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How to Combat People Pleasing

by Roveen Anyango
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Are you someone who tends to place other people’s needs above your own, even when it comes at a personal cost? Are you constantly invalidating your own experiences and expectations simply because you don’t want to hurt the other person?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, then it’s obvious that you are a people pleaser. While we often compromise in our relationships, when you are a people pleaser, you compromise so much to your detriment. So, rather that make the relationship functional, the relationship becomes one-sided, where you make all the sacrifices simply because you don’t want to disappoint the other person.

Here is how to fight that people-pleasing attitude.

Change people’s expectations of you

When trying to rid yourself of people pleasing, begin first by identifying patterns that people have come to expect of you. Begin to look at how people relate to you. Once you notice the high expectations that people have come to have of you, begin to set down your boundaries.

Start by reminding people that you will not be able to meet their every expectation. Here is where you will know which people are worth keeping. Your genuine friends will accept your boundaries and respect them.

Prioritize your needs

While it can be difficult to begin saying not to other people’s needs, consider taking care of your own needs first if they conflict with the needs of the other person. If you feel trapped between meeting your needs and meeting the needs of the other person, go with your needs.

Remember, you struggle with boundaries and so, always putting other people’s needs before yours might leave you either too exhausted or with not enough time to meet your own needs. This can make you resentful of the person. So, take care of your needs first then extend help to the other person.

Speak up when you want something

If you find it hard to stop people pleasing, then how about turning the tables and also speaking up when you need something. As a people pleaser, you will often find it hard to ask others for something as you don’t want to disappoint them. However, relationships are reciprocal. So, also begin to speak up for yourself when you want help or want something get done for you. However, ensure you do not overdo it and always ensure that you also respect the other person’s boundaries.

Getting rid of people pleasing is never going to be easy and it will take time, perhaps you won’t get rid of the attitude all together. However, ensure that you create strict boundaries to stop people from completely exploiting you.

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