How to stop being a people pleaser


How to stop being a people pleaser  


I remember having a friend who was a people pleaser and for the life of me, I could not understand why someone would want to spend their lives living for others to the detriment of themselves. This is probably because, at a young age, I saw first-hand how traumatic and unsatisfying loving like that could be and made the decision to never end up that way.

Now don’t get me wrong being kind, giving, approachable, and reliable is great. But when a person does all these things to the point where their life, health, emotional, mental, physical, financial, and spiritual well-being is in jeopardy, then there’s a serious problem.

Now some people think that there’s nothing wrong with being a people pleaser but ladies, gentlemen, and all reading this article, I’m here to tell you that there is. But first things first let us clear all confusion as to what the term “People Pleaser” means.



Who is a People Pleaser?


Who is a People Pleaser? How to stop being a people pleaser


A people pleaser is someone who goes out of their way to help others - friends, family, colleagues, strangers – even when such help would prove detrimental to them. Characteristics of people pleaser include, but are by no means limited to:
Inability to say “no”;

  • Needing to be “needed” by others


  • Determining self-worth by what others think or say about them 


  • Adapting personality to fit that of the people around them;


  • Wilfully turning a blind eye to failing and detrimental relationships 


  • Accepting blame for said relationships even when they’re not at fault. Etc...


What’s Wrong with Being a People Pleaser?


Like I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to help and be there for people you love and even strangers. But there’s everything wrong with you doing it to the point where you place yourself in a position where your life is on the rocks because of it.

I believe that when helping others you have to set a limit so you don’t end up hurting yourself all in a bid to look good and that’s the crux of the problem with People Pleasers, they help so they can be seen as good people.

Not because they have some ulterior motive like running for a political office or becoming a godfather or some such other crazy scheme. But simply because they want people to call them good names and extol their good virtues to all and sundry because that’s the only way they can love themselves and find worth in their lives. This is unhealthy and completely wrong. Here are some reasons why it's wrong:


You lose your sense of self 


You live in fear of losing those you’re trying to please. 


You suppress your emotions and have no one to confide in 


You stand the risk of being emotionally unstable 


You stand the risk of being depressed 


You may find yourself becoming erratic and robotic 




The above and many more are reasons why being a people pleaser is very dangerous and apart from my dear friend whom I spoke about earlier, I think everyone suffers from this in varying proportions.

So this article is a call for us to carry out a check on our lives and interactions with others around us.

Now, let’s talk about how we can curb this habit before it gets out of hand. Here are ten (10) ways to stop being a people pleaser.



Here are ten (10) ways to stop being a people pleaser.



1. Engage in Self-Worth Affirmation 


As earlier stated, the main characteristic of people pleasers is their habit of measuring their self-worth based on the opinions of people around them. This means when people say good things about them, they grade their self-worth positively and when the reverse happens, they grade their self-worth negatively.

Hence, the compulsive need to please people for that’s the only way they get positive opinions about them. However this dependency on the opinions of others can prove very dangerous as people are fickle and so their opinions about things and people may change at any moment, this is why one of the best ways to overcome people-pleasing is to engage in self-worth affirmation.


Tell yourself good things about yourself not based on things you’ve done for others or good things you’ve heard about yourself from others. But your self-worth should come from YOU. When you find yourself trying to base your self-worth on the opinions of others, say to yourself. 


 In the presence of kings and queens, that's where I dwell

I am a valuable human being. 

prestige and honour reside in me.




These words go a long way in boosting your morale, trust, and faith in yourself, and believe me when I say that it’s not narcissistic in the least to tell yourself these things. If no one will tell you you’re amazing, nothing stops you from doing so yourself.

After all, there’s no law against it. So go ahead and confirm to yourself your worth, for when you know your worth, no one can ever bring you down.


2.  Learn to say “NO”


2.  Learn to say “NO” how to stop being a people pleaser



This was the first lesson I had to teach my friend, you know, the one I mentioned at the beginning, saying “no” to people when they demand things from you is alright. If it’ll be inconvenient, impossible, dangerous, and unhealthy then you have a right to say no, learn to say no, and look out for yourself. It doesn’t make you selfish, harsh, wicked, mean, no it only makes you wise.


Look, if anything were to happen to you for any reason these people would move on quickly and you’d be left holding the bag. So sweetheart, look out for yourself, your interest, and your well-being by saying no when you’re uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and incapable of giving or doing what they ask of you. It’s fine, it’s okay and it’s right.


3.  Know that You Deserve Unconditional Love 


you know how much you love these people and place so much value on your relationship with them, without reservation or condition(s)? That kind of love should be reciprocated, you know why? Love based on conditions and benefits and not a mutual emotional investment is bound to fail and place much more burden on the giving party.


In this case, you. Listen, everyone deserves and can find unconditional love, it may take time but you’ll find it because you deserve it. You need to understand though, that the value you place on yourself is the value that will be reciprocated, so be careful not to start your relationships with people placing your worth on what you can do because that will just set the tone of every interaction that’ll occur in that relationship. Give unconditional love and demand the same, it’s not unreasonable to ask for it because you’re no less of a human being than anyone else.



4. Set Boundaries 


4. Set Boundaries


I said this earlier and I’m repeating it here because it needs to be further explained. Setting boundaries means knowing your limits and sticking by them.

For instance, there are people you help that make you feel used, belittled, and uncomfortable, take note of these things and people and consciously decide to not do so anymore.

By continuing to help these people and run these errands that make you unhappy, you’re helping them lower your self-worth, demean you, and control your well-being.

That has to stop, look out for yourself, be your champion, and your supporter, as we’ve already said, saying “no” is your right and so is being vocal about and deciding not to do things that make you uncomfortable.



5.   Stand Up for Yourself

This quickly follows behind “setting boundaries”. In setting boundaries and saying “no” you’ll have to stand up for yourself because you’re telling these people that you’re changing the status quo and not all of them will be happy with your decision, they’ll want to test your will, and determination. You have to be ready mentally, emotionally, and in every way to stand up for yourself and behind your decision.

Do not knuckle under or give in to pressure, when some walk away, distance themselves from you, or even speak ill of you, because then you’ll be able to identify who has your best interest at heart, truly loves or likes you. Note that you don’t have to be rude mean or confrontational when standing up for yourself, you just have to be confident, firm, and decisive.


6. Do Not Rationalise


When deciding to change the tenor of the relationship you have with the people around you, you’ll begin to have flashbacks to the good times you’ve had with them and the good things they’ve done for you over time. But listen if your relationship with them is not making you happy or feel good then something is wrong and needs to be corrected.

Do not give into the temptation of making excuses for them and their behavior just because you don’t want to rock the boat. You’ll end up suffering in silence and that would result in your well-being further degrading and them having no idea why, thus having no chance to fix the problem or even yourself to find out who truly deserves to be a part of your life and preserve your wellbeing. In other words, you’re not only doing this for yourself but for them as well, not to mention others in their lives who may feel the way you do but are unable to speak up and change things.



7.   Stop Trying to Fit In



7.   Stop Trying to Fit In


Earlier in this write-up we identified “Adapting personality to fit in” as one of the characteristics of a people pleaser and to be honest, it’s also one of the core issues that result in unhappiness for people pleasers.

If you’re truly trying to break free and find happiness and fulfillment, you’ll have to embrace the real you and let those around you know who you are.

It’s an unavoidable step that will not only change things for the better but allow you to be free for the first time in ages, it’ll also allow you to grow as a person and discover who you are away from the pressure of always looking over your shoulder and double and triple checking that you’re still blending in still like them, still pleasing them. You get to focus on yourself, what you want, what you like, and what pleases you.


8.  Focus on Yourself

As you’re beginning to embrace the real you and stand up for yourself, you have to make sure that you’re making out time for yourself as well.

It’s very easy to fall back into old habits despite the fact that you have declared your intentions and reservations to all, if you do not know who you are and what you want then you won’t know how to relate with others in a way that’s not detrimental to you.

So take time to get away, be alone, and listen to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Get to know you. You’ll see how much better and healthier you become and don’t be afraid to seek assistance and help from professionals to guide you in this process.


9.  Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

9.  Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help 


This entire process is a long, rigorous, and trying one because you’re going to be going against everything you have subconsciously trained yourself to do.

As such you will need someone to help push you up when you’re falling, encourage you to keep going, and act as your accountability partner as you go along.

Hence, you cannot do this alone. Your partner in this journey could be anyone, but you have to be sure it's someone whom you trust, who has your best interest at heart, and who will always be honest with you. So it could be your spouse, partner, parent(s), sibling, friend, or a paid professional. Do not be ashamed or scared to admit and ask for help whenever you need it.


10. Accept Yourself 

After going through all of this, you’re going to have to find out who you are and embrace it, both the good and the bad, because no one’s perfect.

Keep in mind at all times that this is not about remaking yourself, it’s about finding who you are and letting the world know who the real you are and how to treat you better than they have before.

So don’t be afraid to accept who you are and if you find out what you need to better yourself, go ahead but in everything you do, honesty and love to, and for, yourself should be the watchword.




Never try to please anyone or try to be in the good book of others, instead place prestige, value, and love on yourself more than anyone that comes your way. Remember, the way you treat yourself, is the same way others will treat you. Stop being a people pleaser today.



Save This For Latter


Save This For Latter










xoxo, Denoshe
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