Stop being a people pleaser: how to do it?

Do you want to stop being a people pleaser? You are not alone.

The urge to please others can sometimes be overwhelming. But why are you such a ‘people pleaser’? What is the impact on you? And more importantly, how can you learn to stop being a people pleaser?

In this blog post, I’d like to explain all that to you.

The quest for recognition: when is it enough?

One of our greatest emotional needs is our desire for recognition and affirmation. We want to do well and be good to others. We want to receive compliments. We want to belong, to be seen, and deep down we want to feel that we matter.

It’s normal to feel this desire, but sometimes it can become so strong that we get ahead of ourselves in our attempts to please others. Do you recognise this in yourself too?

It’s completely human to feel this desire. But how far do you go in your quest for that affirmation?

How often do you help your friends with their renovations?
Are you always trying to cook a nice meal at home for the whole family?
How much work of your colleague do you take over?

All in the hope of getting that ‘Thank you’ and ‘How wonderful you are!’?

It can be exhausting to constantly seek external validation, and it’s important to understand how this pattern affects your well-being.

The trap of people pleasing: seeking balance and recognition

There are various reasons why you are a ‘people pleaser’, but ultimately it all comes down to a very simple interaction: somebody asks or suggests a certain need, and you see an opportunity to score. In other words, the other person lives in a desire to be taken care of. And you respond from your desire to care.

If that happens once in a while, it’s not so bad. It is really problematic when it becomes a vicious circle in which you try more and more to meet the expectations of others, without really listening to your own needs.

Sometimes we forget that it’s also important to take care of ourselves and take our own needs seriously. A difficult balancing act, but it’s essential for our mental and emotional well-being that we stop being a people pleaser.

There are several ways to fall (again) into this dysfunctional pattern:

  1. The other person may not realise (yet) that he or she can also take care of themselves.
  2. You may not realise (yet) that the other person can take care of themselves.
  3. In caring for the other person, there is also a care for yourself. You want that recognition so badly…

All 3 scenarios are possible, and may also sound familiar to you. Becoming aware of your real motivations is a good first step, because then you can look for the answer to these 2 questions:

  1. Do your caring actions really get you the recognition you seek?
  2. And if you get it, do you enjoy it? Or… do you want more?

A question to think about. The answer can be quite confronting. And that’s okay. It’s already great that you are taking this first step.

Caring or people pleasing: the why behind your helpfulness

Don’t get me wrong. I am not ‘anti caring for each other’. What I’m really getting at here is the ‘why’.

Is your caring a compensation for your own insecurity? Or is it a conscious choice? It’s important to consider whether your tendency to care for others stems from a deep-seated need for validation, or whether it stems from a genuine desire to help others.

If it’s a way to compensate for your insecurity, it might be time to dig into where that insecurity is coming from and how you can deal with it in a healthier manner.

For you, not worrying equals a big risk of being rejected or disappointed by others. And that’s something you’d rather avoid!

But you have to realise: you’re valued for who you are, not just for what you do for others.

So as long as you’re worrying to compensate your own insecurities, you’re not really making a conscious choice. You’ve got to allow yourself the freedom to decide how you spend your energy and time, without constantly fretting about others’ expectations.

In short, you need to stop people pleasing.

Experience true freedom.

What if you had nothing to prove, if you didn’t have to strive for that validation from others? That would be real freedom, wouldn’t it?

But that can only come from stopping the people pleasing.

Remember that when you choose that freedom, you’re also challenging others. When you step out of the dance of ‘worrying and being cared for’, the other person is also confronted with their (often unconscious) dependence on you. They might therefore pull on you even harder.

Remember: it’s not that caring isn’t allowed. The question is, why am I caring for the other person? And does it give me what I deeply need inside?

What every person deeply needs is recognition and approval. Not for what you do but rather, for who you are.

Take the plunge.

Bear in mind, you’re not going alone on this adventure.

Actually, we often find these queries about recognition and self-awareness cropping up during our yoga retreats. That’s why we ensure our yoga retreats foster a secure and encouraging atmosphere, allowing you to be truthful with yourself and shed the chains of ‘needing’ to care.

By facing ourselves honestly, we can gain a deeper insight into ourselves and make decisions that better align with our genuine needs and desires.

Yoga enriches this journey, offering a comprehensive approach to wellness that not only fortifies your body but also soothes your mind and feeds your soul, so you learn to break away from your limiting beliefs and become more willing to open up to others.

Ultimately, you become bold enough to seek acknowledgement for who you are, not just for what you do.

Book a retreat

Are you ready to take the first step towards a life of greater authenticity and freedom?

Then consider joining a yoga retreat and give yourself the space to grow and flourish. Contact us today and book your spot for a transformative experience that will give you greater insight into yourself.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing you soon!

We often find our destiny
in the path we take to avoid it

Subscribe to our newsletter

Dear reader,

Thank you for your visit. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Please feel free to sign up for our newsletter below, so we can update you on tips, retreats and offers.

Kind regards,


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Exercises for a healthier body

Download our e-book!

Do you want to give your body the love and attention it deserves? In this e-book you will find 10 essential yoga exercises that will reduce stress, increase your strength and flexibility, and promote a healthier body.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.