How To Stop People Pleasing

A people pleaser is one of the nicest you will ever meet in your life. This person never says no to any favor or help you want from him or her. Infact they spend most of their entire time doing what’s best for other people rather than doing something beneficial for themselves.

They are always there when you need them and you can always count on them. But the thing about people pleasers is that, since they spend all their time doing things for people, they barely make time for themselves and that can affect them in so many ways.

If you are one of such people who lives to please others, we are not saying that it is a bad habit, but really it is unhealthy for you. So in this article, we will discuss why you have the need to please others and how to put a stop to it.

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Why are you a people pleaser?

To begin, ask yourself this question. Why do I always want to please others? Perhaps you think pleasing others will make them accept you or like you as a friend. Or may be you are always pleasing others because you want to avoid feeling like you are a bad person. Or you do it to keep the peace, you know, to prevent a hostile environment.

Every people pleaser has a reason why they do that. Knowing the reason you do it is a step towards stopping it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pleasing others. But the question is are you doing it for the right reasons?

You don’t need people’s approval to feel worthy of yourself. Saying no to people doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you respect and care about yourself. So you don’t need to base your self worth on what other people think of you. Nobody knows you better than yoursellf.

And the truth is, people are going to judge you anyways. Whether you do what they want or not. Moreover, you don’t want people to like you for what you can do for them. What if something happens and you can’t be of service to them anymore, that means you lose them. So what you need is for people to love you for who you are not what you can do for them.

Now, people pleasing may keep the peace between you and others but what is it doing for you? There may be peace in your environment but is there peace inside of you? Or is the people pleasing costing you your inner peace? If pleasing others is stressing you and making you unhappy, then it is not worth it.

If it costs you your inner peace, it is too expensive.

Now that you know why you have the need to please others and why it is not worth it, let’s move on to how you can stop people pleasing.

How to stop people pleasing?

Be real to yourself

Don’t pretend to be who you are not. Don’t fake a lifestyle just to impress or please people. Be real to yourself. Don’t portray a lifestyle that makes people think you are something you are not. Just to make them like you or to be accepted into their circle.

If they are meant to be in your circle it wouldn’t matter what you have or what you don’t, they will love and acceopt you. So accept yourself first. Love yourself first. Be real to yourself. Don’t be afraid to let people know you are poor. Don’t be afraid to let people know you’ve never been to a place before. You don’t need to impress anybody. Just be real.

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Become your own bestfriend

Why don’t you try treating yourself like you treat others? You know, everything you try to do for others to make them like you as a friend, why not try to do things for yourself to make you your bestfriend?

Be in charge of your own happiness. Stop expecting people to make you happy and be focused on your needs and desires. People who are their own bestfriends are less dependent on others. They don’t need people to feel worthy of themselves. They don’t need people to like them. They are enough for themselves. So become enough for yourself. Be your own bestfriend.

Realise you have a choice

People pleasers always think they should say yes to people who ask of help from them, but it shouldn’t be like that. Always remember you have a choice to say no. Saying no to people, doesn’t mean you are selfish or uncaring. Don’t be afraid to be disliked by people because you said no to something you can’t do or afford.

Learning to say no is very important because it helps you to realise that you have a choice and if someone asks or tells you to do something you have the choice to say either Yes, No or maybe.

You don’t have to be always positive when you don’t feel like doing what the person has asked from you. For example; if someone asks you to stay late for a project, you have to tell yourself you have the choice to say yes or say no and go home if you are very tired and you really want to go home.

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Know your Goals

It’s much easier to say no to other people’s lives when you know what you are saying yes to in your life. For example; once a week you sit down and re-evaluate your long-term goals and short-term goals for the week.

It’s important to know what you want to be doing that gets you closer to where you have planned and wanting to be in 5 years. When you have this clear in your head, it’s much easier to say no to a request because you have to make time for your goals so that you don’t pursue other people’s goals for them.

Set your priorities

Knowing your priorities will help you to choose what to say yes to or what to decline.When you feel you are trapped into a situation or decision, you have to choose what’s more relevant and important to you.

When someone asks something of you that isn’t in line with your priorities, then you should turn them down. For example; you have a maths test tomorrow that you are supposed to study for and someone wants you to go across town to do something for them.

Saying yes means, you wouldn’t have time to study and you might not even make it back on time for your test. So since the test is a priority in your life, it should be easier to say no to anything that isn;t in line with your priorities.

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Realise That You Can Not Please Everybody

The only approval you need is your own but not approval from others. Be confident in yourself. Because no matter how hard you try to please others, they won’t be happy towards your effort and due to this reason you can not change what people think or feel to make them approv of you.

To stop people pleasing, it is important to realise that you can’t please everybody with your efforts and by so doing it helps prevent you from been taken for granted all the time.

Create Boundaries

Your boundaries are like your values, they help you to make rational choice on what to do and what you’re not comfortable to be doing. You have to respond the right way when someone needs help or ask something from you.

Creating boundaries help you to think about the situation and will help you to give right answer which will help you, not what will please the person. For example you can say “let me think of it and get back to you” instead of giving straight answers. By so doing, it helps you to think about yourself too and come up with an answer that helps you.

Be assertive in yourself

Have confidence in yourself and in everything that you are doing. Say yes to things that you can help with and be bold to also say no to things that you can’t offer any help to. Be bold and active to reject things, to help avoid pleading of others.

Even if you agree to help someone, let the person know that there is a limit to what you can do for them. Make them aware of what you can do and your limitations. This way, they can be aware of what you can afford to do for them and won’t expect something more.

So before making the decision to help others, make sure you have thought about yourself and figured out what will be best for both of you. that way you won’t end up hurting yourself in the process of pleasing others.



1 Comment

  1. June 15, 2023 / 8:52 am

    Thank you, Derrick, for sharing such a helpful article. Your insights on people pleasing are truly empowering and will help many readers break free from this self-defeating habit. Just some additional input, to stop people pleasing and stay true to yourself, start by identifying your values and priorities. Learn to say “no” when something doesn’t align with those values and focus on pleasing yourself first. Remember that you can’t please everyone, and that’s okay. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate them clearly to others. Practice self-care and take time to do things that make you happy. By doing so, you’ll build confidence and self-respect, and attract people who value and respect you for who you truly are.

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