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If you find yourself constantly worrying about other’s opinions, and find yourself always aiming to make others happy instead of yourself, you might be a people pleaser. It’s not always bad, but it does become harmful if you always try to please others even to the point where it’s detrimental to you. Today I’ll share some useful tips on how to stop being a people pleaser.
Being a people pleaser
As social beings, we all live in relationships with one another. These relationships among us are basically expressed by the way we live interdependently. Because a single tree doesn’t make a forest, hence, a popular saying goes that man is not an island of himself but a part of the whole (i.e. the earth and society at large).
Due to the relationships that humans are naturally drawn to, you may feel a reflexive urge to fit into the society so that you are not left out like an outcast. In other words, it’s kind of a natural instinct for you as a person to live in general acceptance. This instinct of living to be accepted might be good or bad depending on the context or the rate at which you exhibit it.
For example: Your instinct to be in general acceptance when it comes to obeying the law is simply OK! Constitutions are provided in order to ensure that your actions are in line with the generally accepted culture, norms, rules and regulations. Because after all, some humans are naturally selfish and brutish, therefore the constitution is needed to curb our excesses.
However, your instinct of being accepted by all becomes a problem when: After adhering to the general rules, you still feel the need to go an extra mile to always try to impress everyone, even when it is totally not in your best interest!
How To Stop Being A People Pleaser
It’s a big problem when you have a constant fear and anxiety of displeasing others even when you obviously displease yourself while trying to please them. You end up losing your true self, you lose your true life, your identity and in fact, your reality.
The most painful part is that at the end of the day, the reason you chose to please others might not even be achieved. Because instead of getting love and acceptance in return, they will take advantage of you and as a result, your dignity, value and respect will be undermined.
Living your life solely to please people is definitely something you have to stop because it is like living other people’s lives when you have your own life to enjoy. You are more or less nonexistent if all you try to achieve is what others want.
Have you lost your voice because you are afraid of displeasing others by speaking out? Or are you the type who has been subjected to perpetual slavery because you want to always be in agreement with everyone and loved by all? Do you feel like you’ve had enough of all this and you really want to own your life? Then this post is for you.
The aim is to make you acknowledge your true value, to make you realize that you are an individual who shouldn’t just live to please people but you are meant to be pleased as well. That you have a voice and that your voice can be heard too!
Now, let’s look at some tips you should consider in order to stop being a people pleaser.
1. Understand what matters most in life
There are many things that can be considered very important in this life, those are the things you should consider first. But even at that, there should only be one thing that is the most important of all. What could that be?
Now listen, the first step to take if you really want to stop being a people pleaser is to realize that you as an individual are the most important factor to consider in your own life before any other thing or person. Well, I’m not saying you should become unhealthily selfish. But at least, every good deed often starts from within, therefore, if you must please others, why not start by pleasing yourself?
You are the most important person in your world and existence, as a matter of fact.
2. Know exactly what you want and do it!
Have you ever asked yourself the questions: What do I want or what don’t I want? Have you considered the things you can accept and things you can NOT accept, especially when dealing with people? That’s another important thing to think about if you want to live your life and not other people’s lives.
Knowing what you want and boldly differentiating them from what you don’t want (what you can tolerate and what you can’t tolerate), will go a long way to help you do the needful and leave the rest.
For example, as a girl in a romantic relationship, you could tell yourself “Yes, I can visit my boo, but I will never sleep over at his house when we are yet to get married.”… That’s a typical way of deciding what you want for yourself, despite what others may think. You may also want to visit him and sleep over at his house but never cook for him until marriage.
Whatever works for you, that’s the motto. When you learn how to make such choices and stick to them, then you are owning your life. Because you are doing exactly what you want for yourself.
3. Work on your self-confidence and self-esteem
It’s vital to build the confidence you have in yourself (self-confidence) and to attach more value, worth and respect to yourself (self-esteem). Without believing or having confidence in yourself, can you ever acknowledge your value or worth? Can you even respect yourself? The answer is boldly NO!
Now, when you don’t have enough confidence to value yourself, how then can you value your decisions and do what is best for you? How can you value your opinion enough to voice it out? In fact, how can you even have the guts to be yourself?
Building your confidence and self-esteem is simply fundamental for you to take charge of your life.
4. Learn to disagree at times
The earlier you learn to say “No” sometimes, the better chance you stand to stop being a people pleaser.
It is not evil or even remotely bad to disagree at times, especially when it doesn’t come to terms with your core values which involve the things you really want for yourself. Going against your values to please people doesn’t make you a good person, you will only end up displeasing yourself.
These same people are more likely not to regard the effort you are making to impress them because you gave them the ground to disregard you… You didn’t value yourself enough by going against your core values!
The more you disagree to live for others, the more you agree to live your own life. And the more you agree to live your own life, the more life becomes generally smooth for you.
5. Always remember that it is your life, not theirs
Your life belongs to you alone, not to any other person. Always remember that when dealing with people.
When you are conscious of the fact that you own your life, it will go a long way to prevent you from falling for those manipulations that people are bound to trigger, which could lead you to live only to please them, even to your own detriment.
However, remember that by saying “you should live your life” it doesn’t mean you should disregard others. Rather, it simply means that you should place more and more regard to yourself, your decisions and your opinions.
6. Learn to unlearn
While growing up, you must have learned a lot about how important it is to try your best to always be good to people in order to be loved by everyone…
Well, I’m not saying that it’s bad to be good (ha ha). Neither am I implying that it is not good to be that epic man (or woman) of the people. But the fact is that in this modern world, being a good person is not the same thing as being good to people. Why is that?
Because being a good person entails doing good always, no matter what! But nowadays, people typically see you as a good person only when you please them always. What you are doing to please them might actually be a bad thing but it is none of their business. Just please them always, that’s all that matters to them.
In this era, when you please others against yourself, you are simply not wise enough and you’ll surely be undervalued. Plus, today, it is assumed that you only stick to yourself/your ideas when you value yourself and when you stick to others’, it simply means you value others more than yourself.
Therefore, it is important that you unlearn the things you learned which are not necessarily correct.
7. Compromise at times: When it’s okay
This is probably the smartest move to make if you want to influence people to go by your decision when it matters the most.
By compromising, I don’t mean you should always forgo your core values in order to please others. Rather, I mean you should allow people to win when it is not your top priority, buy their opinion in that case till it becomes a top priority for you. Then it will be easier to say NO since you already favored them once or twice.
8. Understand that not everyone can be pleased
You can do all you want; you can climb up a cliff and down with bare hands, you can even swim in the Atlantic or trek to China from South Africa and back in order to please people and still, you won’t entirely please everyone. I’ve heard someone say before, you can be the juiciest, most delicious peach in a room of peaches, but still, some people just won’t like peaches.
Think of it: is it worth it to stress yourself trying to please someone who might not be pleased after all? Is it worthwhile to pass through the anxiety and fear of displeasing people when you haven’t even thought of pleasing yourself?
Remember that you matter first because it’s your life. Supposing you die while trying to please others, you die alone, not them… In fact, they’ll boldly live on when you’re gone.
If you have this in mind, then you’ll learn to do only the right thing, whether it pleases anyone or not. As long as it is right for you, do it! That is one way of shunning the “people-pleaser” attitude.
9. Learn to be loved and love yourself!
Maybe you don’t know, but actually, some good people will have a way of perceiving when you are not being your real self. They notice it when you are trying too hard to impress others and your continued act of being a people pleaser will only mar your relationship with such people instead of building it! They’ll simply see you as a pretender instead of seeing you as the good person that you are trying so hard to portray.
Learn to love yourself and be proud of it! By proudly loving yourself, it is far easier to gladly be yourself. That is when those who really appreciate you for who you are will respect and value you more.
Life itself is generally easier when you learn to love yours and live yours. Nothing can be more stressful than being what you are not, just to impress!
Finally, let me just point out that not being a people pleaser doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be empathetic or that you should be unapologetically selfish (hell no, peeps). If I promote selfishness, zero tolerance and zero empathy, then it is more like propagating evil and hatred in the society.
In the context of this article, not being a people pleaser means that, as much as you understand that being fair and nice to people is good and that buying people’s opinion sometimes is also not bad, it only becomes a major problem to your individuality when you lose yourself trying to impress everyone!
The anxiety, fear and tension that come with being a people pleaser are not only unhealthy for your psychological well-being but also unhealthy for your physical and social well-being.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to make use of the tips discussed above and live your life in your own best way. Because, I mean, YOLO?
You might also want to read about:
- How To Live Authentically: 11 Ways To Be True To Yourself
- 30 Cheap Self Care Ideas For A Bad Day
- How To Love Yourself Unconditionally: 9 Real Tips
- How To Develop A Positive Mindset: 12 Real Tips
Don’t forget to pin these tips on how to stop being a people pleaser!
If you made it to this point, yay! I hope you found these tips on how to stop being a people pleaser helpful! And, that if you find yourself doing this sort of thing, that you’ll take steps to stop doing it.
I would appreciate it immensely if you could take a moment to pin this post to your personal development board on Pinterest. You can also follow me on Pinterest for more self improvement tips and advice!