How can I stop pleasing people?

This article will discuss ways that can help you stop being a people pleaser. It will also show what are the signs that you are one, and what can have turned you into one.

How can I stop pleasing people?

If you wish to stop pleasing people, here are some things you can do.

Keep in mind that pleasing is a choice 

Although it may seem sometimes like you can’t help but please people, you should always have in the back of your mind that pleasing is a choice. Only that way you may become more aware of how much effort you have been putting towards pleasing others, and that is the first step to change.

Have your priorities clear, and adjust your boundaries accordingly 

If you wish to stop pleasing people, you must begin to adjust your priorities accordingly. Setting boundaries, and writing them out to yourself can help you stick to them.

Being aware of your wants and needs, and communicating them to others can often make your relationships change, and not all of them will likely survive this changed behavior, but the people that were by your side without any need of being pleased, will likely stay.

In observing your boundaries, a good toll is setting a time limit to what you are doing for others. For example, if you are going to help your friend with their move, let them know you can only do that for two hours. This will give you a type of structure without asking you to do something you are not ready to do yet, say no to people’s faces.

Try to identify if people are manipulating you 

If you want to stop being a people pleaser, it is important that you try to identify which people are using, or manipulating you to get what they want, and what genuinely nice people, would be by your side even if you had firm boundaries with them.

Sometimes manipulators may be difficult to spot, but know that they can behave in many forms. Some may even give you a backhanded compliment to get you to do what they want. 

Allow yourself to say no 

If you want to stop being a people pleaser, you may want to begin practicing saying no. To do that, one of the first things you can do is practice it in the mirror, or even create mantras that you can repeat to yourself, so you are constantly reminded that you are allowed to say no.

So when there is the need for you to say no to something, like if someone is asking for your help in something at work, you can say, with conviction, no. Saying maybe, or that you don’t know won’t do you any good. It will only give people the impression that they can persuade you to do the work.

It is also important that you learn to ask for time, or space whenever you feel that people’s demands are making you feel overwhelmed, or simply that you are unable to say no at the time. So if at the time you feel it is necessary, you can tell the person that you will get back to them on the matter. 

You should also know that, while saying no, you don’t need to explain too much. Be straightforward, and just let the person know you can’t do it. But don’t go on explaining yourself too much.

Learn how to deal with discomfort 

If you feel like you are a people pleaser, it can often mean that you may end up trying to do what people want because you can’t deal with the discomfort of not pleasing. 

But to change that behavior, it may be important that you focus on letting the discomfort in, and just deal with it. With time, you may realize that it is not as big, or as difficult as you would have thought.

Understand that it is a process 

Learning how to stop being a people pleaser is a process. It is not something that will come to you from one moment to the next. Practicing in the mirror, and then starting small can make you feel stronger and more self-assured to stop pleasing others.

You should always keep in mind that your voice matters and your boundaries, needs, and wants should count for something. And whenever you take a step forward, be sure to congratulate yourself. 

Don’t apologize when you say no 

If you start to apologize to people as you stop trying to please them, it is only a way for you to assume that you should be doing everything in your power to please them. So as you say no, don’t apologize for it if it is not necessary.

Know that you are not able to fulfill every person’s desire and that it may happen that some people won’t like, or approve of you. But that happens to everyone.

Look for professional help

Being a people pleaser is something that is likely built on you through your life story. So if you want to get that pattern of behavior, sometimes it may be important to look for professional help. Through that, you may recognize what led you to become a people pleaser and create strategies out of it.

What are the signs that I am a people pleaser? 

When you are a people pleaser, it may be that you are seen as a person that constantly agrees with others, and has trouble dealing with conflict. 

You may also be a people pleaser if you find it hard to say no to whatever people request of you. Aside from that, being a people pleaser also means you will quickly take the blame for any situation, and sometimes decide to do things even if they don’t sound right to you.

In time, being a people pleaser can take a toll on you. You will likely become burned out, or even emotionally drained. It can also make you feel overwhelmed, and become more resentful of people.

Why am I a people pleaser? 

First of all, it is important to highlight that considering other people’s needs is not always bad. But it becomes a problem when you will let go of your principles, and of yourself to attend to others.

With that in mind, you should know that there are some reasons why you may be a people pleaser. It may be that you came from a family that was as strict and had high expectations of you, making you believe that you need to attend to whatever people wanted from you.

This may have led you to believe that love is equal to success or having others admiring you. It may also be a response to having gone through a traumatic experience in your childhood. You may have learned that through pleasing, you would be less abused, for example.

It can also be a behavior you have learned from people around you. So if you were surrounded by people that showed you how they thought pleasing others is important, you may have learned that, and brought it to your own life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How can I stop pleasing people? 

What does it mean to have a pleaser personality?

Having a pleaser personality means that you will often put other people’s needs ahead of yours. It can also mean that you will be extremely sensitive to identifying what other people need, or desire. They can often be too agreeable to others, and be seen as helpful.

People with that type of personality can often have trouble standing up for themselves, and this can often lead them to feel abused, act only in self-sacrifice, or even in a way of self-neglect.

Are highly sensitive people always people pleasers?

Yes, highly sensitive people may have an even bigger urge to please people than others. And because they are so sensitive, it can affect them even more. So whenever they feel like they aren’t able to please people, or that others are rejecting them, it can have an even bigger negative impact on them.

Dealing with people-pleasing as highly sensitive people is not so simple. You won’t just stop caring for others, but you can put your energy towards determining who are the people that appreciate your care, and who are the people that don’t, and invest your energy in people that will likely value you.

Do people like people pleasers more?

If you are a people pleaser, it can be that initially, people will like you. You may seem so nice, and easy to deal with, that it is difficult for them to consider there is anything wrong. But a person that is a people pleaser, is often one that won’t show themselves to others.

So whenever people want to build a deep connection, they may not be able to do it with a people pleaser. That is because creating a bond with someone implies knowing all the good and bad in them, their likes, and dislikes, which a person that is a people pleaser won’t show, causing others to, at some point distance themselves.

Are people-pleasers always codependent?

No, people pleasers are not always codependent. A person can be a people pleaser, but still have some sense of individuality, and be aware of who you are. But most codependent people will likely be people pleasers. 

That is because a codependent person will often act in a way to prevent others from leaving them. In the fear of being abandoned, they can begin to act in ways to please others, and that can go on all through the relationship.

What is the most common type of attachment style of people pleasers?

When a person is a people pleaser, it is most likely that they will have an anxious, or avoidant attachment style. The anxious person, always scared that the other will leave them, will constantly try to please others.

While a person with an avoidant style may please others to get them close, and when others get too close, they will avoid the connection. Swinging back and forth between their people’s pleasing tendencies.


This article explained how you can stop being a people pleaser. It also showed what are the most common signs that you are one, and what could have turned you into a people pleaser.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.