How To Stop Being A People-Pleaser And Learn To Say No

People pleasers crave approval and validation, so they’ll go to great lengths to keep others happy — even at the expense of their own wellbeing.

Turns out, there are several possible reasons why you might want to stop being a people pleaser. Here are just a few — some may be surprising!

We Are Like Ticking Time Bombs

People pleasers are ticking time bombs because we spend so much of our time looking for the validation of others that we don’t even have time for ourselves. The very concept of “being validated” is a very abstract concept — we all have a different definition of what that means.

Our society thrives on validation, and the more validation given by others, the better. We’re constantly bombarded with reminders to be happy, to be loved, and to be worthy. Friendships and social media posts exist to remind us of the things we’re good at. The numbers of likes on our posts, the number of faces in our lives that we want to recognize, etc.. For all its magic and ability to reduce stress and boost our mood, it’s also a dangerous game with a high risk of ending in a punch in the face.

Stress, toxic thoughts and self-doubt all lead to a negative cascade. So when we can’t find the emotional fuel we need to change our habits and be more effective, we go to the next best option: looking for validation from others.

So why are we such terrible folks, and how can we stop being such a bunch a chumps?

You Stop Being a People Pleaser By Changing Your Mind

To stop being a people pleaser, you actually need to realize what that word actually means.

Simply put, being a people pleaser is just being a pleaser. If you’re a people pleaser, you’re sweet and understanding only because you’re being nice and understanding. But it doesn’t make you a good person. Or a bad person. You’re just being nice.

By changing your mind, you stop being a people pleaser — you actually become a self-fulfilled person.

Honestly, the key is to get out of your own way. Stop chasing the things you think are beneath you. And you can change the way you think about yourself and others by stopping being a people pleaser.

Neuroplasticity, a transformative brain behavior, means that our brains change in response to new stimuli, both positive and negative. The more we seek and focus on the negative, the less inclination we have to change, and the more we are liable to stay in our current behavior.

Stop Being A People Pleaser By Committing To Your Dreams

If you’ve been obsessing over the “perfect” vacation you always wanted to go on, then how about you start living in the present and pursuing your dreams instead? When you live in the now and you are doing things that are really awesome, you should start to get noticed and your life will be transformed.

You’ve probably heard this advice somewhere — the most famous example is probably the writer, Stephen King, who said, “Write what you want to write, take what you want to take, leave the rest behind.”

Adopting a “No” Culture

First things first: When you start taking a critical eye to the things and people in your life, you’re going to make your life a lot more fun. Not only that, but you’re absolutely going to lower your odds of being a people pleaser.

For starters, you’re going to gain greater self-control. That’s right, self-control. I have never met a person that has more self-control than a person with control over his or her thoughts, emotions, and actions.

In America, we’ve traditionally viewed self-control as being more of a hindrance than a boon. We tell our children, “no” at every opportunity. We teach our teens to be obedient slaves, not responsible adults. We’ve even changed our language to avoid words like “no,” and we’re training our children to respond negatively to anyone who’s too “stubborn.”

The truth is, you have nothing to lose by taking a critical eye to the things and people — not to mention yourself — that cause you so much joy and pleasure. And you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been in your entire life once you’ve started learning to say no to everything.

Once you start saying no, you’ll also find that it’s much easier to say no to people. You’ll feel more in control. You’ll have more say over how you spend your time. You’ll be able to say no to things that are items you don’t care for in the first place. You’ll have more control over the people around you.