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7 Tips To Avoid People Pleasing

Written by: Dr. Mary J. Huntley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you find it difficult to say no when you really know that you should? Do you forget about your feelings, schedule, and previous commitments in order to please others? Do you find that your plate is often full because you knew that you needed to say no; but you just couldn’t find the heart to say it. This behavior is common to people pleasers, which goes beyond kindness. It involves changing your behavior for the sake of someone else’s feelings. Admittedly there are times when we all try to help others by accommodating their requests and helping out on occasions. However, we are not talking about the “nice” person in this case. We are referring to the individual who consistently places their itinerary, schedule, or agenda on hold “just to please others and to be liked by them.” Left unchecked people pleasing can lead to serious problems.

Therefore, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, there is a strong possibility that you are a people pleaser. You try your best to accommodate others even when it is not to your advantage. You want others to like you, so you bend over backwards to accommodate people. In fact, it may even seem as if you become a doormat for others. People pleasers are in some instances challenged with low self-esteem. And sometimes they go overboard to ensure that they are liked and that they pleased the other person. People pleasing simply means that someone goes to extremes to make other people happy, often at their own expense. In essence, the urge to please others can become detrimental to the people pleaser. Codependents are people-pleasers, but not all people pleasers are codependent. In other words, people pleasing is one aspect of codependency, but codependency encompasses a number of other traits and behaviors.

As previously mentioned, there are times when we all try to make others happy or accommodate them. However, it is very important to maintain healthy boundaries by knowing when to say no without feeling guilty. Healthy boundaries will allow you to make wise decisions based upon your needs. And sometimes we may want to accommodate others but there may be a schedule conflict. In that case, it is perfectly acceptable to say I’m sorry, but I am unable to accommodate your request because of a conflict. And if you would like to attempt to help them another time, offer an alternative timeframe. However, there is no need to feel guilty if you choose to offer another option.

Like me, you have probably learned that there are givers and takers in the world. However, it has been my experience to notice that there are many more takers than givers. As a result, I have learned that I cannot help everyone. So, I am perfectly content with helping those I can. I have also learned to maintain healthy boundaries in order to maintain healthy relationships. This is an excellent means of balancing and maintaining healthy relationships. Regrettably, there are individuals that have no problems watching you struggle with putting yourself first or people pleasing by constantly putting someone else first.

In essence, it is a selfish individual who constantly wants you to put their needs above your own. And that is certainly not healthy behavior. Nor is it a relationship that will allow you to grow into your best self. So, by all means, avoid this unhealthy behavior because healthy relationships have healthy boundaries that allow you to grow.

Here are 7 Tips To Avoid/Stop People Pleasing:

  • Think before you commit. A reasonable time to consider your other obligations should be a timesaver on your part.

  • Stop, and think about the times you answered yes, when you really wanted to say no. How much time did you take away from yourself or someone else?

  • Check your schedule before committing to do a favor for someone.

  • Put yourself first when necessary and as appropriate because you are worth it.

  • Face the fear of rejection of others who may get angry if you can’t always accommodate their request. This is not a relationship with healthy boundaries.

  • Know that it is fine to say “I’m sorry” if you cannot commit to doing a favor. True friends will understand and not become angry.

  • Acknowledge that you deserve healthier boundaries that will lead to healthier relationships.

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Dr. Mary J. Huntley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Mary J. Huntley is a servant leader and Chief Executive/Encouragement Officer of Certified an exclusive consulting organization. She is also CEO of Trinity Global Empowerment Ministries, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) organization and Certified Academic Institution under the National Christian Counselors Association. She is an Amazon 5X international bestselling author and Amazon 10X bestselling author. She is a multi-award winner including the 2019 Indy Author Legacy Award Winner and 2 governor citations.

She has earned Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Ministry Degrees. She is a Board-Certified Master Life Coach, certified women's motivational speaker, and licensed professional counselor with 6 advanced certifications. She serves as an international representative and clinical supervisor of various organizations. She is honored to be the wife of 47 years to Dr. Ronald Lee Huntley.



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