Five Tips to Stop People Pleasing

At the beginning of the summer, I explored 11 different signs that may indicate that you might be a people pleaser.

People-pleasers put everyone before themselves, looking for outside validation, placing their worth and self-confidence in the hands of others. They want everyone to be happy and will continuously put themselves last to keep it that way.

If you are worried that you might be a people pleaser, or would like to say no more often check out these five helpful tips.

Develop awareness

People-pleasing has probably been a habit throughout your life without you even noticing it. Although you may want to stop this cycle immediately, it will be hard to retrain your response overnight. However, the first step to recovery is to begin noticing when you do it. Who is triggering your response? What are the circumstances? How could you possibly handle the situation differently next time? I often encourage clients to write out and answer these questions to explore if there are any common themes.

Establish your priorities.

Knowing your values and priorities allows you to take control of people-pleasing. Ask yourself, "whom do you want to have your time?", "whom do you want to help?", "what are the most important things to me?". By identifying your priorities, you can set boundaries and say no.

Set those boundaries — and follow through.

Personal boundaries are rules, guidelines, or limits for how other people may treat you and the consequences that may occur if they do not follow the rules. When you fail to set and uphold boundaries, you can feel resentful, used, and mistreated. It is essential to ask yourself what limits feel comfortable to you and then stick to them. It is also vital to communicate your boundaries. By setting these boundaries, you are not taking away from your relationships but enhancing them.

Say no with confidence.

For people-pleasers, "no" equates to selfishness. Remind yourself the first no is always the hardest, but once you get through it once, the others will come easier. Saying no is not a selfish act, but a loving act. By holding yourself and your needs in a place of importance, you will be more able to help others in the future.

Realize that you can't be everything to everyone.

People-pleasers want to make everyone happy, but when you begin to set boundaries and say no to others, you realize that you can't make other people happy. The only thing that you can control is your thoughts, feelings, and responses.


If you're struggling to let go of these habits, seek help. Sharp Wellness can help you not only change your thoughts about yourself and the world you live in, but, we can help you build mental strength to create and live your best life.

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