How to stop being a people pleaser

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser

Are you a people pleaser? Some people struggle to say ‘no’ at work because they want to advance in their careers and they worry about looking lazy or disinterested, and others avoid saying no in their home life because they want to be friendly and kind.

However, being a people pleaser is notoriously stressful and difficult. You could end up taking on too much work, or end up being taken advantage of. It is important to realize that you can say ‘no’ without letting anyone down – check out 5 tips that will help you to stop being a people pleaser.

1. Set priorities – your ultimate priority should be your own goals. If you want to succeed at work, don’t put your own work on the back burner to help others. Remember that every time you say yes to one task, you unconsciously say no to lots of other tasks.

2. Realize you have a choice – you don’t HAVE to say yes. They asked for your help – ย they did not demand it. The answer is your choice.

3. Don’t apologize – saying sorry implies you have done something wrong or let someone down – you haven’t. Before you say sorry, think about if you are really at fault, or if you just feel bad because you are a serial people pleaser. It’s probably the second reason, right?

4. Give yourself time to think – instead of saying yes or no to someone asking a favour, say you’ll think about it. This gives you the opportunity to weigh up the pros and cons, so you can actually figure out if you have the time to help.

5. Don’t offer excuses – if you feel bad about saying no, you may reel off a bunch of reasons why you can’t help. Don’t do this – you don’t need to overly explain yourself, you can just say you already have a lot of work on. You don’t need to validate why you can’t help – a reasonable person will understand that you probably have other priorities, and coming up with excuses is more likely to make you feel bad about saying no.

What do you think of these tips? I used to struggle with being a people pleaser, and often my work would be pushed to the side so I could help others who didn’t appreciate my time. I still love to help others – so long as it doesn’t affect my own work! Do you have any other tips for people who want to stop being people pleasers? Please comment and let me know your ideas! ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. Rachel Ann · October 25, 2015

    Absolutely. I have to make a conscientious effort to NOT apologize for things that I did not do, and also cannot change when it is another human’s choice. I liked your concepts in this list. We can only control what our response will be in situations and how we feel as individuals. I constantly tell my student’s, “Please don’t say you’re sorry, change your choice or behavior instead and show me with your actions what your intentions are.” Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · October 27, 2015

      Thank you Rachel! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The Otaku Judge · October 27, 2015

    I used to be a walking doormat, but since getting older I am more cranky so I am less of a people pleaser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · October 29, 2015

      It is a better way to be ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award | From Food Stamps To A Future
    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · November 5, 2015

      Thanks Krista! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. thelonelyauthorblog · November 6, 2015

    Very important survival guide. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Twentysomething Social Recluse · November 9, 2015

      Thank you very much!

      Liked by 1 person

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