How To Stop Being A People Pleaser
Updated: Apr 25
People-pleasing involves putting someone else's needs ahead of your own. People-pleasers are h
ighly attuned to others and are often seen as agreeable, helpful, and kind. So when does being a people pleaser become a problem?
Putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own is what makes humanity a better place and having the self-awareness to do this is an honourable attribute. However, when you are always (or pretty much always) putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own you have entered dangerous territory. Your happiness and sanity are important too.
Doing too much and saying yes, all the time only leads to resentment and hurts relationships rather than helps them. You may feel that your needs are at the bottom of the pile, that people take advantage of you, people mistake your kindness for weakness and see you as a pushover or that people don’t value your opinion. But the only person that can change this is you. People pleasing stems from a place of insecurity and low self-esteem, it stems from a fear of disappointing people and not from an authentic place. Always putting others before yourself because you don’t know how to say no, or because you don’t have the confidence to do so will only harm your own mental health in the long term and that is too high of a price to pay.
You may feel that people pleasing is simply a part of your very being and a huge part of your personality and you don’t want to lose the good qualities that come with it such as being compassionate. However, standing up for yourself or learning to say no does not mean you have to lose your compassion or helpfulness but finding a happy middle ground and learning to say no in an assertive and confident way will make you much happier, enrich your relationships and change the way you live your life for the better.
Assertiveness training, confidence building and conflict resolution training are great ways to do this. When using Hypnotherapy in a CBT framework you are able to practise these skills in a controlled environment and visualise the goals you want to achieve. You can practise saying no while visualising yourself in a real-life situation and then when you come to say no in real life it’s as if you have done it a thousand times over which reduces the nerves that surround it.
It is entirely possible to care about others while also putting yourself first.