8 Steps To Stop People Pleasing

  1. Become aware of yourself. The greatest changes begin when we look at ourselves with interest and respect, instead of judgment and denial. When we invite our thoughts and feelings into awareness, we have the opportunity to learn from them, instead of unconsciously reacting to them, and we increase our awareness of reality by being willing to encounter our personal truths. This gives us more of a handle on natural impulses we have that aren’t helpful. It also gives us the choice to make a different move.

  2. Realise that doing too much is hurting your relationships. The health of your relationships depends on you taking care of your share — and being true to yourself. When you do too much for others, you over-function in your relationships, which inevitably leads others to under-function. The intentions behind the over-functioning may be good, but they ultimately hinder the effectiveness of your relationships.

  3. Understand the importance of being yourself. We’re all unique individuals. We should be able to act authentically and connect with who we are and what we value.

  4. Learn to let go. If you’re stuck in the past and can’t let go of things that happened to you, chances are you’re accepting what your abusers, bullies, or other negative people in your life believe about you. You’ll remain imprisoned by them, unable to access your full potential, if you don’t learn to let go.

  5. Realize that avoiding problems doesn’t help you grow. When problems arise, we tend to react by immediately trying to get rid of them and the feelings they bring. We try everything to avoid experiencing the slightest discomfort or pain, which fuels our natural urges. When we avoid our problems and try to get rid of them immediately, we only make things worse for ourselves in the future.

  6. Decide whether you want to be free to love, or a prisoner of love. Take responsibility for the role you play in your relationships, and use your voice to make those relationships balanced and mutually satisfying. Step out of your comfort zone: It takes courage to make changes and set boundaries.

  7. Navigate through anxiety. When we make anxiety-based decisions, we aren’t being true to what we really want. We act impulsively, based on instinct, inevitably causing us to experience more anxiety in our lives. When you learn to better manage your instinctual urge to please, you’ll find yourself on more solid ground in your relationships with your family, your friends, and yourself.

  8. Find acceptance of self. Accepting yourself is an ever-evolving process. But it starts now. This is the time to know your worth and start taking on the project of becoming your best self.

© Copyright Ilene Strauss Cohen Ph.D.

Sally Della