How to Reduce People-Pleasing in Three Simple Steps

Have you ever found yourself putting others’ needs above your own to the point where you feel like you’re losing yourself? This is a common behavior known as people-pleasing. Let’s explore three simple steps to reduce people-pleasing, helping you regain your sense of self and create healthier boundaries.

Step 1: Recognize and Name the Behavior

The first step to reduce people pleasing is to recognize and name this behavior for what it is. People pleasing is a pattern of behavior where we prioritize others’ needs at our own expense. It often stems from a desire to avoid conflict, gain approval, or cope with difficult emotions. Start by identifying the environments and relationships where you are most likely to engage in people-pleasing. Is it with your boss, your parents, or friends? Reflect on how long this behavior has been present in your life and when it might have started.

Step 2: Understand the Consequences

Next, it’s important to understand the consequences of people-pleasing. While it might seem like a way to maintain harmony and avoid conflict, the long-term effects can be detrimental. People- pleasing can lead to poor boundaries, dishonesty with yourself and others, and a deep sense of self-abandonment. You might find yourself feeling resentful, unfulfilled, and disconnected from your own needs and desires. Recognizing these consequences can serve as motivation to make positive changes in your behavior.

Step 3: Start Making Changes

Finally, to reduce people-pleasing, you need to start making changes. One effective strategy is to pause before automatically saying yes to requests. Ask yourself if you have the capacity to take on the task, if you genuinely want to do it, or if you’re saying yes out of fear or obligation. Practice assertive communication and setting boundaries. Challenge yourself to sit with the discomfort that might come from saying no or setting a limit. Over time, these small changes can help you reclaim your sense of self and build healthier, more balanced relationships.

People pleasing is a common behavior that many of us struggle with, but it doesn’t have to define your interactions. By recognizing the behavior, understanding its consequences, and making intentional changes, you can reduce people-pleasing and create a more fulfilling and authentic life. When it comes to overcoming people-pleasing, Hailey Paige Magee offers top-tier resources to do just that. Her mission is to help you break the cycle of people-pleasing and find YOUR voice.

AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: “I embrace my worth and create space for my true self to thrive.”

Becoming Anchored in Hope,


Laura is committed to guiding individuals along their path to mental wellness and has carefully gathered a team of skilled, knowledgeable, and committed therapists at Anchored Counseling Company to assist in this mission. The professionals here create an environment that is supportive and affirming, informed by an understanding of trauma. At Anchored Counseling Co., there’s a shared belief in the fundamental worth of each person, and therapy is delivered with warmth and empathy. The therapeutic philosophy here is built on the premise that every client has the natural ability to enact meaningful and enduring change in their life. To connect with a therapist who aligns with your unique needs, please contact our office at 615.510.3797 or visit our website today.

Anchored Counseling Company is a a group practice specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression, body image concerns, eating disorders & disordered eating, substance use, trauma and PTSD, and spirituality in Brentwood, Tennessee and serving the greater Nashville, Tennessee area. We are easily accessible for clients living in Franklin, Tennessee and Spring Hill, Tennessee. 

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