How Can We Stop People-Pleasing Others?

If I look back at my own story as a child, I learned during school that people-pleasing was a skill and it got results. From putting the pens back in the draw to seeing on report cards “Laura is a pleasure to have in class”, there were always ways that I could please people.

As a skill, people-pleasing or a part of what enables you to people-please is important. It is the ability to be empathetic, read and understand your audience in a very short space of time.

It’s important to understand that people-pleasing, isn’t the same as being kind to others.

The behaviour resides in that you will seek to make others happy, even though it may have a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing.

It can involve you being terrified, with a physical response of being rejected by others.

How do you know if you are a people pleaser:

  1. Pretending to agree with people when you don’t
  2. Apologies even when you’ve done nothing wrong
  3. Not being able to say no even when it is something you don’t want to do

Did any of these resonate?

The truth is that going back to tribal behaviour, we all want people to like us. It meant that we were safe and loved.

Then why is people-pleasing others so harmful?


“If you spend your life pleasing others, you spend your life.” ~Cheryl Richardson 


The act of people-pleasing can become an unhealthy behaviour when you are seeking others to give you what you are not giving yourself, love, care, and attention.

It can be a learned behaviour, such as mine was. It can be an indicator of low self-esteem. It can be disempowering and dimming your light to fit in with others. It can also be extremely time-consuming and energy-consuming seeking to be perfect for others.

How do you break it?

1. Recognise the patterns of when you people-please

The initial part of breaking people-pleasing, and what we call the pattern interrupt, is to identify when you are actually people-pleasing vs your own desires. You can do this by simply noting down in a journal or notebook all the times during the day when people-pleasing is the driving force behind an action.

2. Seeking out the underlying cause as to why you desire to people-please

I have two questions I want you to focus on:
a) What is your worst fear that will happen if you STOP people-pleasing?
b) From who or when did you learn that people-pleasing was a good thing to do?

3. Create assertiveness skills to say 'no' when you mean 'no'

Top performers struggle to say no. I know this because I coach top performers, other coaches, and entrepreneurs. And I get paid to help these smart and articulate people, to say no more often.
When you are growing and scaling a business, or connected with your higher mission, you will find that the balance switches from saying YES to anything possible, to saying NO to survive.
And it is to survive, because keeping on saying YES is the quickest way to overwhelm.

4. Practice saying 'no'

The biggest gift you can give a top performer (aka you) is your willingness to implement what you learn. If you really want to overcome people-pleasing, practice saying NO in the next 7 days and see the results.
You’ll thrive as a top performer, coach, and entrepreneur when you connect with your true desires and implement them.


PS >> Overcome imposter syndrome, embrace the art of leadership and saying no or create your next clients by joining me at ElevateHQ for an Immersive Experience. I will challenge you as only a powerful coach can do.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.