01/04/2015 08:21 BST | Updated 31/05/2015 06:59 BST

Is Your People-Pleasing Habit Holding You Back?


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Many of us are people-pleasers; continuously putting others needs before our own. However, then we are then often left wondering why we never have the life we want.

Does this resonate?

Are you a People-Pleaser?

• You worry excessively about upsetting the people in your life

• You are busier than you like but never have any time for yourself

• You rarely, if ever say no to others

• You have dream(s) about doing something new for yourself but haven't got the time or energy

• You don't feel like you have the right to ask for what you want or need

• You continually find yourself agreeing to things you don't really want to do

• You like to be seen as 'good' and would hate to disappoint anyone

• You feel obligated to fulfil others expectations but are starting to feel resentful and burnt out

• You often wonder 'what about me?' when others don't reciprocate and support you

• You are very good at putting yourself in other people's shoes, but you've forgotten what your own shoes feel like!

• You don't feel free to make choices that feel good to you because you don't think the people in your life would like them

Genuine altruism and looking out for others is a good thing but, as we can see above, when it becomes a way of being that we cannot alternate from and is done from a place of fear, it becomes out of balance, causing problems for both us and those around us.

It is possible to have a balance between our own needs and the needs of others. It isn't about being selfish, but about taking care of your own needs as well and having healthy, mutually respectful relationships.

How do we change the people-pleasing habit?

• Learning to say no and practice,

• Practice, practice, practice!

• Creating boundaries in our lives

• Carving out time for ourselves

• Noticing the automatic reflex to say "yes" or to people-please, catching ourselves and choosing a more authentic response where possible

• Learning to disconnect from the "positive" feedback we may get from being a people-pleaser

• Acknowledging ourselves each time we make a more authentic and healthy decision

• Re-training other people about how to treat us and what they can expect from us

• Reminding ourselves that giving up people-pleasing is better for ourselves and for others in the long run

• Teaming up with a buddy or coach to support ourselves in this journey

Becoming authentic and healthier in our relationships is a journey, and doesn't usually happen overnight. It can be challenging, both for us and the people in our lives who are used to our people-pleasing behaviour. It will usually take some time to work through this, so doing

it is important to support ourselves and acknowledge each new bit of progress in this area. The people that really love you will get it even if it takes a little while to adjust.

When we start taking care of our own needs, we naturally start to become more fulfilled as we are not looking for others to fulfil our needs. We become more self-reliant and in charge of our lives.

We become more honest and authentic. We become the person we are meant to be.