How to stop being a people pleaser? 10 Tips

Are you spending so much time trying to please other people that you never leave any time to please yourself? Perhaps you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to things that you don’t really want to do, just to stay on the right side of people? If you are constantly bending over backwards for other people, then the chances are that you have become a people pleaser. If you have, then you are probably afraid that saying ‘no’ will make you seem impolite, lazy or ungrateful but that’s actually rarely the case. You can, and sometimes you should, say ‘no’ to other people and start to look out for yourself a bit more. To find out how easy it can be to stop being a people pleaser, just read on.

1. Understand why you are doing it

The first step is to know why you are striving to please others all the time. Are you saying yes all the time because you want to please people, or are you just avoiding having to say no? When you really think about what is making you be a people pleaser, you probably find that your own arguments are invalid. Saying no, sometimes, won’t make a person dislike you or never ask you again and they probably won’t even think twice about it.

2. Making you a priority isn’t being selfish

You need to take the time and recognize your own needs. Put yourself first, before thinking of others and do the things that you like doing and take on only the tasks that you know you can comfortably do.

3. Understand that you do have a choice

You do have choices, so exercise them. For some people, their upbringing and their past experiences makes pleasing people a priority over all others but this needn’t be the way. If someone asks you to do something, learn that you can say no, which is your prerogative.  If you don’t, you will always be taking or more than you can handle and doing things that you don’t want to do.

4. Set the boundaries

If you have become a true people pleaser then there are probably no boundaries as to what you would do to put a smile on someone’s face. It might seem like the right thing to do, but have you considered that you might be doing them more harm than good? You might be doing them a favor, by making them stand on their own two feet and making them understand that there are limits to what they can ask of people.

5. Set aside some ‘me time’

Schedule some time in the week that is going to be just for you. This is the time that you will get your chores done, pursue your hobbies, or just chill out for a while. Don’t let anyone steal that time away from you, unless it is a real emergency and, just say no!

6. Start off with small changes

You don’t need to make massive changes, right from the start. Begin by just politely explaining why you can’t do one small thing, and then work your way up. You will be surprised at how easy it is and that it doesn’t have massive repercussions. So much so, that it will give you the confidence to say no more often.

7. Choose your ‘Yes’s’ wisely

No one is suggesting that become a recluse or a selfish person, just that you have the right to decide what you want to do. Choose who you say yes to, carefully. Perhaps you would say yes to a real need of your parents, but say no to a clingy friend. Prioritize your efforts and you will be able to give more to those who really need it.

8. Don’t try and be everyone’s favorite

Accept that you are not going to be liked by everyone and stop trying to be everybody’s favorite. You really can’t please all the people all the time. It’s far better to have a few close true friends than it is to have a lot of people of just use you.

9. Reward your own success

You are not alone in having this overwhelming desire to please people and it can be a big step to try and change. Be sure to congratulate yourself with a pat on the back or a treat, every time you take a small step toward putting yourself first. Acknowledging your own success will give more of an incentive to keep going.

10. Don’t quit

There will be times when you meant to say no, but the old habit returned, and you said yes instead. When this happens, have a laugh to yourself about it, but recognize that it did happen. It’s going to take time, but don’t give up, you’ll get there in the end.

How to stop being a people pleaser? What are your tips?

Stay happy!

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