3 Steps to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Follow this three-step plan to reclaim your life and find the right balance between satisfying others and satisfying yourself.

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How to Let Go of Your People-Pleasing Behavior (2:05)

Do you have a hard time saying no to family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers? Are you always seeking external approval or validation? It’s time to reclaim your life, be honest with yourself, and find the right balance between satisfying others and satisfying yourself. Follow this three-step plan from motivational speaker and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose.

Step 1: Stop Saying “Yes” When You Really Mean “No”

The first step toward taking back your life is to reintroduce the word “no” into your daily vocabulary. Bernstein suggests using “no” as a full, complete sentence when you’re asked to do something unrealistic or at an inopportune time. Saying no can be a polite, not rude response when you consider other factors like how much effort you’ve put into a one-sided relationship or when you’re stretched too thin. The next time your spouse, friend, or child asks you for something, reconsider the request before automatically replying “yes” and perpetuating this unhealthy habit.

Step 2: Ask for Help at Least Once a Day for 30 Days

If you feel you have to be self-reliant all the time, you’re more likely to burn out in a short period of time. Asking for help every day can help you manage your stress before it becomes overwhelming. It’s not a sign of weakness or incompetence to seek support when you need it and in fact, it’s a beneficial part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Step 3: Practice Self-Compassion Daily

Set aside time every day to focus on your values and beliefs. Redirect the energy you would have projected onto another person back to yourself and you’ll gain a better understanding of your own life. Self-compassion will help you realize what is important to you and when you need to take a step back and reassess your actions.