“In many ways, overcoming people pleasing tendencies means letting go of old limiting beliefs about your self-worth. When you start valuing yourself, your entire world changes.” ~ Aida Knezevic
One of the biggest jokes I ever unknowingly played on myself was believing that being a people-pleaser was a normal part of my personality.
For almost 26 years, I lived thinking that my tendency to bend over backward to make everyone else happy was simply kindness and generosity.
Then, I woke up.
I began to connect the dots between my upbringing and my adult relationships. Slowly, I realized that my people pleasing tied into a broader pattern of self-abandonment.
Once I awoke to these patterns and how they had negatively impacted my life, I decided to stop people pleasing.
Naturally, this wasn’t an overnight process but rather a gradual change, during which I realized many aspects of my life had transformed. This included my emotional wellbeing as well as my self-esteem.
If you have also decided to stop people pleasing, here are 6 things you can expect to happen:
6 Interesting Things That Happen When You Stop People Pleasing
1. You might lose friends
Sadly, a people-pleaser’s energy often invites in people who only value friendship when they can get something out of it.
Whether it’s driving them to the airport at 5 AM for the umpteenth time or constantly listening to them vent about their ex, they enjoy the fact that you’re so low-maintenance.
Once your energy shifts and you start asserting boundaries regarding how you spend your time together, you might wake up one day and notice that some people are reaching out to you less and less.
That’s totally okay.
Think of your boundaries as the sifter for the people in your life – not everyone is going to make it out on the other side, and anyone who is left behind was probably never your friend for the right reasons.
2. When you stop people pleasing, you might experience conflict more often
Naturally, when you stop people pleasing, conflict is expected – even in your closest relationships.
The truth is that most people-pleasers have been this way their entire lives. When they wake up to this part of their personality and change, it causes quite the disruption that has a ripple effect on all their relationships.
You have to remember that the people in your life are very used to you being a certain way – amenable and eager to please.
Perhaps they even see this as one of your positive personality traits, unaware that you’ve actually been stifling your true self this entire time.
Once you flip the switch, you might be perceived as confrontational or difficult when you are simply asserting boundaries or speaking up for yourself.
When this happens, try to take a step back and remind yourself that you cannot control the reactions of others. But what you can control is upholding your boundaries and refusing to bend over backward to keep everyone happy.
3. You’ll become much, much happier when you stop people pleasing
Suddenly, you are able to say “no” to people and situations that you know are bad for your wellbeing. With every “no” spoken, you find it easier to be assertive and prioritize your happiness.
All of this leads to a much happier life.
In fact, only when you stop people-pleasing do you realize the extent of the sadness that manifested in your life when you accommodated everyone but yourself.
For me, it was a profound revelation that gave me the strength to continue showing up for myself, even when my old ways threatened to come back.
4. You’ll have more time
Now that you are leaving people pleasing behind, you’ll notice that you have a less busy schedule, especially if you’re prone to overworking and have a poor work-life balance.
You no longer feel pressured to make room for everyone else’s requests, which gives you more free time to focus on yourself and other important areas of your life.
5. You’ll be more confident and assertive
People-pleasers make themselves small to avoid getting in the way of others. They over-apologize and find it hard to express what they need with confidence.
Since self-confidence means being sure of yourself and your decisions even when others disapprove, it’s no wonder that the behavior of people-pleasers is anything but confident.
Again, this ties into issues of low self-worth and a lack of belief in your own abilities and your value as a person.
When you begin to work through these deep-seated beliefs, it gets easier to be assertive both in your speech and actions. You’re no longer afraid of putting yourself out there because you no longer take outside opinions as gospel.
Self-assuredness is especially beneficial in the workplace since you’ll be able to set boundaries and stand up for yourself when faced with challenges like pushy co-workers or poor management.
6. You’ll be less resentful
Constantly going above and beyond to make everyone else happy but yourself often leads to resentment since your efforts usually aren’t reciprocated.
Even if you don’t express the resentment directly, it bubbles underneath the surface and threatens to spill over when you reach your “I’m fed up” moment.
From personal experience, I can tell you that this usually leads to unproductive arguments where the other person doesn’t understand why you are so angry.
After all, you never had any issues with their requests before so your sudden angry outburst seems very over-the-top.
But when you stop people pleasing and speak up for yourself, you harbor a lot less negative energy and leave space to be more authentic in your relationships.
What’s more, this prevents problems from snowballing in your personal relationships and creating an even bigger issue down the road.
Final Thoughts on People Pleasing
It’s amazing to witness how much your life changes when you stop people pleasing. There’s less guilt, less overthinking, less second-guessing.
Today, I am more at peace with my decisions than ever before, and I no longer feel responsible for the emotions of everyone else.
Leaving people pleasing behind can be scary but I hope that you’re encouraged by all the positive changes that’ll come to your life once you take that step.
**What about you? Do you tend to accommodate everyone but yourself? You can share your comment below.