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Release your inner pleaser

In this blog post, you will get 5 good tips for those who want to let go of their inner people pleaser and learn to prioritize themselves, set boundaries and express their needs.

If you are a people pleaser, you tend to put the needs of others before your own and perhaps constantly focus on how others feel, rather than how you feel yourself. It is exhausting to constantly take responsibility for other people's feelings, and you end up disregarding yourself, your boundaries and needs.

It is difficult and takes time to unlearn your pleaser tendencies, because they are there for a reason. It is not only about personality, but to a greater extent about what we have grown up with and have experienced over time. It is also about our self-esteem and how we have learned to be in relationships.

But what do you do when you want to learn to prioritize yourself?

To change such an ingrained protective pattern as people pleasing, we will have to create realistic changes. This means that you should start with the smallest changes first. If it had been as simple as "just let it be", you would have already done it.

People pleasing is in many cases a stress response or a coping strategy, and when we have to change such a strong pattern, we also have to learn to find calm in situations we normally experience as stressful.

Here you get 5 concrete advice to create change and release your inner pleaser:
1. Practice filling and demanding.
  • As a people pleaser, you tend to fade into the background and take up as little space as possible. In order to achieve people pleasing, we will have to take up more space. As a pleaser, you may know how to hurry when, for example, you tell a story to your friends or family because you are afraid of boring them or getting in the way. Here is an excellent place to start! Take your time and tell your story. Fill and expect others to listen! In this way, we demand a little more from the world around us and show them and ourselves that we are worth more.

2. Often pleasing is about avoiding conflict, but when we constantly avoid conflict, we don't learn that confrontations are actually important in relationships. We have to learn that!
  • Therefore, you must now practice being in smaller confrontations. For example, try telling someone you disagree with them, say no when someone asks for something you don't really want, practice sharing your thoughts. Start with the safest little everyday confrontations - for example, which movie to see, what to eat for dinner, etc.

3. Speak your pleaser.
  • As pleasers, we are often afraid of being in the way, of being a burden, and we fear the consequences of this. We hold back and would rather handle the difficult things ourselves than count on others. But close relationships depend on us daring to be vulnerable and count on each other, even if it's dangerous. Therefore, as pleasers, we must practice articulating our pleaser. Try telling a good friend, partner, family about your inner people pleaser, and ask for help to challenge it. And then practice sharing what's hard, EVEN IF your pleaser tells you you're a burden

4. Set realistic limits.
  • Sometimes our people pleaser tendencies arise because we have experienced that our boundaries are not respected. This makes it difficult to stick to your boundaries afterwards. We may be able to express limits with words, but find it difficult to stick to the consequences if the limit is crossed anyway. Often we set boundaries far too late. The next thing you need to practice is therefore to set realistic limits. You need to practice speaking up much earlier. It will often be much easier to articulate a limit when you are far from it, rather than after it has been crossed

5. Work on your self-esteem.
  • This is probably the hardest step. Behind people pleasing there is often a fragile self-esteem that tells a distorted story about our worth in the world. For various reasons, we have created a narrative that we have to be in a very special way in order to be loved and accepted. With the underlying narrative, relationships with others suddenly become very difficult. To break with the people pleaser, we have to reach into the part of us that the pleaser protects. For most of us, behind the pleaser lies a huge longing to be looked after and cared for, just as you are. That part, you have to go in and take care of. Every day, ask that part of yourself what it wants and needs. Every day you have to check in and give them a warm and loving hug.

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