Do you want to know how to stop being a people pleaser?
It’s a delicate question with an indeed more delicate answer. There’s always a phase in life when we don’t want to do something but do it to please others.
We focus on pleasing people so much that we forget our own feelings. We get used to doing every work that one demands so they can think highly of us. Sometimes this phase extends till our whole life.
We get used to pleasing people from a young age, saying “yes” to everything so that we can fit into the group. We become dependent on others’ appreciation and validation. We start behaving on others’ opinions, not what we feel or want to do. We think others’ work is more important than ours. We neglect our work to do theirs.
Your life’s major decisions depend on others being a people pleaser. You feel drained trying to please people, so there’s no time for your emotional well-being. There is no time to dwell on your inner voice. People’s demands are endless, and you are stuck with a people-pleasing loop.
1. What is a Pleaser Personality?
People pleasers are usually those whom others consider helpful. People pleasers have good intentions for every person and are always ready to help everyone.
For instance, whenever you want to improve your writing skills and grades, people pleasers are happy to help you. If your pattern is the same, you are a people pleaser.
If you focus on everyone, you’ll have no time to analyze your needs. There will be no scope for self-improvement and growth in life. What purpose does it serve? How will you grow when you are too preoccupied with making people happy?
Please answer the following questions to help you know whether you are a people pleaser before you get to know how to stop being a people pleaser.
- Do you like to take all tasks in your hand?
- Do you like to help everyone at the cost of your time?
- Do you say “yes” to every small request?
- Do you not know how to set healthy boundaries?
- Do you change your opinion with people’s views?
- Do you love to hear what people are saying about you?
- Do you have low self-esteem?
- Do you feel anxious all the time?
- Do you spend less time having fun and more stress?
- Do you often feel bad after taking on a task that is not yours?
- Do you feel trouble being yourself?
If the answer to the above questions is yes, you are a people pleaser. You feel excited hearing about yourself. You feel good when people think you are responsible and assign tasks to you. What you don’t realize is that people delegate their work to you. They depend on you to do their work. They take you for granted.
For them, you are always available and ready to do any task. You say yes to every request.
You want to go to a party, but your friend asked you to do their assignment, and you being a people pleaser, can’t say no. You mumble some words to you, and now you are stressed and frustrated. You had two options either you could have said no or yes, but you chose yes.
Do you want to know how to stop being a people pleaser? Here are 8 tips on the same.
2. 8 Tips on How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
It’s challenging to overcome your core beliefs, but if you feel drained, it’s high time to acknowledge your feelings. The key to your happy life is in your hands. Don’t lend it to anyone else.
2.1. Setting Boundaries
Everyone feels tired and needs quality time alone to know their true feelings. Setting limits can help you to stay mentally and physically healthy. You can set boundaries around anyone who invades your personal space and mental peace.
Whether they are your colleagues, friends, or parents, tell them that you already have enough on your plate and cannot take anymore.
Have a conversation with people about what is important for you and what is not. Do not be afraid to set boundaries. It will not only enhance your morale but also lift your spirit.
Say “no” to small requests that are irrelevant to you. By setting boundaries, you are giving your mind and body time to heal, which is the most important matter. The human body and mind need free time to feel good.
Learn to let people know that you feel exhausted. It is ok if you don’t have time to help someone. People pleasers are always worried about setting boundaries.
Let people know what time would work for you. You can also explain that you are available at a specific time. This will ensure that you are relaxed and not obligated to do certain things if you don’t want to do them.
Stop saying “yes” to everything because you feel obligated. There is no need to feel anxious or stressed while setting healthy boundaries.
2.2. Treat Yourself as a Priority
Consider yourself in the same light as you do your loved ones. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend with love and care, not loads of extra work and multiple things.
Focusing on your happiness should not be a guilt trip.
Change your perspective, and remember that you don’t have to justify taking care of yourself. We spend our time on people pleasing as we often feel guilty or selfish, putting ourselves first.
Remember to take a break.
It is acceptable to take care of your mental health. Stop making excuses and criticizing yourself, and instead respond to your fears and insecurities with empathy. Do not fear to take a break.
Do not fear to speak if you have a conflict of interest. Stop saying that you could be nicer to them; arguing is okay sometimes.
Do not say it to yourself if you wouldn’t say it to someone.
Stand in front of the mirror and do some positive self-talk. Self-care and Self-love are the most important aspect of a person’s life. Know your worth.
Spend time with people who bring your best self. Try to write down some positive affirmations and speak loudly in front of the mirror.
If you spend some time alone, you learn about your strengths and weakness, which will be helpful for you in your future endeavors. Start accepting yourself the way you are. Feel confident about your personality.
Accept yourself as you are, not what people tell you to be.
2.3. Understand that only Authenticity Stays
We all know that integrity is the best policy.
The person who stays with you all your life is you, and you have not thought about your happiness. If someone is delegating their work to you and you don’t have time, why don’t you say so? Why do you make everything so complicated?
Stay true to your true self.
Why pile up loads of burdens that aren’t even yours to bear? Being nice is a trait that shouldn’t cost your mental health.
If you already have other plans, let others know you can not make it to their plans. Being a people-pleaser comes with many faces. One cannot have so many personalities at the same time. Stay true to your words and yourself.
Being true to yourself is one thing you should add to your life’s philosophy. The most authentic way to live a life is with self-respect.
We all love to be the center of attraction when we do things we don’t like. We learn a certain way to present ourselves because it’s what people like, but what about ourselves? Do we want or need that change? Think about it; you will get the answer.
Listen to your inner voice. That voice will tell you whether you like a certain thing or not. It will boost your inner voice, giving you clarity about what you want to do. Try doing some yoga or meditation.
2.4. Don’t Let others Walk over You
Have you ever heard someone saying, “Oh, I love it when people come up to me only if they need something from me?” Probably not.
People will only walk over you if you allow them to. You set healthy boundaries for what you are willing to tolerate and what you are not.
You should not be concerned with pleasing people and avoiding conflicts of interest; this is quite common. You constantly try to make everyone happy by doing their work and agreeing with them in every matter.
Putting others’ needs ahead of your own is a sure sign of a people-pleaser. You let toxic people take advantage of you.
You notice that when somebody asks for help, you are always there for them. But when it comes to you, they make excuses or say they have some other work.
If you feel manipulated into doing something, take time to assess the situation and decide how to handle the request. Be firm and clear with toxic people or those who insist on your assistance.
Whenever you feel low or unworthy, remember your accomplishment and write them down, even smaller ones.
Every accomplishment matters. Whether you won a prize in picture painting or essay writing, or you got the last ice cream they had in their shop. This will boost your confidence, and you will realize your worth.
2.5. Engage in Conversation with Your Opinion
It can be challenging to converse with someone when you don’t speak up. But allowing room for multiple truths and having open conversations is difficult for people-pleasers.
You need to speak for yourself; your opinion matters.
People-pleasers are prone to saying “yes” to everything. You need to understand multiple perspectives, but your perspective should be yours. Generally, people who love to please people have low self-esteem. Putting your opinion forward also boosts one’s confidence.
If you are afraid to present your opinion, write them down and practice them before saying it aloud. You can record your videos while speaking about a topic.
Everyone is entitled to have their opinion, and so are you; that makes you different. If you agree with everyone, nobody takes you seriously in a conversation. If you want to avoid conflict, try to express your view calmly.
Communication is a great source of stress relief. Piling up your thoughts and nodding your head yes to everyone can be highly stressful. If you don’t communicate your thoughts and feelings, you will be overwhelmed with emotions which is dangerous for your health.
For example, “Fan clubs” are very common nowadays, including Korean fan clubs, Taylor Swift fan clubs (swifties), fiction books fan clubs, and so on. If you are also a fan and try to communicate with members of these fan clubs, you have to take a stand on what you like. You can not say I love fiction books and don’t like stories simultaneously. Does it make sense to you?
Don’t force the discussion. Try to find something the other person is passionate about like you are.
Don’t just say yes; I know everything. That way, the rapport is genuine, and the person is more open to discussing the subject in depth. You can not have a fake conversation for long; people will eventually know your understanding of the topic.
If you don’t know anything, ask people to tell you. They love to talk about their fan clubs; they will tell you everything so that you will also be a member of their fan club.
2.6. Say No at the Right Time
Choose what you truly want to say yes to, and stop accepting responsibilities that do not meet those requirements. Being helpful is wonderful, but it should not land you in trouble.
People often take advantage of your unhealthy behavior to say yes to everything. Some are persistent in getting their work done.
For instance, your colleague comes to you and hands you over a file saying, “Could you do my taxes today? I need it by tomorrow, and I cannot understand taxes.” You already need to do your taxes, and your schedule is tight. You offer to help, but they insist that you do it all by yourself because they do not have any knowledge regarding taxes.
They give you a task that is not yours to deal with. You will politely decline that you can not help them as you have enough on your plate.
The only person who can assist you in saying no is “You.”
People-pleaser strives to make everyone happy all the time. This also comes with one more problem: not asking others for help. They may have any issue in their life but won’t tell anyone so that they won’t bother anyone. They have a hard time asking for help.
Try to confide in your friends. If you are feeling low, it’s high time to acknowledge your feelings. Go through the tips shared in this article to stop people-pleasing behavior. It’s challenging to overcome your core beliefs, but being open and honest about your feelings is important.
You may be afraid that people will disrespect you or refuse to talk to you if you say no. But most people will not think less of you. You need to think before responding; think about whether you have the time or energy to help or not.
There are plenty of ways to say “no.” One can assess the situation and let the person know that you have some other work pending, and you will let them know once you’re done with the work.
You can always tell people you would love to help, but you have scheduled your work and have no space for any more tasks.
2.7. Trust the Process
It isn’t easy to analyze your journey. Try one thing at a time. The most important thing to stop being a people-pleaser is to trust the process.
If you start doing an exercise or technique, stick to it and make it habitual. You can not get rid of this habit overnight. It will take time. Have faith in the process, and you will get the desired results.
Change is hard, but if you stick to your goal, you will learn to adapt to new situations in your life for good. Eventually, you will let go of the need to know and do everything.
Don’t let the negative impact affect your process; you need to trust your abilities. Trusting the process entails letting life be what it is without attempting to manipulate or control one’s thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, words, or feelings.
You need to wait for new habits to form, habits that will eventually boost your morale and spirit. Make sure to take time for self-improvement, ultimately leading you to a better version of yourself.
This will boost your self-esteem. You will control your life and understand when to help and let it slide. You will realize how important it is to control one’s emotions. You will eventually stop being a people pleaser and prioritize your own needs over others.
2.8. Stop Trying to Make Everyone Happy
You can not make everyone happy. This can be challenging for people who require a lot of justification for their actions because they don’t want to do something wrong. However, relying on others to tell you how to live your life is not a good way to live it.
Having others making decisions about your life for you removes you from it permanently —and you are not the one who creates your persona. You are responsible for your happiness.
It isn’t easy to stop being a people pleaser—some days, all you want is to be told that you are doing something right.
It is hard to prioritize yourself when all you want is confirmation that you’re succeeding in life and that others approve of you.
Don’t do things to avoid rejection or to gain the approval of others. You don’t need to please every person that walks into your life. Having your thoughts is bliss.
A Golden Tip for How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
One should always uphold one’s self-respect. Only then will one become self-reliant.
Here’s one more article on how to stop being a people-pleaser.
3. How to Stop Being a People Pleaser: Conclusion
Always remember confidence comes within yourself. Let your inner voice tell you all your accomplishments and hardships. Your low self-esteem is deep-rooted, but you can plant a new flower.
Talk to your friends about your people-pleasing tendencies; you will feel light. Stop making excuses for bad things happening to you, and start putting healthy boundaries for your mental and physical health.
Don’t give up on being thoughtful and kind. These are desirable characteristics that can help build strong, long-lasting relationships. The key is to investigate your motivations and intentions. To stop people-pleasing tendencies, one must spend time with oneself and figure out their actual feelings. Only then can one be free from the habit of pleasing people.
Acknowledging your behaviors and habits is a big step, and the next step is to work on patterns that ask you to stop being a people pleaser. A consultation will be perfect if things take a drastic turn. Take one step at a time.
Ultimately, you may think making people happy and helping them is good. Then why being a people pleaser is bad? You can not make everyone happy, but you can make yourself happy by living a happy and stress-less life by representing your thoughts and feelings.