like self-worth, and also from a history of maltreatment. In addition, the eagerness to please people can be confused with kindness. This can be a problem in the long term and may be a hard habit to break.

Some consequences of being a people-pleaser are:

  • Feeling drained and exhausted. When you’re constantly putting others before yourself, you’re not taking care of your own needs. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, burnout, and even depression.
  • Feeling resentful and angry. When you’re not getting the same level of support and consideration in return, you may start to be resentful and angry towards others.
  • Losing your sense of self. When you’re constantly focused on pleasing others, you may start to lose your sense of self. You may start to doubt your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
  • Having difficulty setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is very important but sometimes difficult because you’re afraid of disappointing them or making them angry.
  • Being taken advantage of. People-pleasers are often taken advantage of by others. This is because they’re seen as easy targets and people know that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to please others.

Be comfortable in putting yourself first

Psych2Go has suggested some ways to stop being a people-pleaser:

Validate yourself

Self-validation is the act of accepting and appreciating oneself for who one is, without the need for external validation. It is a process of learning to love and accept oneself, flaws and all. Self-validation is an important part of mental health. When you learn to validate yourself, you will feel better about yourself and your life. You will be more confident and resilient, and you will be better able to cope with stress and challenges.

Say “No”

Don’t feel guilty for saying “no” to anyone. It’s okay to refuse to do the things that you are not comfortable with. Refusing a request indicates that you value and respect yourself to stand up to your beliefs. As a people-pleaser, sometimes you say yes because you feel pressure and don’t want to let others down. This is unfair to you. Make the right choices for you and your well-being.

Take time for yourself

People-pleasing can be exhausting. There will come a time when you need to take care of your self and need some alone time. Learn how to step away from difficult situations to breathe. Taking time off can help gather your thoughts and recharge your energy.

Know where you are going

Knowing where you are going can help you feel more purposeful and well-directed in life. This can increase your motivation and engagement while assisting you in managing stress and adversity. A feeling of purpose might help you feel like you have control over your life. Additionally, it might make you feel more a part of the world and hopeful and optimistic about the future.

Remove TOXIC people in your life

Your physical, mental, and emotional health can all be negatively impacted by toxic people. They could leave you exhausted, stressed out, and depressed. They can also make it challenging to establish limits and keep up positive connections. It’s critical to get rid of poisonous people from your life as soon as you can. By doing this, you can enhance your general well-being and cultivate a happier environment for yourself.

Stop apologizing

It’s vital to stop and reflect on why you apologize so often if you catch yourself doing it frequently. Do you want to stay out of a fight? Are you attempting to comfort someone else? Are you attempting to win people over? You can begin to address the issue after you are aware of the main reason why you apologize so much.

Apologizing too much can make you feel worse about yourself and it can make you seem less competent and confident. In addition, it can lessen the impact of future apologies, and can give others the impression that you are weak and easily manipulated. Lastly, being too much apologetic can make it difficult to set boundaries. Stop as if you have to apologize for everything, even when you’re not at fault.

set boundaries people-pleaser


Boundaries are the limits we set with ourselves around what we will or will not tolerate, according to Lavendaire. A boundary that that is not clearly defined gives other people a reason to cross over it and you end up getting hurt when you over-commit and try to please everybody.

“As people-pleasers, we’ve been abandoning ourselves, making sure that every one is okay but not checking if we are,” she adds.

You need to take back your power and control how you spend time, instead of giving it entirely away to everyone. It’s important to stop depleting yourself and start giving yourself what you need.

Set boundaries: stop being a people-pleaser

  • Self-awareness – you need to know yourself and ask what’s your preference
  • Communicate – you need to express your desires so people would know where your boundaries are. Express your truth
  • Come to a compromise – work it out with others but remember that you are not responsible for the feelings of others.
  • Stop trying to keep the peace – everything doesn’t have to be “okay” at all times. Saying “no” to what doesn’t suit you and say yes to things that you truly want. Remember that you are just as important as any other people. Don’t hesitate to say ‘no’ to any requests that you don’t feel like doing.
  • Self-care – taking care of yourself is the most important thing

Putting the needs of others before your own can lead to negative consequences. There are ways to stop being a people-pleaser. Seek professional help if you’re struggling to overcome people-pleasing on your own. A therapist can help you to understand the root of your people-pleasing behavior and develop strategies for overcoming it.


10 Signs You’re a People-Pleaser
How to Stop People Pleasing
How to Set Boundaries & Stop People Pleasing
Why People Pleasing is Hurting You | Salma Hindy | TEDxUofT

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