Kicking the Addiction of People Pleasing

I think something has to be clarified. How many times do we hear that it is not good to be a people pleaser?

A friend’s comment about one of my blogs initiated an investigation about the difference between people pleasing and being a caring and compassionate human being who helps others.

Just because we want to shed our people pleaser skin, and want to be able to say ‘no’, and practice self-love does that mean we have to become ‘little vegemites’ who only think about themselves?  Of course not!

The Truth is…

Compulsive people pleasing is a detrimental habit which can be extremely damaging to our emotional and physical well-being. Helping and caring genuinely for others can have a positive effect on the same.

I see the difference in the intentions and motives for our behaviour.

What is the motive behind the fact that we cannot say ‘no’ to certain (or all) people? That their wishes and demands are our commands, and we compulsively have to be submissive and obey?

Is the reason…

  • Fear of abandonment, not being good enough, not being loved?
  • Fear of being judged or excluded?
  • Guilt?
  • Obligation?
  • Yearning for outside validation to cover my low self-confidence?

“There’s something very addictive about people pleasing.  It’s a thought pattern and a habit that feels really, really good until it becomes desperate.” Anna Hathaway

If we want to kick the habit of people pleasing, and start practicing self-love, let us investigate and question our motives and intention before or after the behavior:

  • If I say ‘no’ do I fear abandonment?
  • Did I do it because I was afraid that they will not love/like me anymore?
  • What, if I will be called ‘selfish’?
  • Shouldn’t I do this – because it is expected of me?
  • Do I please others in order to control them?
  • Does it feel I am taken advantage of?

There are endless questions you could ask. Questioning is a practice to become self-aware, the ground work for change!

Investigating and questioning our behaviour in regard to people pleasing (or any other behaviour for that matter) will clarify our intentions and motives, and will enable us to adjust our behaviour to have self-love without losing the caring and compassionate part of our being.


#1 Delay answer for request Delay the answer if asked for something. It will give you time to think about it, and find the right answer for you, and gain some courage to behave differently than in the past.

#2 Practice makes perfect Practice saying ‘no’ to little things, so you build the ‘no-saying muscle’. And remember: ‘No’ is a whole sentence.

#3 No justification needed Do not justify your answer.  You are entitled to your choices and decisions.

#4 Say ‘NO’ to toxic people Be aware of emotional blackmailers and manipulators. Start to become aware of these toxic people, and start refusing to play their game.

#5 Increase self-confidence Look for help to increase your self-confidence.  If you build it up it will be much easier not to rely on other peoples’ validation.

#6 Boundaries Start setting healthy boundaries.

I would love to hear from anybody who is starting to kick this in the butt!

Love to all – Stand brave and tall!

If you inspired or resonate, please feel free to contact me…

Jutta Klipsch is a Transformational Coach trained in NLP and mBraining who helps women to conquer low self-confidence, self-doubt and procrastination by awakening their inner Feminine Power to create their dream life with clarity and audacity.

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