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The People Pleasing Trap—and How to Break Free

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Caring for others is so important. But make sure that you're taking care of yourself as well. Here's how to break free of the people pleasing trap.
Photos by GaudiLab/Shutterstock.com


You know those people, who do everything they can to make everyone around them happy. Maybe you’re one of those people. “Yes” is a word that not only holds validation but also carries significance. It’s tough to live life knowing that you need to please the people around you to feel fulfilled, pouring yourself out so much and never getting poured into. Every last drop of yourself till you’re an empty glass.

“Yes” might feel like your qualifier but “no” is your liberator. If you’ve ever been around a toddler, you’ve heard the word “no.” It’s a term they learn early on, in fact, it’s probably one of their favorite words. Toddlers shout “no” like their lives depend on it. The question isn’t when did the power shift from “no” to “yes,” but what made the power shift?

The simple answer is life.

LightWorkers The People Pleasing Trap—and How to Break Free.

Photos by Urbazon/Shutterstock.com

Life made the power shift; you grew up learning that the more you said “no” the less people liked you, and the more you agreed to empty yourself by saying “yes” to everything the more “love” you experienced. The power shifted when life made love a gift given only to those who had nothing left of themselves.

Generosity and giving is so extremely important for the sole fact that there are so many people in need, but there is a point of excess where you need to stop and take care of yourself. You need to say “no.”

The first step to saying “no” is realizing that you are just as valuable and you deserve just as much love as everyone else. If it takes waking up in the morning and speaking affirmations over yourself, then do it. Repetition builds belief. Repeat those affirmations till they are your belief.

Giving is so important given that there are so many people in need, but there is a point of excess where you need to stop and take care of yourself.

The second step is realizing when you need to say “no” and then saying it. This part requires a lot of self control, because you will want to say “yes.” It feels good to say “yes,” but don’t do it unless you feel healthy and capable to give your absolute best. The trick is to practice saying “no” to situations and things that aren’t detrimental in any way, like saying “no” to fries with your burger, something simple.

Lastly, but probably the most difficult is sticking to your “no.”

After you say it, hold on to the truth that you are valuable and deserve rest. You do not need to people please your way through life to receive love. “No” is the liberation you need to realize that it isn’t what you do that gives you love, but who you are that deserves all the love in the world.