Tips To Stop Being A People Pleaser


Are you always saying “yes” to please others even when it’s inconvenient for you? Or do you find yourself making decisions based on what other people want, rather than what you truly desire? If so, you may be a people pleaser. Being a people pleaser can be exhausting and can often lead to resentment towards others or even yourself. So, how can you break the cycle and stop being a people pleaser? Here are some tips to consider.

Recognize Your Pattern

The first step to breaking any habit is to acknowledge that it exists. Recognize the pattern that you have created and the role you play in it. You may find yourself constantly putting others’ needs ahead of your own or being afraid to express your opinion. Understanding your pattern will help you identify your triggers and address them.

Set Boundaries

One of the best ways to stop being a people pleaser is to set boundaries. Start by identifying the things that are important to you and where you draw the line. Communicate these boundaries to others in a calm and assertive manner. For example, if you don’t want to work overtime, politely decline the request and explain your reasons.

Say “No”

Learning to say “no” can be difficult, especially for people pleasers. However, saying “no” is necessary to establish boundaries and to prevent feeling overwhelmed or resentful. The key is to say “no” in a polite and respectful manner. Remember, it is okay to say “no” when you have other commitments, need more time to think, or simply do not want to do something.

Learn to Self-Validate

People pleasers often seek validation from others, rather than from themselves. This can lead to feeling insecure and constantly seeking approval or recognition from others. Learning to self-validate will help boost your confidence and reduce your need for external validation. Accept compliments, acknowledge your strengths, and give yourself credit for your accomplishments.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is vital to breaking the cycle of people pleasing. Practice self-care by doing things that make you feel good and help you relax. For example, take a bubble bath, go for a walk, read a book, or practice yoga. Make self-care a priority and schedule time for it regularly.

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is essential when it comes to breaking the cycle of people pleasing. Be clear and direct when expressing your needs or boundaries, but do so in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. Use “I” statements to communicate your feelings rather than blaming or accusing others. For example, say “I feel overwhelmed when I have too much on my plate” rather than “You always give me too much work to do.”

Accept Imperfection

People pleasers often strive for perfection in everything they do, which can be exhausting and unrealistic. Instead, learn to accept imperfection and embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. Recognize that you are human and that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process.

Final Thoughts

Breaking the cycle of people pleasing takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. Remember that setting boundaries, learning to say “no,” and practicing self-care are all important steps in this process. With the right tools and mindset, it is possible to stop being a people pleaser and to start living life on your terms.


FAQ 1: What is people-pleasing, and why is it a problem?

People-pleasing is a behaviour where an individual prioritises the desires and needs of others over their own, often to the point of sacrificing their own well-being. This compulsive tendency to please others can lead to burnout, resentment and frustration, and can be detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health.

FAQ 2: What are some signs of being a people-pleaser?

You may be a people-pleaser if you struggle to say ‘no’ to others, even when you’re tired or overloaded, have a fear of disappointing or upsetting others or feel immense guilt when you put yourself first, and have a strong need for validation or approval from others. These behaviours can lead to overcommitment, stress and exhaustion, and can prevent you from living a fulfilling and authentic life.

FAQ 3: How can I stop being a people-pleaser?

To stop being a people-pleaser, you need to learn to set boundaries and prioritise your own needs and desires. This involves challenging your beliefs and habits and learning to say ‘no’ when necessary. You can also practice self-care, mindfulness and assertive communication to enhance your self-confidence and reduce feelings of guilt or anxiety. Seeking support from loved ones or a therapist can also be beneficial in breaking the cycle of people-pleasing.


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2. Swee, H. Y., & Norshidah, M. S. (2017). Exploring the association between parental bonding styles and people-pleasing behavior among Malaysian university students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 22(3), 395-407.

3. Sperry, L. (2018). Addressing a common issue: Breaking the people-pleasing cycle. Journal of Individual Psychology, 74(3), 214-223.