I Used to Be a People Pleaser But Now I Put Myself First

December 10, 2015 Kristen Virag

To be a people-pleaser is to get burnt out and taken advantage of often. It's time to stop people pleasing. Read this advice from a former people pleaser.

I used to be a people pleaser but now I've learned to put myself first. When I was younger, I used to be the kind of person that people could take advantage of easily. When you display that as a young person, it's hard to change as an adult -- but it is possible to put yourself first and stop being a people pleaser.

I always try to be there for my loved ones and try to make everyone happy. The truth is, however, that you can't make everybody happy no matter how hard you try. It's important to learn to do what's right for you, without feeling guilty that someone didn't like what you said or did. How can one easily find the balance between doing things for other people, but also making sure you take care of yourself so your own mental health and wellbeing doesn't suffer? Learn to put yourself first and don't always people please.

To Be a People Pleaser Means You Tolerate Too Much Guilt

Guilt is a negative emotion which, if left unresolved, can cause stress, anxiety and even depression. It is very important to resolve your feelings of guilt over people pleasing especially if you already suffer from a mental illness.

If you're a people-pleaser, you get burnt out and taken advantage of often. It's time to stop people pleasing. Read this advice from a former people pleaser. I've struggled with feeling guilty for a lot of things my whole life, even when I knew deep inside I wasn't doing anything wrong. During this Christmas period, because I'm involved in many actives including my student's music concerts, there have been many other festivities/events which I've been invited to, and have said yes to all of them. However, I've had to cancel a few. I need to foresee that is stressful because the time factor just simply does not allow me to attend all of them to please everyone. This leaves others disappointed and me feeling guilty.

For people pleasers it's hard to say no. Sure, at times it's good to make that extra effort to make a friend, partner, work colleague or family member happy, but when you people please out of guilt all the time, you're not doing it for the right reasons. Doing things because they feel obligatory shouldn't be driving forces in your decision-making because this can weigh you down mentally.

Lack of Assertiveness Sets You Up to Be a People Pleaser

I believe a healthy dose of assertiveness is good and so is learning to put yourself first. It means you respect yourself and stand up for what's right. Sometimes when learning to say no to things you don't want to be involved in, you need to be assertive in a respectful manner. You need to think carefully about what's important to you. Prioritize your time so that you don't over commit to things; and if you feel snowed under, take some time out for you (Self-Care 101).

When you can, help others around you, or people less fortunate than you -- but for the right reasons. It's not easy to find this balance and say no to people when you always want to make everyone happy, but it's important to for you to feel balanced, confident and mentally healthy.

This video talks most about people pleasing and how to put yourself first.

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APA Reference
Virag, K. (2015, December 10). I Used to Be a People Pleaser But Now I Put Myself First, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Kristen Virag

Grace Vaughn
December, 19 2015 at 4:50 am

Appreciate this post so much. This Christmas season I finally drew the line and said no to being in a spot that I always found myself-oh, we need someone to do this- then to find out later (after I spent a lot of time & energy) that, no, we don't really want your help after all. I just said from the outset- that I'm out of the equation- you will need to get someone else to hang out and "maybe" fulfill a role for you at your beck and call.

Emma Nwagboso
December, 11 2015 at 3:33 am

I Thank GOD for showing me that one of the reasons for troubles in my life was that I was a people pleaser never knowing when to say no to people who don't respect me or who try to use me. Too focused on my flaws physically and mentally instead of trusting in HIM.

December, 10 2015 at 9:26 am

I have finally learned to say No. Been burnt too many times when saying Yes....

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