How to Stop Being a People Pleaser, Without Just Saying No!

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You should stop being a people pleaser this isn’t good for you. Before you do anything, ensure you won’t regret it. Find out how to say no more often.

People will always have something they want from you. But, what happens when you don’t want to do it? What happens when you want to say no? If you have ever been in a position where you felt you were dishonest about your true thoughts and feelings then you are a people pleaser. When you are striving to keep people around you happy, you notice that you often put their wants before yourself and your needs to avoid making them angry or disappointed.

But what you may not realise is that not being able to say ‘no’ can be unhealthy for you and the relationships you have with your friends,  your work peers and anyone you closely associate with.

Situations often get out of control, and you know that you need to do something about it when:

  • you say yes to something you don’t want to do to help another person have an easy life.
  • you don’t feel like doing something but do it anyway even though it goes against your own values.
  • you feel tired from putting everyone else’s needs before your own and not practicing self-care.
  • you make excuses when you say no to someone and then feel guilty about it.  

See Also: 10 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone Even When You Think You Do


If you are a people pleaser and you do most of the things described above, then you really must hate it. So what can you do to improve the situation and not let others take advantage of your good nature without saying no? Let’s take a look.

1. Set Boundaries

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Just like any other person, you have certain boundaries that you don’t allow many people to break. But for those you do care about, you often forget about these and fall back into the same self-destructive circle of pleasing them. To stay true to yourself, make other people understand that this is who you are and no one can change you or what you believe in.

So, try to put yourself first and refuse a request or a favor by a colleague. Set some time for yourself to go to sleep and don’t spend time with people with negative energy. Be honest to yourself about what you want and let others know what you can or can’t do.

2. Explain the Situation

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It can be difficult to say no, but sometimes it’s essential. You just don’t have to say it like that. When other people ask you to do something, you can refuse without using the one-word answer but still being truthful. For example, you can say, “I would love to help but unfortunately I booked a ‘me’ day on that day’, or ‘This sounds like a great opportunity, but I won’t be able to make it that day.’ With these two examples, you aren’t refusing a request and at the same time you don’t feel forced to give an explanation of why you can’t make it. These answers are simple and to the point.

3. Pay Attention to Your Body Language

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You may not say the word ‘no’ verbally but you can show it. Standing or sitting tall can help you make your point easier and clearer. So let’s say you want to refuse a request or favour, show that you are confident and that you keep your promises to yourself when people are putting pressure on you. Your body language can say more than you know, so take a big breath and avoid the ‘victim posture’ which can only make the situation worse.

See Also: The Empowering Art of Saying No

Being a people pleaser makes you do things you don’t want to. So, perhaps it is high-time you start changing that. People pleasing often allows others to take advantage of you or even keep you in the same job for years without acting upon opportunities.

Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Have you done anything to prevent this? Let me know in the comments section below…