3 Ways To Stop Being Such A People Pleaser (Without Feeling Guilty!)

Ambitious Resilience, Belonging, Change & Reinvention, FEATURED, Human First Leadership

Ready for a kind kick up the bottom?

Your people-pleasing tendencies are stealing joy from your life.

There, I said it!

Saying yes is an act of courage, an agreement and a decision to move forward. 

If you’re overcommitting, regularly putting yourself last and telling yourself you have no choice, you’re basically declaring war on your own potential for happiness.

As someone with people-pleasing tendencies, I know that feeling well. I wouldn’t dream of going a night without charging my phone yet continually put myself at the bottom of the list (below that pile of ironing I was never going to get round to doing) and went weeks and months without recharging myself!

Here comes the good news: You can’t control external forces but you are 100% in control of the story you tell yourself about what is possible when balancing life with work.

Bad news: The story you tell yourself about what’s possible is out of possibly mahousively out of date. 

Good news again: Stories can be updated – just like phones!

Here are my three top tips for breaking your people-pleasing habit:

1. Stock phrases at the ready…

Owning it has always been my favourite line of defence. Taking control of the narrative starts by acknowledging your role in it.

‘See, I’d usually say yes now which would be overcommitting and would lead to me letting you down later.’


‘Ahhh, that doesn’t work for me’.

Both, when delivered with a genuine smile, are a lovely polite way of saying no and inviting a different outcome. In the years that I used these phrases not one person ever said ‘Tough I want it this way so suck it up!’ In fact, people tended to be compassionate and ask me what would work instead!

2. Be more L’Oreal

People-pleasing is often driven by a desire for relational harmony. It stems from your innate belief that people deserve respect and happiness. I agree! The thing is you are also a person and, brace yourself for this, you’re not special!

If you were the only human on the planet who, according to your own logic of putting yourself last), didn’t deserve respect and happiness you’d be so unique that you’d be in some lab somewhere with people doing tests on your brain!

You’re worthy of the same grace you give everyone else and ignoring your own needs is standing outside your own integrity.

3. Count the cost

Ask yourself what the cost is of you continuing on your current path. Consider the cost of constantly saying yes to others on your significant relationships, health, professional fulfilment and personal legacy. On the flip side imagine what life could be like if you got out of your own way, put your needs to the top of the pile, and, in doing so, were able to show up for others as your full-fat self!

Saying no actually enables you to give more.

So there you go! These top tips are just bits of wood with red on the end! Take the matches out of the box and light them!

Which tip resonates with you most? Pick your favourite social media platform, and let me know. You can find me @jazampawfarr on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.


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