Do you find yourself always saying “yes” to your friends, family and co-workers even when you don’t want to? Then you may be a people-pleaser. People-pleasers are the kind of people who put everyone else before themselves and will do whatever is asked of them to make and keep everyone happy.  Up until recently, I’ve been a people-pleaser — there were many times when things were asked of me and I said “yes” when really I wanted to say “no”. Afterwards, I’d want to kick myself in the ass for agreeing to it; but why?

Why do you always say “yes”?

  1. You may have a fear of being disliked by others.
  2. You may feel the need for outside validation to feel worthy and accepted.
  3. You may feel that you will disappoint someone if you say “no”.
  4. You may feel like people will lose their respect for you if you say “no”.
  5. You perhaps don’t want the person to stop talking to you if you say “no”.
  6. You perhaps don’t want it to seem as though you don’t care about the person if you say “no”.

What happens to you when you say “yes” to everyone?

  1. You go out of your comfort zone to get things done for others.
  2. It leaves you with very little time for yourself.
  3. It pressures and stresses you out.
  4. You become overwhelmed and overworked.
  5. It takes a toll on your emotional and physical well-being.
  6. It drains your energy and leaves you tired all the time.
  7. You get taken advantaged of because people know you always say “yes”.

What you need to accept about saying “no”?

  1. It is absolutely okay to say “no”.
  2. You are in no way selfish for saying “no”.
  3. You are enough and worthy all on your own; you do not need anyone’s validation.
  4. Not only is it impossible, but you simply cannot please everyone.
  5. You are not obligated to anyone; nor do you owe anything to anyone.
  6. The people who care about you the most will certainly understand when you say “no”… they may even respect you more for it.
  7. You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say “no”.

How do you actually say “no”?

  1. Approach the person with a very calm, convincing voice.
  2. Stand bravely and confident and make eye contact with them as you clearly say “no” in your own way.
  3. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into saying “yes” when you want to say “no”. Don’t cave. Beware of the person being too demanding, complaining, making you feel guilty or flattering you to get you to say “yes”.
  4. Don’t say “I’m sorry” too much as you will appear weak and leave room to be manipulated into saying “yes”. Here’s an example of what you can say – “I’m sorry hunnie, I won’t be able to cook dinner tonight.”
  5. If you see it necessary, you can go on to give a small, honest explanation of why you can’t do it. You decide who deserves an explanation. Say – “I’m sorry hunnie, I won’t be able to cook dinner tonight because I have new clothes to try on.”
  6. If you still feel a little awful and don’t want to leave the person hanging, you can perhaps suggest an alternative. Say – “I’m sorry hunnie, I won’t be able to cook dinner tonight because I have new clothes to try on. But the number for KFC is right on the refrigerator.”

What happens after you say “no”?

  1. Breathe… you’re still alive. You did it!
  2. You still have all the important, meaningful relationships in your life.
  3. You still have your dignity and self-respect intact.
  4. You are way more relaxed and at peace with yourself.
  5. You have a lot more spare time for yourself to do the things you genuinely want to do.
  6. You are living your life to please yourself, as it should be.
  7. Congrats! You are an even more awesome person than you were before because you now have a backbone and can stand up for yourself.

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Thank you for stopping by 🙂

Keep Smiling — Love, Candace

13 thoughts on “How to Stop Being a People-pleaser”

  1. That’s me always yes as I don’t want to disappoint people but then afterwards I think Christ Jane wake up and say NO… thanks for the great info 👍Will be practicising x

  2. This is great advice. I am not afraid to say “no”. But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel that way afterwards. Well, things are going to change now.

    Illustration.
    Mind: Can you NOT like this post?
    Me: NO

  3. My husband is so good at saying “No” that I feel guilty about it even when he says it. I don’t yet understand if this is simply a “nature” thing or only a learned behavior (or some combination of the two). What I know is that I feel as if I’m doing something wrong if I say no to almost anything unless it’s hurting someone or illegal. In my thirties, I am beginning to see that saying “yes” all the time is actually hurting me and allowing others to take advantage of me.

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