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Hey there, you perfectly imperfect, valuable, worthy human being!

Have you ever found yourself bending over backwards to accommodate others, even at the expense of your own happiness? If so, you might be a people pleaser.

While it’s wonderful to spread joy and help others, constantly prioritizing the needs of other people above your own can lead to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion and a loss of self. Let’s explore the subtle (or not-so-subtle) signs of people-pleasing behavior and discover some empowering strategies to claim and strengthen your authenticity and, ultimately, set you on the path to happiness.

What’s the Real Issue?

The issue is the real and repetitive tendency to be a people pleaser, sacrificing your personal desires and boundaries to keep others happy.

People-pleasing can manifest in various ways, from suppressing personal preferences to struggling to say no and feeling guilty for asserting yourself. That can cause you to be manipulated and misused, and more often than not, your care and concern for others is not reciprocated.

You can find yourself becoming overextended and, eventually, resentful that no one is meeting YOUR needs.

Why is People-Pleasing So Challenging?

Understanding the importance of recognizing people-pleasing behavior is crucial for preserving your mental and emotional well-being.

Continuously putting others’ needs over your own can lead to feelings of weakness, burnout, and a shattered sense of self-worth. It also hampers genuine connections and can contribute to you feeling tired and drained most of the time. Your immune system will be negatively affected, and you could also suffer from frequent headaches, muscle pain, and an inability to fully cope with daily life. All of these symptoms and more will prevent you from living authentically, let alone living your most dynamic, intriguing, vivacious, and audacious life.

Steps to Overcome People-Pleasing and Reclaim Your Life

To overcome the negative effects of people-pleaser syndrome, change your behavior, and cultivate a life of authenticity and fulfillment, consider these action steps:

  1. Recognize Your Triggers: Start by becoming aware of situations or interactions that trigger your people-pleasing habit. Notice when you feel the urge to agree with others or hide your own desires to avoid conflict. Awareness is the first step towards change.
  2. Practice Assertiveness: Assertiveness is key to setting healthy boundaries and advocating for your needs. Practice saying “no” firmly and respectfully when a request or situation doesn’t align with your values or priorities. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your well-being, and “No” is a complete sentence.
  3. Connect with Your Authentic Self: Connect (or reconnect) with your true desires, passions, and values. Journaling can be a very powerful tool for self-reflection and exploration. Ask yourself what really matters to you and make choices that align with your authentic self rather than seeking external validation from others.
  4. Challenge Negative Beliefs: People-pleasers often harbor limiting beliefs such as “I’m not enough” or “I have to please everyone to be liked.” Challenge these beliefs by recognizing your worthiness and embracing your strengths and imperfections. Replace self-critical thoughts with affirmations of self-love and acceptance.
  5. Seek Support: Breaking free from people-pleasing patterns can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, or a therapist who can offer encouragement and guidance as you navigate this journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

By taking proactive steps to address people-pleasing behavior and prioritize your own well-being, you can cultivate deeper awareness, authentic connections, and a greater sense of fulfillment in life. Remember, you are worthy of love and respect exactly as you are.


As we wrap up our exploration, I encourage you to embrace your journey toward liberation from the trap of people-pleasing. Recognize that prioritizing your own happiness and authenticity is not selfish but an essential aspect of self-care and personal growth.

You can pave the way for a life filled with genuine joy, fulfillment, and meaningful relationships by setting boundaries, practicing assertiveness, and reconnecting with your true self. Trust yourself, honor your truth, and step boldly into the radiant light of your authentic being. You’ve got this!

Remember, it’s not about pleasing everyone else; it’s about honoring and cherishing your perfectly imperfect, authentic soul.

Now, go forth and shine your light brightly!

Journaling Prompts to Change A People-Pleasing Mindset

Use one or more of these prompts to start or deepen your personal journaling practice. Give yourself time to think about what the prompt brings up for you and explore your feelings on paper. If you need a journal, click HERE to see our available journals.

  1. Reflect on a recent situation where you felt pressured to please others. How did it make you feel, both during and after the interaction?
  2. Identify three core values that are important to you. How have you compromised these values to avoid conflict or gain approval from others?
  3. Describe a scenario where saying “no” would have served your well-being, but you hesitated. What thoughts and emotions arose in that moment?
  4. Reflect on a recent interaction where you felt pressured to conform to others’ expectations. How did you navigate the situation, and how did it make you feel afterward? What insights did you gain about your own people-pleasing tendencies?
  5. Think about a time when you successfully asserted your boundaries and honored your own needs. What strategies did you use to communicate your boundaries effectively, and how did it impact your sense of self-worth and empowerment?

Affirmations to Strengthen Your Mind Against People-Pleasing

Read the set of related affirmations below aloud. It’s important to your conscious and subconscious mind to hear the affirmations said in your own voice. Choose one or two of the affirmations from the set to start working with. You only need one or two affirmations, used consistently, to make a substantial change in your life.

Choose one affirmation that feels easy to you and choose another that generates resistance or disbelief. The idea is to practice extending your current self-imposed limits and encourage growth.

Say your chosen affirmation loud enough for your mind to hear your voice saying the words and take notice of how you feel as you begin and as you continue your practice. Repeat your chosen affirmation multiple times a day for at least 30 days and reinforce your affirmation by writing it in your journal.

You can change your life by beginning an affirmation practice – using one or two favorite affirmations over the course of 30 to 60 days can permanently change your mindset and your life.

  1. I honor my needs and boundaries – I know that self-care is essential for my well-being.
  2. My worth is not determined by the approval of others. I embrace my authenticity proudly and speak my truth clearly and with conviction.
  3. I reject the need to please everyone. My happiness and self-respect are my top priorities.
  4. I trust my instincts and honor my truth, knowing authenticity is my greatest strength.
  5. I embrace the beauty of my uniqueness and confidently express my thoughts, desires, and boundaries with grace and assertiveness.

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About the Author Dianne M Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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