How to Stop Being a People Pleaser? | Tips to Stop People Pleasing

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

Did you ever do something though you don’t want to? Have you ever changed your opinion on your favorite thing, just and only just because someone didn’t like it? If your answer is yes, you are already being a people-pleaser. In any case, if you are willing to give yourselves into other’s opinions without proper reason, then it is most likely that you are trying to please someone.

People-pleasers are those who do everything and anything to please others, whether people ask them or just wish that to be done. It is like “They put everyone else before themselves” and they feel that they are contributing to someone else’s life and hence prioritize it.

What is it to be a People-pleaser?

For some, people-pleasers seem to be the coolest and the friendliest. They even want to be like them. But, it is really tough to be a people-pleaser, as there won’t be any space for yourself and your opinions. Sometimes, we just wonder how anyone can be so selfless and sacrificing all the while. But the truth is that, they have their own opinions, likes and thoughts in their mind and always try to adjust for the sake of pleasing others.

People-pleaser’s self confidence and security is based on the approval of others. As they lack confidence, they yearn for support from the outside. The insecurity and low self esteem they have are pronounced when they get submissive and start believing that others opinions are to be values, followed and done. People-pleasers worry if other’s would reject them or outcast them if they don’t behave up to the expectations of others. People-pleasers always fear that they would be disliked and cut from the group.

A Woman trying to look happier
A Woman trying to look happier

If You are One

Many people don’t see how much stress and pressure does people-pleasing put on them. You will get drained of all energy by doing too much for yourselves. As these expectations are understood more deeply, you feel more committed and that increases anxiety to meet those expectations. This gets you into a vicious cycle of being committed and fulfilling those expectations. This in turn will leave you in a state of having less sleep and being more upset and anxious, most of the time. You will be overloaded as you cannot do it all.

What it actually means

Being a people-pleaser actually means to be having low self-confidence. When we seek other’s acceptance, yearn to be appreciated and liked by everyone around, it means that we want others to like us and give us love, care and attention that we are not giving ourselves. It is a sign of lacking self-love. People-pleasing is disempowering, inauthentic and extremely time and energy consuming. It is nothing but suffocating yourselves with too much of stress and pressure. In the desire of getting an approval, you tend to change yourselves accordingly and this process becomes endless.

When someone points out something from your act, you try to change according to them to please them. Then, the output will be something else which they might or might not like, but certainly you won’t. Such things will leave you dissatisfied and in a state of feeling hopeless and fit-for-nothing, which highly affects your self-esteem. For instance, if someone brings a proposal like watching a football match and you go along so as to satisfy them, though you don’t like watching it, imagine the amount of emotional disturbance you would go through. This nature builds high stress in individuals.

What Needs to be Done?

One should learn self-acceptance and should keep that process going, to stop being a people-pleaser. Loving oneself and accepting what they want is the process of recognizing the self. With this, self-confidence builds up and self-esteem increases.

A lady being so dull with headache and thinking
A lady being so dull with headache and thinking
  • You might feel that you always have to say yes, but forget that you too have a right to say a No.
  • Always remember that saying No to unwanted ones is always saying yes to the important ones.
  • By rejecting to allot time to unwanted things, you are preferring to spend time wisely. This also says that you value your time.
  • Saying No for the first time is always the hardest. Support yourself with a good reason, but don’t elaborate too much. They would say, “Oh, it’s not as important as what I’m asking for” or “You can do it later”. Hence keep it simple and precise, but don’t try to defend your decision.
  • Be sure and confident in what you are saying. Say it like you have made up your mind. For example, when your friends order some Italian food while you prefer Mexican, saying it would make them respect your taste. That gives an impression that you have preferences.
  • Check on what’s more important for you before feeling committed to any work, especially when the work belongs to others. It is no good to always step forward only to help. Knowing what’s important to you is also a must.
  • Initially it could be tough for you and you might feel selfish, confining only to yourselves and your needs. So, don’t stress yourself. Take it slowly by allotting a certain time. If you want to help others, set a time frame for that. Ask them to meet you at specified timings like some 6 pm to 8 pm or so. This enables time management for you and lets you help others too.
  • Instead of doing what others won’t, we should also focus on who we are and what we want in our lives. When pleasing others becomes your sole purpose in life, you tend to lose yourselves. So, try to understand what you like to do.
  • Whenever someone asks a favor, it’s perfectly okay to say that you need to think before committing. This gap will allow you to think. Make sure you understand all the details of that commitment.
  • Always check what you are thinking before doing it and if it is okay for you to do that.
  • Understand the amount of pressure you are going to bear if you accept doing something. Also, remember to make a must-to-do and don’t-want-to-do list.
  • Always check the proposals that others make. See if they can do it all by themselves and still they are asking you. In case you are being manipulated, you have every right to say a No. If someone says, “Oh wow! This vase looks beautiful. Can you gift me one?” You need not say yes to such proposals. A simple smile without saying anything would suffice.
  • Always remember that people need to feel heard and understood. So, though you are about to say a No, empathize with them and convey it smoothly. This makes them feel satisfied, though you deny the act.
  • When you get a proposal from your boss you might not turn it down, but you easily escape when it is from your colleague. So, don’t step back whenever you can say a No. In this way, it won’t be hard for you to stop being a people-pleaser.
  • Initially, you would start feeling guilty when someone gets upset or something goes wrong for someone, thinking if you would have acted in time, things would be better for them. But please take time to think that they too have an opportunity in hand to work for themselves or to plan. You cannot be responsible for everything that happens. You have never promised that you would take care of everything in everyone’s life.
  • Be your own Best-friend
  • Understand how severely you have troubled to throw yourself into a web of un-invited responsibilities resulting in wavering levels of self-esteem. Have some concern for you and be your support.
  • Be your own best friend by being with you and treating you in a manner that you deserve.
  • Understand what your inner-self says and communicate to the needs. Practice having some time for yourself and being in silence and solitude for some time in a day. Love yourself and learn from your experiences.

If it is still being tough for you and if your insecurities are bothering you form being alone and making your own decisions, it is always advisable to seek the support from an expert. Our team of experienced psychologists is here to help you to make you mentally stronger. Book an appointment, today.

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