Today I’ve Decided That I’m Going to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Aymes Sarah
4 min readDec 26, 2019

How can I stop this habit and maintain my empathy?

Image by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

People will take advantage of whoever they can, to get whatever they want. I know this is a generalization, but we all do it. It’s not malicious, it is a way for people to emotionally survive. People are naturally manipulative. It begins when we are infants and we learn to fake cry to get our parent’s attention.

I am a notorious people pleaser. Especially with the people I love. There are people in my life that know this and take advantage of my kindness and passivity. This is going to stop today. I am done with saying yes to something I do not want to do, just to feel burnt out later. I’m done with feeling guilty after saying no to something unreasonable that I’m being asked to do. I’m just done.

If you are an empath, you will feel another person’s feelings deeply. If you are an empath and also a people-pleaser, it is like a knife your heart to disappoint someone you care about. Here’s the real kicker: We feel this guilt even if this person has disappointed us multiple times in the past.

People-pleasing is a natural instinct for an empath. We want everyone to be happy and content. We are the peace-makers. Empaths typically do not like to “rock the boat”. We put ourselves second. Actually, if I am being honest, we put ourselves dead last. This is a problem.

So why do we have such difficulty with the word “no”? I believe that people-pleasing begins at a young age and usually stems from low-self worth.

There are many reasons why we say yes when we want to say no:

  • We want to make others happy.
  • We hate conflict and want to avoid it at any cost.
  • We hate seeing other people upset or disappointed.
  • We believe that by saying yes, we can make someone happy.
  • We may be co-dependent on someone.
  • We seek approval from others.
  • We always put ourselves in another’s place, while neglecting how we feel.
  • We have low-self worth.

The results of being an empath and a people-pleaser are not good. Empathy on its own is an excellent trait…

Aymes Sarah

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊