Three Easy Practices to Stop Being a People Pleaser

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People pleasing is detrimental to your self-worth. In fact, it is likely working against the very thing you are working towards, as people-pleasers want others to see them favorably when it actually does the opposite. People pleasers have a hard time standing up for themselves advocating for their own needs, and tend to over-commit because they absolutely hate having to tell someone no. Sound familiar? are vulnerable to being exploited.

“I performed for love everywhere. I believed that you needed to earn love by overworking yourself for recognition . I didn’t know that the more I presented myself to beg for love, the more I was inviting chaos into my life.”

― Elelwani Anita Ravhuhali

A people pleaser is an individual who is usually highly empathic and intuitive, highly sensitive to the emotions of others. But people pleasing is a sign of something deeper that would benefit from being explored because what’s dangerous is that it contributes to stress and anxiety, feeling emotionally unfulfilled.

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If you find yourself having difficulty telling people “no” – or find that your no’s are often followed by a “reason” or excuses to justify your no, you may be engaging in people-pleasing behaviors. If you are overly apologetic, assume blame for things that truly aren’t even your fault, or neglect your own needs to satisfy the needs of others, then it’s time to check in with yourself and take note of these three treasures that can start you on your journey to bring people pleasing behaviors to an end.

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“Nobody applauds nature, yet she still glows.”

― Michael Bassey Johnson

Validate Yourself and your own opinions.

Self-validation is so essential. When you learn the skill of validating yourself, you will find less and less that you rely on external validation. Self-validation is consistent positive messaging to reframe your self-talk, such as affirmations. It looks like constantly encouraging yourself, and in the moments when circumstances seem too challenging, extending grace to yourself by acknowledging those feelings and allowing them to pass rather than becoming them.

Self-validation looks like telling yourself: It’s okay that I feel this way. I’m proud of myself. I am worthy. Reminding yourself of your successes and strengths can be a positive change from focusing on the challenges that interrupt our thoughts.

Prioritize Yourself

Say no. And if no is hard because it has too few words and sounds curt, then find the long way to say it: “I’m afraid I’m unable to do that,” or “I appreciate the offer, but I can’t,” or even prolong it by saying you need some time to think about it.

Value your own time. If you knew how much time you had left, would you be more intentional with it? When we have deadlines, we allocate our time appropriately to meet them, but we don’t always treat ourselves with that same intentionality. Understand the value of giving others your time, energy, and attention. You are giving them a piece of your life you cannot get back. What they receive from you in that moment is valuable. What you have to offer the world is valuable. Act accordingly.

Honor Yourself

Sometimes, we fear saying no because we are afraid that someone will be displeased or that they will take their “love” away if we deny them something they want. Maybe we are worried that the nature of the relationship will change, and we won’t have that person in our lives anymore.

In reality, you must stop getting in the way of or trying to control outcomes you have no control over. You must decide to honor yourself first, always. This is the practice that builds the muscle of self-love and strengthens self-esteem. The instant you betray yourself to honor the desires of someone else, you diminish your own self-worth. With all that time spent meeting the needs of others, who’s meeting yours?

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If a fear arises from a belief that honoring yourself will change how someone shows up for you, how someone cares for you, or their relationship with you, challenge it. Allow the circumstance to reveal itself, as it can only trigger your ascension.

Consider the source of your people-pleasing. Is it perfectionism? Are you seeking validation and approval? Are you in the habit of prioritizing others over yourself? Whatever your reason, there is always something that lies deeper, and resolving those deep-rooted concerns can help you lead a healthier and happier life. Remember, another person’s happiness is not your responsibility. The only happiness you are responsible for is your own.

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