Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by Shane Walker
People pleasers put everyone else’s needs and wishes before their own. It’s difficult for them to say “no” because their own worth and value is tied to how much they do for others. It makes them feel important and needed, and saying “yes” is almost like a drug that feeds an addiction to feel important. A people pleaser also dreads letting others down and being seen in a bad light, so it’s important that they be seen as someone who will always be a yes man or yes woman. Their inability to stop people pleasing, however, comes at a high cost.
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The Downside Of Being A People Pleaser
No Time For Yourself
When you are always doing for others you have no time to make yourself a priority. Self-care is extremely important for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It’s even important for our families because you can’t pour from an empty cup, right? If we want to prioritize self-care, we must learn to stop people pleasing.
People Pleasers Feel Drained
If you do not stop people pleasing, you will continue to feel drained. Not only physically, but mentally as well. People pleasers get involved in other people’s issues and that can be mentally draining. We have our own issues to worry about and we all need time to recharge our own batteries.
People Take Advantage Of You
Being a people pleaser opens you up to being taken advantage of because you may have difficulty standing up for yourself. You will always be the go-to person for someone wanting to benefit from your inability to say no. You may find yourself constantly baby-sitting, giving rides, helping with home projects and so on.
There are many other downsides and reasons to stop being a people pleaser. So how do you stop? Here are 7 strategies to stop people pleasing.
How To Stop People Pleasing
The following seven strategies are simple, but depending on the person, they may not be easy. If you commit to them, however, you will be on your way to shedding your people pleasing ways.
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1 – Give Yourself Time To Decide
Not only do people pleasers find it difficult to say “no”, but they usually say “yes” without hesitation. This almost always leads to regret. Instead of giving in right away, give yourself time by saying, “let me get back to you.” It’s not as scary as turning them down, but it gives you time to think about it and avoid committing to something you really do not want to do.
2 – Set Boundaries To Stop People Pleasing
Decide that there are just some things you will not do anymore and stick to them. You can still do for others, but you don’t have to do everything for others. Start out by listing things that make you feel uncomfortable, frustrated, and stressed out. These are clues to where you need to set boundaries. Then for each of your boundaries, formulate a statement that is clear and precise that the other person will understand. This way you are not back-tracking or making weak excuses when you are sticking to your boundaries. Here are more ways to set effective boundaries.
3 – Be Assertive
This may be hard for most people pleasers but is a skill that is vital if you want to stop people pleasing. People who are used to taking advantage of others do not like taking no for an answer. So be prepared for them to press you until they get the “yes” that they are used to receiving. You must be assertive in saying no. Utilize the first two strategies for help with this. Give yourself time, and review your boundaries. If they are insistent say, “let me get back to you,” then with that time, remember the reasons why you set those boundaries in the first place. Being assertive doesn’t mean you have to be aggressive about saying “no”. You can be assertive by giving yourself time, but still being true to your decision.
4 – Realize Other People’s Life Will Go On Without Your “Yes”
People pleasers are afraid that if they say “no” there will be some sort of catastrophic event. That if they do not babysit, it will ruin someone else’s plans, or if they do not attend the Christmas party for example, the other person’s holiday will be ruined. In actuality, saying no doesn’t have as big of an impact that you may think. Life will go on for the other person and in most cases, the fact that you said no will leave their mind a lot sooner than it leaves yours. Stop looking at yourself as their savior. You are not. If they are disappointed, be okay with it and realize that life will go on for both of you.
5 – Stop People Pleasing By Cultivating Internal Value
Many people pleasers do for others because it makes them feel good about themselves and makes them feel valuable. While this is okay to an extent, understand that you do not have to get all of your value from others. Focus on finding value from within. Take some time every day to focus on improving your self-worth. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, give yourself a pat on the back for your daily victories no matter how small, stop comparing your life to others. These are some simple ways to cultivate internal value.
6 – Become Inconvenient
Is there someone in particular who uses you? Do you have someone in mind who takes advantage of you? If so, then it’s time to limit your exposure to them. If you are not comfortable cutting them off cold turkey, then limit the time you spend with them. Stop answering their texts right away. Stop responding to their emails.
There is someone very close to me, that used me financially and emotionally because it was easy. It didn’t stop until I set boundaries and limited my exposure to them. When I got an, “hey how is life going?” message, I avoided responding right away because I knew right after that they would follow up with, “can you do me a favor?” I stopped making it convenient for them to ask. Do the same to the people who are using you as well.
7 – Be Kind To Yourself
It’s okay to let others down and it’s okay not being someone’s savior. You are supportive, you are caring, and you will be there when it matters most. So don’t beat yourself up, if you are not there all the time. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself a pass to focus on you for a change.
Among many other drawbacks, if you continue being a people pleaser you will have limited time for yourself, you’ll continue feeling both emotionally and physically drained, and people will continue taking advantage of you.
Stop people pleasing by giving yourself time to decide, setting boundaries, being assertive, and realizing other people’s lives will continue. Also work on cultivating internal value, becoming inconvenient and being kind to yourself. These strategies are simple, but they are not all easy. You can stop people pleasing, however, as long as you commit.
How has people pleasing held you back? Let us know in the comments below.