Are you a people pleaser? I have been one. Having this incessant desire to make everyone like you can leave you with a constant feeling of dissatisfaction. You overthink. Not everyone can like you, the same way you don't like everyone out there.
If you have trouble getting out of this all-consuming desire to please everyone, these 17 women, former people pleasers on Reddit, have got your back. Their lessons on how they stopped giving a f*ck may just be what you need to know to get out of this vicious need.
1. "One big suggestion that works but others can really struggle with, boundaries!! Set healthy boundaries and stand your ground on them. How you allow people to treat you and speak to you sets a precedent for everyone around you."
2. "Slowly. It comes with age too. You learn that you can't waste your emotions on people who don't waste theirs on you. You have to insulate yourself as well and try and reject those intrusive thoughts that come when someone doesn't reply to your text or you don't get an invite somewhere. You just have to not place your worth on what others opinions of you are. You find happiness and contentment with people who you know love you and care for you."
3. "In my experience I realized that other people's garbage was sooooo boring, particularly when I focused on my life, wants, needs, goals, etc. Like, I really have zero fucks to give about anyone's tedious relationship drama. Once I realized that I really began to gravitate in other more healthy directions."
4. "I'm still a people pleaser, but I'm more careful with myself now. I recently blocked my brother for a few days because he pissed me off - if I hadn't, I'd have ended up apologising for being a knob. I think it's about recognising what's worth giving a fuck about, and what isn't."
5. "It's something I have to constantly work on, because the urge to people please, even at my own expense, is still so strong. I think accepting that about myself has helped immensely - like, it's okay, I know my first instinct is to be a Very Good Dog and try to please, but I'll take a second to think about it, because what I need and want matters too."
6. "I am/was a people pleaser out of a desperate desire to connect with people. However, being a people pleaser often means sacrificing parts of my true self to please others. This in turn makes it much more difficult to connect with people because I’m not acting honestly. Transfer the fuck giving to being true to yourself and your feelings and your life will transform for the better."
7. "I feel like it's about learning to trust yourself and your opinion on things, and not worrying if someone challenges you because you've thought about why you feel the way you do."
8. "I am still working on trying not be a people pleaser but I have made large improvements. I would always worry that if I prioritized my well-being even just a tiny bit, I am being a bad person. But, I am starting to learn and practice prioritizing myself first and also caring about people around me. My well-being has definitely improved since I have started to think about what I needed and to stop putting people first ahead of me."
9. "I starting giving equal weight to myself as one of the people who had to be considered. In fact, seeing as I am the only person who really, really knows what is going on in my own mind, and with other people, I'm often only guessing, I started to give myself a little bit more value than others. If I don't take the responsibility to look after myself, who do I expect to do it? It would be a lot more work for someone else, as they would have to do all that complicated thinking to work out what I was thinking and what I wanted!"
10. "When I realized that people pleasing is a trauma response and that it actually is a hindrance to me being my most authentic self, makes me actually resent others sometimes as I’m always worried about their needs and end up not meeting my own. Now I’m not people pleasing, I am more true to myself which means I have more energy and compassion for others and more meaningful connections with those I choose to keep in my life."
11. "Work with a therapist on it if you have the opportunity to. I check in with myself. Do I want to go to that event? No. then it's a no. Do I even like that person? No. then it's a no. My needs come before other people's needs. Understand your own needs is key. Be prepared to disappoint people because you will."
12. "I realized that the reason I was a people pleaser is not because I enjoyed people pleasing. It’s because I wanted love and attention from the outside to fill a void. Sometimes I still feel that way. But when I started seeing it never completely filled that void, I began shifting that attention seeking to myself. What do I like? What do I need? Who am I really? You’ll be amazed at what you discover. One of them is finally starting to accept yourself flaws and you no longer feel that impulse to people please. You can just be yourself and the right people will be by your side. 🥰"
13. "I had to realize why I was a people pleaser and why I was letting people walk all over me. The SA abuse I survived as a child. My caregivers were abusive so I learned to appease them so I don't get hurt or yelled at. I had to learn how to use my voice and speak up for myself. To learn that saying NO is enough. If I didn't learn how to stand up for myself, then who will teach my children? I don't want my children to become doormats."
14. "By realising my tendencies did me more harm than good. And that the people I did those things for wouldn’t even jump a puddle for me."
15. "What I had to learn was balance and not to try to make others happy and “please” them at my own expense. It mostly came with time and maturity more than any real personal work on my part. I did force myself to start thinking about whether I could realistically do what was being asked of me without damaging my own sleep schedule or overtaxing myself in an unhealthy way or if I would resent doing it internally for other reasons before agreeing."
16. "Shifting the compassion, care, interest and regard that you overly put into others...Into yourself. It hurts to grieve the time that you lost doing things for others to your detriment but the memories of my past self are simply reminders to look out for myself a lot more and to learn from that."
17. "When you realize the right people will love you just the same if you just be yourself and the wrong people will go away when you stop going above and beyond just to keep them around."
For me, it was the saturation point. You know that sort of epiphanic moment with a moral awakening? The clouds begin to disappear, and you realize that you might just be the most important person in your life. Too much investment in other people's mess would just make my own life worse. Don't need that.