Have you ever struggled with saying no to your family or friends? Do you constantly strive to please others, often sacrificing your own wants and needs in the process? This is what you call people pleasing, when individuals alter their behaviors to make everyone else feel comfortable to feel a sense of love, value and belonging. Some common causes of people pleasing stem from low self-esteem, anxiety, conflict avoidance, culture and socialization, inequity, and even personality disorders. Once you’re stuck in this repetitive behavior for so long, it can be difficult to stop, which increases stress, resentment, interpersonal issues, and loss of identity. Instead of neglecting yourself, utilize these tips to eliminate people-pleasing behaviors.

Tip 1: Learn to say “NO”: It is easier said than done, but learn to say no in a way that is comfortable to you.

Tip 2: Stall: When someone asks you for something, do not immediately provide the quick yes response you are used to. Instead, allow yourself time to consider whether you want to take on the request.

Tip 3: Setting boundaries: This can be tough being a people-pleaser because oftentimes, you do not want to disappoint people. Learn to identify your patterns and behaviors and start making the necessary changes. Figure out what you are comfortable and not comfortable with when it comes to helping people.

Tip 4: Listen to your inner voice: Throughout life, you will meet many people who hold you to an expectation or simply take from you as long as you keep giving. You must learn to make your own decisions and do what makes you happy. Your inner voice also helps you distinguish between a genuine person who deserves to be helped and an opportunist who does not appreciate your efforts.

Tip 5: Be your authentic self: This is most important as you work on eliminating your people-pleasing tendencies. Being true to yourself will help you avoid doing things for people just for acceptance. Don’t be afraid to stand confident in the decisions you make. You will gain respect for yourself and from others for being true to who you are.

It can be truly hard to break the cycle of people pleasing, but it is time to make yourself a priority and even learn to be a bit more selfish. Take control of your life, and remember that you deserve happiness too. You are not here to fulfill others people’s needs, only your own. Practice putting yourself first, and the rest will follow or fall off!

Here is a little fun tune I wrote that you could repeat in your head when you are struggling with people pleasing.

Stop! Don’t you dare say yes.
If that yes is going to lead to stress.
Take your time and think it through.
Make the decision that’s best for YOU!