Stop People Pleasing and Begin to Please Yourself

Vanessa Gonzalez
April 3, 2023

We all know that one person, whether in our personal or professional life, is always there when we need them. These people are always helpful and reliable; you can always rely on them because they never say no.

These individuals always ensure that others are taken care of and continually make themselves available to work for others so that everyone around them is happy. Unfortunately, however, this causes them to put everyone else's needs at their own cost. Ah yes – people pleasers!

While there is nothing wrong with helping others, people pleasers cannot relax and prioritize their needs because they are so wrapped up in doing things for others. This causes issues in their life because they never fully meet their own wants and needs and deny having any issues so as not to burden others. This leads to being overworked and highly stressed out. They are too busy filling up others' cups before their own and are continuously running on empty.

Signs of people pleasing

Below are some signs to look out for if you think yourself or someone else may be a people pleaser:

·  Frequent Apologizing

·  Ake responsibility for others’ feelings

·  Pretend to agree when they don’t so do things against their personal values

·  Require validation and praise

·  Avoid conflict at any cost

·  Will not advocate for themselves

·  Dislike others being angry with them

·  When hurt, will not let others know

·  Fear of being rejected

·  Fear of being disliked

·  Fear of disappointing others

·  Inability to say no and set boundaries

·  Spend more time doing things others want to do than themselves

·  Experience burn out

·  Low self esteem

·  Neglect time for themselves

·  Passive aggressive or hold resentment toward others

Why Do We People Please?

We people please for a reason. Typically, those who "people please" experience some form of rejection at some point. They may have been bullies, have had critical caregivers, or you're someone who is so empathetic you take others' suffering and emotions as your own. Either way, people pleasing a coping mechanism designed to fill a need. That is to feel worthy and connected to others. However, to build healthy and genuine connections, we need to be ourselves and practice healthy and honest communication to set appropriate boundaries. 

Tips to Stop People pleasing

·  Set boundaries and say no – this may be very hard. Just start small, and remember that you don’t need to provide an explanation – even if it feels like you have to

·  You have choice – you do not have to say yes, its up to you how you spend your time

·  Recognize your values and priorities – what’s most important to you?

·  Don’t fear other’s reactions – saying no isn’t going to ruin your relationship. They are probably used to you always saying yes so it may be an adjustment, but if that individual genuinely cares for you, it won’t be an issue and they will adjust.

·  You cannot be everything to everyone – if you are so focused on other’s temporary happiness, who is taking care of yours?

·  Assert yourself – express your wants and needs. You can practice writing it down before you do

·  Do not apologize if you didn’t do anything wrong – if you are not at fault for something, there is nothing to apologize for.

Find ways to prioritize yourself. Unlearning how to people please may take time, but it is a skill that can be learned. Next time someone asks for your opinion, tell them openly and honestly. Practice and experiment with saying no. Even if it's uncomfortable, remind yourself that you are changing this behavior as an act of self-love towards yourself.

When was the last time someone took care of you like you care for others? Practice self-compassion and take care of yourself. It may be challenging, but it's worth it. You deserve to be taken care of and loved too.