8 Methods To End People Pleasing And Have Peace

Do you find yourself giving into your children, other family members and friends because you don’t want to upset them or you need their approval and love?

Do you find yourself feeling used and unappreciated? Like a victim or martyr?

If so you are a people-pleaser. If you spend your time and energy always pleasing others you will find that you don’t have the time, energy or resources for yourself. You won’t have a life of your own.

It’s time to look at your patterns, where they came from and what you can do about them.

Characteristics of People Pleasers

  • You have difficulty telling others no
  • You hold back to avoid conflict
  • You take what others say and do personally
  • You put others needs before your own
  • You change your thoughts and behavior to please others
  • You are uncomfortable asking for help
  • You don’t want to rock the boat
  • You say what people want to hear
  • You want everyone to get along
  • You want everyone to like you

Reasons for People Pleasing Behavior

You tell others how you feel you to avoid being rejected

You feel insecure, lack self confidence and want people to like you

You want to avoid feeling guilty

You don’t want to disappoint people

You feel responsible for the happiness of others

You are comfortable functioning on overload

Change your behavior

1.  Listen to what your gut feelings and inner voice. 

They are never wrong. Learn to say no to requests that aren’t a good fit for you. One small step at a time you can change the way you react to people. 

2. Observe your behavior patterns.

We people pleasing from a parent or a caretaker. Become aware of putting your wants and needs on the back burner.  It’s your way of gaining love and approval.

Ask yourself, “What’s in it for me” when I say yes when I want to say no. The answer may be love, companionship or acceptance.

3. Replace fear with confidence.

What are you afraid will happen if you say no? Will the other person be mad, judgmental, hurt? If so, whose problem is that? Learn not to internalize someone else’s feelings.

Instead get in touch with what you are feeling. You can learn to be comfortable when other’s are not. Learn how to “hold your own hand.”

4.  Put yourself first. 

It’s your right to say no. You deserve to have a life of your own. Learn to set limits. It’s your right to be who you are! You are worthy and deserving. Practice increasing your self-acceptance. Take good care of yourself.

5. Observe the toll people pleasing has on you. 

What does it cost you to live this way? Ask yourself, “How will this affect my life if I say yes.” Can I afford the time. Can I afford the money? What will I lose if I do this? Will this cause added stress and pressure to my life? You are the most important person in your life!

6. Create downtime.

Get comfortable being alone with yourself. Discover who you are and what you really want. Learn to meditate. Write in a journal. Spend time in nature. Figure out  your likes and dislikes. Take time to truly nourish yourself and be good to yourself. 

7. Learn to say no.

Often times you may feel guilty and will even lie when you don’t want to do something. Guilt is wasted energy. Saying, “No” is enough. You don’t have to give anyone a reason, an excuse or an apology. You don’t have to have a reason!

8. Learn to create balance 

 Become your own best friend. Discover who you are and what you want. After your needs are met you can choose who you want to be generous with.

Respect yourself, time and energy. Then others will do the same. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it. Learn to thing well of yourself reguardless of what anyone else is thinking or doing.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • mrsmceachern January 18, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Hey, there isn’t a #7! (Who says #7 is a lucky number!!!)
    Loved the article. I actually took a deep, calming breath and said “No-that won’t work for me,” aloud. Then I visualized myself saying such a thing to people in my family, the organizations I support by volunteering, the school… Chuckle. It felt pretty good!!!!
    Thanks for the wise words. I shared them with another girlfriend/people pleaser I know. I’m taking the advice to heart. (Wait! Is that a people-pleasing behaviour???) 😉

  • Greg Tutunjan January 20, 2010, 2:47 am

    The right article at the right time for me. Thank you, Tess!



  • Doug Cartwright March 17, 2010, 2:27 am

    “Learn to be comfortable when others are not.” What a great line.

    Thanks Tess.

  • Rachel October 7, 2012, 8:58 am

    Great posting!!! Thanks!!


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