5 Powerful ways to become more Authentic + Stop People Pleasing
Updated: Jul 30, 2021
We learn from a very young age that it’s safer to be agreeable.
We learn how to “feel out” a room, and adjust our words and actions accordingly.
We learn how to anticipate the needs of others, and do our best to provide for them.
We learn to say yes, when we really mean NO!
We learn to use external validation; others approval, to fill an aching void and feel
We learn to please.
Kindness, Generosity, and Manipulation...OH MY!
People Pleasing is manipulation in disguise.
According to Sasha Heinz, PhD, a developmental psychologist and life coach, “
We’re managing our own anxiety that people won't like us, by trying to control their
opinions of us.
Saying Yes to requests that you really don’t want to do, in order to be perceived in a
certain way is lying. Period!
I cause myself a lot of unnecessary suffering when I do this.
The anger, irritation and seething resentment that I ruminate in, is far worse than any
temporary disapproval I have received from saying NO to someone.
What people pleasing is NOT...
Now, I don’t want you to confuse the need to please, with the qualities of being kind,
generous , empathetic, and helpful. These are all positive traits that contribute to the
amazing person that you are!! It’s these positive traits that help build trust and
It’s when these positive traits morph into a survival skill of sorts - used to avoid rejection
and fill the need for approval, that things start to get messy.
I Can't Tell You What The Key To Success Is, But The Key To Failure Is Trying To Please Everyone - ED SHEERAN
As my days go by faster... and my time grows shorter, the lines around my eyes grow
long, and I’m met with a pulsating, ever growing need to live an authentic life...on my
own terms. There is no room for the anxiety of disappointing others. There's no time to
try and control their perception of me, in an authentic life , well lived.
But, I know that I’m not ALWAYS living according to this value. I give up my needs for
others wants...more often than I’d care to admit. I say yes and feel resentful. I say
No...and feel guilty. I’m plagued with a never ending stream of thoughts that want to
justify and prove that I am still a good person if -I-say -No.
Thoughts that criticize and make the other person the enemy for even asking for such a
People Pleasing Kills Authenticity
People pleasing shows up in big, obvious ways in our life. Ways in which there’s no
Yep, I’m a people pleaser! It also shows up in little, insidious ways. Ways that we don’t
even realize that , bit by bit, we are killing our true selves.
Your co-worker is going on and on about another employee and how lazy they are. You
cordially listen, a perfectly timed “ uh-huh “ every now and then...just to let her know that
you’re engaged in the convo. Meanwhile, you’re cringing inside because you HATE
talking bad about people behind their backs. ( This is a value for me. Can’t tell, can you?)
But you stay and listen. To be polite . A piece of yourself dies.
The food you ordered took 45 minutes AND came out cold and rubbery, but you silently
choke it down anyway. You shrink.
The guy you’re seeing cancelled plans at the last minute...again! You politely tell him it’s
“no biggie”, we’ll try again next weekend. Then, you hang up and ruminate over all the
things you should have said. Your spirit dims.
It NEVER feels like the right time to ask for that money back ...that you lent out 6 months
ago! So, we’ll just sit around broke til payday.
Each time we deny our truth, a little piece of our true self shrivels.
Think about it like this...Each time you say YES to someone, you’re saying NO to yourself.
Why do we so often deny ourselves the very things that will make our spirit soar?
"Each time we say YES to someone, You're saying NO to yourself"
People Pleasing is Rooted FEAR
There’s nothing that young children want more than love, attention, and affection. To be
told you are a good boy/girl...to be praised , appreciated, and approved of by the people
that you look up to, brings on a feeling of love and safety.
But what if the people that you look up to become disappointed in you? What if you
don’t get the approval you so desperately desire? What happens if you have loving
caretakers, but they are emotionally distant, stressed out and dealing with their own
fears? What if your caretakers are highly critical? No matter how hard you try, you can’t
seem to earn their approval...if you do, it’s often short lived.
I had a constant fear of being exposed as a fraud...as a “bad girl”. The times I
remember being caught or getting in trouble for something and the feeling that stuck
with me was shame. Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress
caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Shame was always looming
in the back of my mind, and I would do anything to avoid that emotion.
There are many situations that can foster people-pleasing tendencies, but the bottom
line is this: You didn’t receive the message that you were valued and loved for who you
are. You felt like you needed to hide the “unlovable” parts of you.
Many of these people pleasing tendencies carry over into our adult relationships.
In these relationships, you feel like you have to be of service in order to be loved. Being
nice is Safer. But it comes at a terrible cost...
Authenticity Kills People Pleasing
In the same way that people pleasing kills authenticity, the opposite is true. If you want
to nip it in the bud...become a more authentic person. So, how do you go about doing
that? I was just about to tell you!
In order to become the most authentic version of your wonderful self, you’re gonna need
to get to know you a little better. More specifically, your core values.
Understanding what your core values are will help you to simplify your life. When you
know what’s important to you, you can eliminate those things from your life that no
longer serve you. Your values are the things that are important to you. You prioritize your
life based off of what your values are. Some examples of core values are: Security,
Acceptance, Self-Control, Loyalty, Creativity, and Dependability. I found an article that
has a great process for discovering what your core values are. You can check it out here .
Let Your Values be your guide
Knowing your priorities will help you determine if you have the time and energy for
something. Figuring out what makes you tick requires self awareness and mindfulness.
If something doesn’t align with your values, let it go. Becoming a more authentic person
will take a little effort. It might be uncomfortable at first. But the feeling you get, when
you live life more in alignment with your truth, is priceless. It feels like relief. It feels like
having space in your mind and your life to finally choose you. It feels like freedom!
But determining what your Core Values are, and prioritizing your life accordingly, is just
the first piece of the intricate puzzle that is you.
As promised, here are 5 quick tips to becoming a more authentic you + stop people
pleasing in the process!
5 Powerful Tips to Become More Authentic
+ Stop People Pleasing!
1. Redefine your core values
As I mentioned above, knowing your values helps you prioritize things that are important
to you and make space in your life for them. Sometimes we have values ingrained in us
that we grew up with. Values that no longer ring true for us. Time to re-evaluate.
2. Put yourself first
Take some time before you quickly say “yes” to requests for your time, energy, o
money...if you don’t really want to do it, or you feel like you “should” do it...think again!
When you start listening to what is right for YOU, you’re getting closer to honoring your
3. Notice when you’re being inauthentic
Notice those times when you see yourself being inauthentic in your words or actions.
Then explore the fears and beliefs that prevent you from showing up as your most
authentic self in these situations.
4. Speak from your heart
This can be scary. If you hate confrontation, want to be seen in a certain way, and want
to avoid conflict, let me repeat again... this can be scary! But facing the fear is a
necessary evil if you want to live a life aligned with your truth. The important part about
honestly speaking your truth is to make sure that you consider the other person as well.
Are you blaming? Are you putting pressure on the other person? Or are you simply
sharing your truth? Also, speak your truth sooner rather than later. Stuffing your feelings
for too long is a recipe for passive/aggressive outbursts of rage.
5. Get in touch with your body
Past trauma, overthinking, information overload, and chronic busyness, all can
contribute to becoming disconnected from our bodies. It’s important to pay attention to
our physical selves as our bodies will convey some important info to us if we listen. Are
you feeling tense? Have you been carrying a knot around in your stomach all week?
How long will you ignore the pain and stiffness in your neck? Take a deep breath...now
hold it...4...3...2...1...now release slowly...4...3...2...1….what is your body trying to tell you? Do
you need rest? Stress relief? Movement is so important for releasing stress and old
stagnant energy from our bodies.
Get out there and move! Go for a hike in nature. Ride a bike. Go to a park and see how
high you can swing! Dance! There are so many ways to
get moving other than just going to the gym….Just Do Something!!
My friend Simone has created a wonderful program! The emphasis is on dancing and
movement, to remove energetic blocks surrounding success and money. You can check
her out here !
Authenticity for the win!
There are so many ways to start moving towards your truth.
Applying even 1 of these tips in your life (1. Define your core values. 2. Put yourself first.
3. Notice when you're being inauthentic. 4. Speak from your heart. 5. Get in touch with
your body.) will massively affect how you show up in the world.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on authenticity and people pleasing. Please tell us about
your experience and what has worked for you. Let us know in the comment
If you found this post helpful , please share it with others.
As Always, Love, Light, and Happiness,
SHARING IS CARING!!