How to Overcome People Pleasing

How to Overcome People Pleasing

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Are you a people pleaser? In this video, I share 5 tips to help you overcome people pleasing and learn to say no!

People pleasing…what is it, why do we do it, and how do we stop?

You’re kind. You have a big heart. That’s fantastic! People with big hearts tend to give…and give..without boundaries. They tend to say YES when they mean NO. They tend to take on every volunteer job they’ve been asked to do.  Does this sound like you?

Many people-pleasers have trouble saying NO or asking for what they want and need. Needs? That’s needy, right? Nope. We all have needs, and when we don’t meet them, we are out of alignment with our true selves.

Maybe you have asked others for help, but when they didn’t reciprocate, you surrendered in frustration. “I’ll do it myself!” “I can’t depend on others!” And the resentment started to build…

Did you wake up one day and realize that as a people pleaser, you’d given up important bits of yourself? Maybe you became a little bitter. When other people failed to meet your needs, your irritation grew. You figured they didn’t care enough about you to give back. You felt unvalued and undesired.

If you recognize yourself as a people pleaser, that’s fantastic. The first step in change is noticing the problem. As a reformed people pleaser, I’ll share what I did to go from people pleaser to living an empowered life, aligned with my values.

How to Overcome People Pleasing

Watch the video here:

Why do people become pleasers?

  • What was modeled at home? Was your mom or dad a people-pleaser?
  • If you grew up in a home where your core needs weren’t met, you tried to get love by pleasing and doing.
  • Most of us were raised as women to be nice at all costs. 
  • We didn’t have the tools to be kind and firm. Love has limits. 

The People Pleasing Cure

When you suppress your needs and only attend to others, you lose yourself. The antidote is to turn your needs way up. Put yourself on the top of your to-do list. By taking care of yourself first, you will garner the respect of others.

1. Attend to your core needs. Are you eating healthy food and getting exercise on a regular basis? Are you fulfilling your intellectual and emotional needs? Are you making time for activities that light you up? Are you getting enough sleep? 

Make a list of the needs you’ve been neglecting. Post it on the bathroom mirror, above your desk, or on your computer – anywhere that it will be front and center. Your needs matter. You want to remember that every day. And then…

2. Attend to one neglected need a week. Take baby steps towards self-care. Catch up on your sleep. Read that exciting new book. Go out with friends. Do whatever it is that you’ve been neglecting. But don’t try to change everything at once or you’ll burn out. Build slowly.

3. Get comfortable saying “no”. If it doesn’t feel right, let people know. Use the 24-hour rule, so you don’t ‘auto-yes’. Say, “Let me think about that. I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” This will help you process the request and tune into your intuition.

Practice saying “no” when you don’t want to do something, when something feels out of alignment with who you are. “No, that doesn’t work for me” is my favorite way of saying ‘no’. It doesn’t work for ME. You’re not telling someone they’re wrong, just that it feels wrong to YOU. 

If people don’t like your NO’s and they push back and make YOU wrong, they are saying their needs are more important than yours. That’s what I call a boundary pusher. These are people you want to avoid at all costs. 

4. How do you feel about someone’s request? Ask yourself, “will I feel drained or energized if I do this?” Stop doing things that drain you, and do things that add to your life.

5. Boundaries? Get some! If you want others to treat you well, you need to know what that looks like for you. Maybe you’re tired of people expecting you to volunteer for everything. Maybe you tolerated people speaking down to you. 

Instead of letting them know it hurt your feelings, you kept it inside (and got a stomach ache). 

Maybe you’re busy taking care of your kids/parents/friends, going above and beyond at the expense of neglecting your own needs. Learn to say no (see #3). Practice saying, “Don’t talk to me that way.” You will slowly model how you want others to treat you and garner more respect.

Once you’ve developed a good self-care ritual, all of your relationships will change. You’ll know how to recognize the people who add value to your life. The benefit is that those people will treat you with the respect you deserve. They’ll cherish you more, because you love yourself first.

You deserve relationships with a healthy balance of give and take. When you’re in an equitable relationships, you will feel amazing. And the special people that you allow into your life will be grateful to have earned the love of the reformed people pleaser.


If you’re feeling stuck in dating and relationships and would like to learn what’s getting in the way of your last first date, sign up for a complimentary 1/2 hour breakthrough session https://lastfirstdate.com/breakthrough

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Get a copy of Sandy’s book, Becoming a Woman of Value; How to Thrive in Life and Love.

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