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Stop Being A People Pleaser

people pleaser

Stop Being A People Pleaser

Being a people pleaser is always hard to identify, especially in relationships. Why? Because it always makes you feel so good when you make others happy by doing things for them, helping them and making sure their needs are taken care of. But sooner or later, you notice that everyone else is getting their needs met and you are STILL picking up the crumbs of nurturing and support.

When that “AHA” moment happens, depending on your personality, you either are crushed and whine about it, retreat or keep on doing it hoping that others will eventually see how much you do for them. Never seems to work though, does it?

The other option is going all out full commando and making your passive-aggressive stand with those that love you, while they stand there with mouths open saying, “what the heck is wrong with her?” Either approach, accomplishes nothing for you. To stop the addictive behavior, you must first recognize what people pleasing looks like and why you do it.

After doing some research, I condensed some fairly good tips to help identify and change self-destructive people pleasing behavior, especially in relationships.

How to stop being a people please

  1. Re-evaluate your relationships. Do you have toxic relationships that drag you down and make you feel bad? Start being true to yourself and stop spending less time with the negative people who drain you.
  2. Learn to say no. This might be the hardest part of learning how to stop being a pleaser.
  3. How did you become a people pleaser in the first place? Chances are, pleasing others was a behavior that came with reward as a child. You probably received attention and praise at a young age when you did something caring and kind for others.
  4. Are you afraid of not living up to other’s expectations? After years of people pleasing, maybe you believe that people have come to expect it of you, and you’d be right. If people are disappointed in you, that may affect your self-esteem.
  5. What do YOU get out of people pleasing that keeps you doing it? Perhaps you’ve come to like the idea that people think of you as the “go-to” person, the one people can always rely on.
  6. What emotions do you get by people pleasing? Do you feel happy and gratified by people’s responses to your efforts, or do you feel angry, exhausted and drained because of the constant pressure to continue this behavior?
  7. Taking care of yourself and your own needs first. When you put others’ needs ahead of your own, you’re signaling to yourself that your needs are not as important as theirs, that your needs can wait and taking the time for yourself feels indulgent and selfish.
  8. Learn to assess your own priorities. Do you automatically jump in and say “Yes” before thinking if you really want to do something for someone else? Take a moment before you speak and then decide.
  9. Choose the people that you want to please. Be choosy who you decide to help and not give your time and effort away to everyone just because they asked.
  10. Learn to live with the negative response of saying no. Accept that you can’t please all people all of the time. Choosing what you can’t change (and who you can’t change) are important, humbling and necessary lessons for people pleasers.

(READ: The Courage to Change Yourself)

Susan Z’s Verdict

The bottom line to break the addictive behavior of being a people pleaser is to learn how to say yes to yourself first. This could be a new behavior for you but imagine what it would be like to do what makes you feel good, without worrying about fulfilling others demands, worrying what others think of you or feeling GUILTY because you’re not doing enough for those around you. When you truly value yourself, you will know how to help others in a way that honors and respects both of you. Maybe it’s time to get just a little selfish.


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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine. (life cycles) Learn more at her website: www.szrwhitewings.com

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