Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser

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Being pleasant and courteous to other people is not in itself wrong. It’s a highly desirable quality, in fact. Yet it’s also something we do when we’re afraid of letting people down or when we try too hard to live up to our own ideals. 

Many people-pleasers act in this way on purpose due to their inability to handle conflict. It’s a good strategy for avoiding arguments, but it won’t help you feel better about life in the long run. It’s difficult to be authentic when you’re constantly adjusting your behavior and speech to accommodate the expectations of others.

It’s simple to put in more effort into making other people happy than you do into making yourself happy. Inevitably, this kind of conduct leads to low self-esteem, a sense that too much is expected of you, and the growth of ineffective coping mechanisms.

What is a people pleaser? 

To put it simply, a people-pleaser is someone who routinely puts the wants and needs of others ahead of their own. People-pleasers have a great capacity for empathy and are widely seen as agreeable, helpful, and kind; yet, they may struggle to speak up for themselves, which can lead to unhealthy patterns of self-sacrifice or neglect.

People pleasers have a strong knack for sensing the emotions of those around them. Moreover, they tend to be sympathetic, introspective, and sympathetic. These merits could be accompanied by a low opinion of oneself, a desire to dominate situations, or an obsession with success.

Signs you are a people pleaser.

People-pleasing behavior is characterized by several other characteristics as well,  pleasers can also:

  • Overly polite to other
  • Avoid conflict at any cost
  • Having trouble saying no
  • Being anxious or overwhelmed
  • Passive aggressive
  • Being prone to anger
  • Quick to assign blame

Trying to please other people isn’t always a terrible thing. To keep relationships strong with those you care about, it helps to be a concerned and kind person. It’s not an issue in and of itself, but it can become problematic when one seeks others’ acceptance in order to boost their own low self-esteem or when one prioritizes the happiness of others over their own.

How to Stop Being a People Pleaser.

Pleasers put themselves last because they are so preoccupied with making sure everyone else is happy. Because of their intense identification with caregivers and agreement with others, they may neglect their own wants, interests, and values in favor of those of the group.

The good news is that you can change your behavior and find a healthy balance between pleasing others and prioritizing your own happiness.

1. Create Boundaries

Having self-awareness, setting firm boundaries, and voicing those boundaries are all crucial. Define exactly what it is you’re willing to take on. If you feel like someone is making an unreasonable request, be honest and tell them that you can’t fulfill it.

Limiting your people-pleasing inclinations can also be accomplished through different means of setting boundaries. You may, for instance, limit your available talking time by only accepting calls at specific periods of the day.

In addition, you may need to specify that your availability is time-limited. This can be helpful because it allows you to better plan your time and avoid any unnecessary stress or pressure.

Read more about: 5 Reasons to Start Saying No & Stop Feeling Guilty

2. Begin on a Small Scale

Making a dramatic shift is challenging, therefore it’s usually best to start making your presence felt in subtle ways first. Adjusting to a new routine can be challenging. It is not enough to simply retrain yourself; often, you must also spend time helping those around you recognize and respect your limitations.

Thus, baby steps toward being less of a people-pleaser can be useful. You can practice saying no to lesser requests, voicing an opinion on a minor issue, or making a simple request by starting with something you actually need.

Try declining a written request, for instance. Gradually increase your practice until you feel comfortable saying “no” to individuals in person. Conversing with salesmen, making dinner reservations, and interacting with coworkers are all great opportunities for practice.

3. Help When You Can

You don’t have to stop being considerate and kind. They are admirable traits that help build healthy partnerships that last. Finding success requires taking a hard look at why you want something. Don’t act based on insecurity about being judged negatively or a desire to win the approval of others.

Just keep doing good on your own terms. Giving to others is its own reward; it doesn’t ask for or expect anything in return.

4. Be Your Own Best Friend

Self-love that encompasses the full person (mind, body, and spirit) is not egotistical but rather fundamental. Feeling loved is a fundamental human desire. To be dependent, though, is a different matter entirely. We’ve learned that those who prioritize their own health care are less needy for the praise of others.

Honor and regard oneself as a worthy human being. Kindly address your inner dialogue. Avoid self-deprecating comments and give yourself credit for your efforts to improve.

Introverted people need time alone to refuel on an emotional and mental level and don’t always thrive when they’re surrounded by others.

Read more about: 6 Ways You Can Become Your Own Bestfriend (Self-Compassion)

5. Rethink Your Friendship

Learning to recognize the warning signals of people taking advantage of your kindness is another strategy for getting over your tendency to please others. Is it the case that some people always demand something from you, but when you need them to help you out, they disappear? Or perhaps some individuals know your generosity and ask because they know you won’t refuse.

Stop and think about how you want to respond to the request if you feel pressured to comply. Be tough and straightforward with folks who are chronic offenders or who insist you aid them.

Read more about: Tips for Ending Toxic Friendships

6. Be Direct When Saying ‘“No”

If you can’t make it, just say so; there’s no need to make excuses or bring up other commitments. When you give reasons for why you can’t accomplish something, it gives people a chance to debunk your justifications. You might be offering them the option to modify their request so that it’s within your capabilities, or you might just be being honest with them.

If you need to say no, try saying it firmly and without giving too many reasons. Keep in mind that the word “no” can stand on its own as an answer.

7. Prioritize Your Own Goals

If you have a clear idea of what’s most important to you, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you can give something the time and attention it deserves.

If anything is draining your motivation or interfering with your productivity, do something about it. You’ll find more time for the things that matter most to you when you develop the habit of saying no to the things that don’t fit within your boundaries.

Read more about: 10 Tips to Help You Set Goals and Achieve Them

8. Don’t regret your decision 

Thinking about the past is a sure way to bring up unpleasant emotions and feelings. Expect to experience some degree of remorse, if not outright guilt. You should not let yourself do this.

Eliminating the obstacles keeping you from becoming your best self is the surest way to begin again. Certain individuals in your life may be poisonous, and they may have been taking advantage of your generosity for too long.

Don’t wallow in your remorse if you wish to break free of your people-pleasing ways. Simply focus on the things you can do now to improve your mood.

9. Sit with yourself for a moment

The journey of life is full of individuals who want something from you at some point. To win someone over, you might have to lower yourself to their level. The issue is that this will limit your freedom of choice and happiness.

Listen to your own thoughts and feelings if you wish to break free from people-pleasing. This internal monologue may be warning you to avoid particular people because of the harm they can do.

You can use meditation to strengthen your inner voice and make it more audible in the face of external noise. Meditation can help you gain insight into your deepest motivations and the steps you can take to fulfill them on your own.

Read more about: 6 Inspiring Way to Connect With Your Higher Self

10. Be Your True Authentic Self

Remember that being authentic is the most crucial aspect of your attitude. Don’t compromise your morals in order to get someone else’s approval; instead, do what you know is right. Don’t back down if you’ve been put in an uncomfortable situation and asked to do something you don’t want to do. It’s a sign that you’re mature and capable of handling your own affairs alone.

To quit people-pleasing, you don’t have to alter your personality. Be genuine instead, and you’ll earn the admiration of others around you.

Read more about: How to be a More Authentic Person in 2023

In Conclusion

 Finding strategies to create boundaries and reclaim your time is essential if your tendency to please others is getting in the way of chasing after what makes you happy. Keep in mind that your actions will undoubtedly divide opinion.

Get professional help if your tendency to please others is negatively impacting your mental health. By working with a therapist, you can learn to control your emotions, put yourself first, and set appropriate limits.

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