Four ways to stop being a people pleaser

Who doesn't want the people around them to be happy? Its usually what drives us to say Yes to someone as we know it will make them happy.


But what if you always say yes to other people and its making you miserable? Chances are, you may be a people pleaser. Its a habit so many of us pick up because we start off feeling good about doing something for others.


It becomes problematic when saying Yes to others actually means we're repeatedly saying No to ourselves.


So what happens? We lose sight of our own goals, we lose energy, we feel resentful and our relationships start to become tense.


How familiar does this feel?


I'm guessing that by reading this blog you're not looking for affirmation, you're seeking answers, a way out of this.


So heres 4 ways you can stop being a people pleaser. Remember its hard sometimes to break a habit and it takes practice. Don't let that put you off. Starting today is better than never taking the first step.


And if you want to really embed practices like these, and much more then coaching is a great way to work through this.


  1. Start by creating a list (write it down, or create it on your phone's notes app). On this list you want to note everything that you want to say yes to. Add things that make YOU happy. Things that give you joy. People you enjoy spending time with. Things that are important to you. Don't scrimp on this step or rush it! Take your time, spend a week or two adding to it.

  2. With your list created, make a note of why you don't get time to do these things. And who it is that fills up your time instead.

  3. Now practice how you can start to say No to others. Maybe No is too much of a big step, after all it can feel a bit blunt and direct. Do some research across the Internet, ask your friends. A great way to start which builds up your confidence gently is to delay making a decision. Maybe try 'I'll get back to you. Does that feel easier than No? Its more likely to get a positive response from others too, something that people pleasers fear most is a negative reaction.

Now its time to put it all together. Armed with knowledge of what you want to do, and knowing who takes those moments away from you, use your preferred phrase in step 3 the next time you get asked to do something you don't want to do. Then high five yourself and go do the thing you want to do (even if that thing is doing nothing at all!).


Take these 4 steps. Repeat.


Each time you repeat them, you'll feel more confident to keep doing it. Which leads you to pleasing yourself more, and others less.


The road to not being a people pleaser can be complex, but taking small steps forwards starts to give you a chance to be yourself again.