I’m a very social person. I love people and I love making others happy. Sometimes, however, I place making people happy above my own needs, mental health and priorities – this is when it gets dangerous.

The deepest pain I ever felt was denying my own feelings to make everyone else comfortable.

People pleasing is a toxic, addicting habit that is difficult to overcome. The reality of it is, pleasing people still doesn’t please them. We can bend over backward and sacrifice everything to others and still, it won’t be enough. So why is it so easy to become obsessed with pleasing people, when it’s actually impossible and damaging to our mental health and overall well-being?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know the roots of my people pleasing tendencies come from a need to feel loved and appreciated. In my mind, if I can please and make others happy, they will show me love in return. This expectation of reciprocation has ended up hurting me more times than I can count. I’ve found it more often leads to being taken advantage of and taken for granted.

The damages of people pleasing are real and should not be taken lightly. If you care more about the opinions of others more than the priority of your mental health, you will likely break at the slightest pressure. Not to mention, chasing the approval of others who don’t benefit you will drain your energy.

Working to rid yourself of this toxic habit will allow you to focus on whose opinion should really matter in your life: your own.

If you are a victim to people pleasing like me, practice these steps to take back your power and make yourself a priority again!

  • SAY NO. The next time someone asks something of you, say no. You’ll notice that the world does not end after you deny assistance to someone! Learning to say no is a difficult, freeing experience.
  • DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. Instead of being so fixated on others, try focusing on yourself for a change! You are worthy of love, too. Do something that makes you genuinely happy and shower yourself with the same love you’ve been showering everyone else with.
  • ANALYZE YOUR FEARS. Spend some time self-reflecting to determine what the roots of your people-pleaser tendencies are. Is it low self esteem? A need for validation? Seeking love and approval? Understanding why you developed people-pleasing as a habit will help you to break it.
  • SET BOUNDARIES. Boundaries will keep you from getting manipulated and taken advantage of. Knowing ahead of time what you should and shouldn’t do is a good place to start. Determine what you’re willing to do for others, and what is asking too much of you.

Say it with me: people pleasing is no longer an option because I am adopting the radical belief that my ideas, thoughts and feelings matter too.


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