Stop people pleasing and start setting healthy boundaries

6 Reasons People Pleasing is Good for Everyone but YOU

better boundaries conserving energy emotional distress emotional health family patterns how to set health boundaraies learn to say no people pleaser Jun 19, 2023

How does people pleasing impact the way you feel about yourself?

Turns out that people pleasing, while common, is not a particularly healthy behavior pattern. Even though many little girls are taught to put the needs of others before themselves, that advice can be taken too far.

What is a people pleaser?

According to Miriam Webster dictionary,  a people pleaser is a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires. And while having this personality trait shows that you have deep empathy and compassion for others, it becomes unhealthy when you don't practice self-compassion. 

On the bright side, you enjoy delighting others, seeing people smile, and spreading joy! On the flip side, you may do little to please yourself, which is not ideal.

Let's dive in and see some ways you show up for others while not showing up for yourself. After that, we'll share how to bring balance to your caring temperament.


1. You are Overly Eager to Please Others – They Reap the Rewards.

You are highly intent on making others happy as an over-eager people pleaser. Perhaps you find some reward in that, or you may be seeking validation for all of your efforts. This behavior may occur at home, in the workplace, or with friends. It's nearly guaranteed that all the people you over-help greatly benefit from your giving nature.

But how about you? How do you feel when all is said and done?

Are you overlooked? Does someone else take all the credit?

Are you seeking approval from others? Do you people please to avoid rejection?

2.  You Prioritize the Needs of Others Over Yourself  and Undervalue Your Own Self-Worth.

Who told you that others matter more? Somehow, that became ingrained in you. Where did it all begin?

You pay close attention to what others may need -- ever watchful, ever vigilant. When you are wrapped up in people pleasing, you'll never see the value in yourself.

Learn to value your time and your talents. You are worthy of dignity and respect. Others are not more important to you. You must find a way to celebrate yourself! At the very least, you should begin a practice of self-care as a means of learning to value yourself.

3. You Loose Sight of Your Authentic Self and Become Increasingly Frustrated.

When you are exceedingly 'other-focused,' you become disconnected from yourself. As you cater to the problematic coworker, selfish sibling, and demanding spouse, you continually lose a piece of yourself and become highly frustrated over time by this pattern.

When you live in alignment with your authentic self, you live by your core values and learn to set limits on what you will and won't allow.

4.  You Have Trouble Saying 'NO,' and Are Easily Taken Advantage of By Others.

As a people pleaser, chances are, you rarely say 'NO.' You tend to say 'YES,' even when you don't want to. It has become a reflex to be eternally agreeable, no matter what. There is an enormous consequence to not saying no, and being taken advantage of is to be expected.

Until you become empowered, others will repeatedly expect a yes and manipulate your kindness.

Fear not; there's a better and more balanced way forward.

5.  Catering to Others Leaves You Depleted, Bitter, and Resentful.

People pleasers are natural caretakers who cater to the needs of others. Without even being asked, you may take on the problems of others and spin your wheels to fix everything to make things 'nice and easy' for those you aim to please. It's a never-ending cycle that naturally leads to bitterness, resentment, and exhaustion from overdoing.

Fact is, it makes no sense to resent others for what you allow and welcome. You'll need to change course for a different outcome.

6.  Being Hypervigilant About Catering to Others is a Form of Self-Abandonment.

Hypervigilance can be associated with an intense focus on the energy of others. Many people do this as a means of staying 'safe.' While in this state of increased alertness -- you are acutely tuned into the wants, desires, and needs of others. Being 'hyper' is indicative of a super-energized response.

When you're a people pleaser, you're so tuned into others that you can be self-abandoning, perhaps even unable to discern or recognize your needs. Recognizing this shortfall may save you from an unrewarding pattern of behavior.

By now, you may recognize that spinning your wheels tirelessly for others can be disastrous in terms of YOUR well-being. Take this as a gentle reminder that you matter! You matter despite what you may have been told or what your inner critic says on a repeated loop! Your needs matter! You are worthy of lofty dreams and happiness! It's time to reclaim what matters most to YOU.

While it is lovely to care deeply for others, you do not have to do so at the expense of yourself. Being self-sacrificing minimizes the importance of your feelings, hopes, and dreams.

STOP People Pleasing and Start Setting Healthy Boundaries

Your pathway to freedom and wellness involves setting boundaries. In addition, you will need to retrain your mindset to overcome your programmed tendency to overdo, overhelp, and overcare. Balance is the key here. Blue skies lay ahead once you put boundaries carefully in place. Just you wait and see! You will wonder why you didn't start ages ago.

Setting healthy boundaries begins by recognizing that what you're currently doing isn't working, and you need to set limits around what you allow.

First, don't be so quick to respond to requests. An immediate answer is not required. If moved to help, check your schedule before committing to anything.

Only say 'YES' when you really want to; say 'NO' to anything that does not align with your values.

Voice your needs for a change and see who answers your requests. You deserve the respect you have so generously given to others.

You may have experienced the consequences of being a people pleaser - explore the impact further by reading Lack of Boundaries Wreaks Havoc on Your Physical and Emotional Health. And if you're new to setting boundaries and feel conflicted, be sure to check out 5 Reasons Women Struggle When Setting Boundaries Plus How to Overcome.


Reach out to connect, and I'll partner with you to help you on your journey. I'm passionate about coaching women and can help you to set boundaries and live your best life!

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