How to Overcome People Pleasing

Feb 7, 2019

Raise your hand if you are a people pleaser! Let’s pretend I’m seeing a lot of hands go up because I know I am. You’re not alone – MANY of us struggle with this. For most of us, we’ve spent our entire lives as people pleasers and we honestly have no idea how to change this way of being. At this point, we think this is it and we’re going to be a doormat forever. No no, lady! I’m not letting that happen. Today I’m breaking down why you are a people pleaser, how to change your mindset about what it means to be a people pleaser, and steps to take to overcome this way of being.

Let’s kick this off with a quote from Brooke Castillo:


I call people pleasers liars. What I mean by that is you tell people what they want to hear and you do what people want you to do in order to get them to like you. This is not kindness. This is manipulation. All of you really sweet people that come to me that are seething with resentment and seething with anger because you don’t tell the truth. So many of us people pleasers end up eating our rage. We are so mad at ourselves for constantly saying yes and constantly people pleasing when we really want to say no.

Why you are a people pleaser:

Before you go into transforming into a person who says no faster than someone can even ask you to do something, let’s break down why this is an issue for you. People pleasing was likely modeled for you and you picked up on it. Or, your family told you over and over that you “needed to make excellent grades” or “be the best at whatever sport you played or extracurricular activity you did” so you became desperate to please that person. Now you’re desperate to please everyone from your husband to your kids to your boss to your friends to your church leaders to your mother-in-law.

You are a people pleaser because you care about how other people think of you NOT because you care to please them.

At the end of the day, we do everything because of how we think it will make us feel. We think by saying yes, it will make us feel needed, loved, appear responsible and on top of things. Sure, we might genuinely care about other people, but what we care more about is how other people perceive us. That’s a hard pill to swallow. We’ve believed for so long that we put others first, we’re humble, we are giving, and we take care of people. The truth is that we want people to think that. I know, it’s not something you want to acknowledge. I get it. However, there’s hope, friend. It’s time to realize that you are in control of how you feel and you are NOT in control of how other people feel. How other people feel is on them. That is not your responsibility. If you choose to say no to someone, how they respond to that or what they think has everything to do with them. Not you.

How to overcome people pleasing:

Step 1: Notice when you want to automatically say yes.

It’s your natural tendency to say yes to0 often so it will be your first reaction. I want you to notice this. Pay attention to when you are about to say yes, even when your gut is screaming no. Even when you know you’ll regret it or be mad at that person later for even asking. Noticing is your first step to making lasting changes.

Step 2: Say “let me get back to you” or “let me think about it” instead of automatically saying yes.

I’m not going to tell you to start saying no immediately to everyone because I know that’s easier said than done. If you’ve been saying yes to everyone for years, saying no does not come naturally. Instead, I’m recommending you say that you’ll think about it. This gives you the time and space to evaluate if this is the right thing and if it’s not, then you say no.

Step 3: Watch my Facebook video for an explanation of all of this.

I have a private Facebook group called Overwhelmed to Intentional where I go live every Wednesday at 12pm EST to share a Wellness Wednesday tip of the week and there is a video there that will explain all of this if you need to read it AND hear it. Repetition helps things to sink in a bit better. Ask to join the group and you’ll get access to the video.

Step 4: Hire a coach.

If this is an issue you believe you can’t overcome because it’s too late, I’d recommend hiring a coach. Working with a coach one-on-one will give you the ability to dig deep and see where this comes from and how to change your thoughts to overcome it. Book your clarity call to chat with me about how you can overcome your own people pleasing issue.



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