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How to Set Boundaries and Stop Being a People Pleaser: 10 Essential Strategies

Updated: Apr 14

People pleasers tend to do whatever they can for others. While it’s often done out of genuine kindness, most people pleasers also really want to be well-liked.

As a people pleaser, you might measure your value by what others think of you or how much they like you. So, you believe the more you do for them, the greater your odds.

Unfortunately, that makes it easy to lose your sense of identity. You can also start to have skewed ideas about your own self-worth and your value. So, what can you do to stop being a people pleaser? Let’s cover a few effective tips.

1. Be Who You Are

Everyone wants to fit in, but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of your personality. Focus on being true to yourself, rather than trying to be something/someone you’re not. It can take time, but there are people out there who will value you for exactly who you are, not what you do for them.

2. Don’t Do It All

Even if you genuinely like helping others, you can’t do it on your own. Ask people for help. Reach out to others to lighten your load. Most people are happy to help, and you can strengthen some relationships in the process.

3. Set Boundaries

In addition to asking others for help with things, set healthy boundaries for yourself. Learn to say “no” when necessary, and don’t take on more than you can handle.

No is a full sentence.

Setting boundaries isn’t selfish. It’s necessary for your physical and mental well-being and a key component in an healthy relationship.

4. Spend Time Alone

People pleasers often want to be around others as often as possible. But, it’s important to spend some time alone. Listen to your inner voice, and learn to love that time with yourself. Appreciate who you are, and strive to be more in tune with your personal needs and wants.

5. You Can’t Please Everyone

Some people just aren’t going to be content, no matter what you do for them. As a people pleaser, that can feel crushing, at first. But, it’s important to recognize that you can’t please everyone, despite your efforts. Don’t keep striving for perfection for a person who never seems to be satisfied.

6. Center Your Awareness

If you’ve been a people pleaser for a long time, doing things for others might seem like a reflex. But, it’s important to understand that you always have a choice. By being more aware of your tendencies, it will be easier to make those choices and to say “no” when it’s needed.

7. Set Your Goals

Is your people-pleasing getting in the way of your life goals? One way to stop that is to make a list of your priorities. What’s most important in your life? If the things you’re currently doing don’t line up with those priorities or are keeping you from reaching your goals, it will make it easier to change your habits.

8. Get Rid of Manipulators

When people in your life know you’re usually willing to do things for them, most will be grateful.

Some might try to take advantage of you. Notice anyone you know who seems to ask for help constantly. Maybe they don’t really “need” it, but want to get out of work or want someone to watch the kids while they go out for a night of fun. Some people can be master manipulators, and you don’t deserve that kind of treatment.

9. Be Confident Saying “No”

It can help to practice different ways of saying no with conviction in the mirror. Having them in your arsenal will make it easier to turn things down in the moment. While this might seem like a small exercise, it can make a big difference when you’re “trapped” by a request.

10. Practice With Someone

If you’ve been a people pleaser for as long as you can remember, it can help to role-play or talk about some of these ideas with someone you trust. Or, consider working with a therapist or life coach, like me, to feel more confident in your efforts. It’s time to start making yourself, your well-being, and your wants your top priorities in life! Reach out now.

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