How to escape from People-Pleaser-Ville


People-Pleaser-Ville AKA that place that exists inside your head whereby everyone’s opinion of you matters and your mission in life is to please and accommodate others.


You’re this extremely giving (but neglectful-to-self) type person if you do the following:

  • Errr Neglect yourself, in favour of others (yes I’ll cancel MY plans so I can help you with your uni assignment/move house/stay back late at work to help you because your time management skills are super suckey)


  • Feel guilty saying no, but then often resentful saying yes (after committing).


  • You are surrounded by people who need to be rescued or consoled (the VICTIM or CHILD personality types)


  • Agree with someone in a conversation, when you don’t really agree


  • You say sorry, lots. Like you’re peeing apologies down your legs


Congratulations. You are the proud owner of a PEOPLE PLEASER personality.


Actually strike out ‘proud’ because, although there are countless lovely traits of people pleaser’s, ultimately – its not healthy for you to continue being one, and so, I want you to graduate to a RECOVERING people pleaser.


Like you’re in people pleasing remission…


Because when pleasing others is based in a fear of being unloved or abandoned – that makes for a pretty ordinary existence.


Being a recovering People Pleaser myself, yes: R-E-C-O-V-E-R-I-N-G – not recovered – (it’s a slippery sucker of a slope) I used to always say YES to things that I didn’t really want to…


If a mate was to ask me: “What are you doing next Thursday night?”

And I said I was free,

They’d reply with a:



In my head I’d be thinking:


“I fucking hate tupperware. I’ve got a million different lids with no matching containers. Doesn’t she know, Zip local bags are where its at? I have 3 seconds to think of an excuse”


and then:  “Maybe I should just go so I don’t hurt her feelings…”


The “Maybe I should just go” argument would usually win out.



Obviously at this point in my life I needed to:

  1. Seriously rethink my friendship group so I wasn’t asked to plastic-buying-parties;
  2. Stop and ask myself: “DO I really give a fuck?
  3. And further, does this person deserve my giving a fuck?
  4. Refer to my “SHOULD I GIVE A FUCK?” chart – for anything I’m really stumped about (see below). In general, one should cease giving a fuck about the following:


*People’s opinions – IF those people are NOT: in your closest friendship group, immediate family members, YOUR BOSS (do NOT insult the man who pays your wage) OR, say… OPRAH FUCKING WINFREY;


*Things that don’t matter – like hanging up on telemarketers, being seen by randoms at the shops without makeup on, or how many likes your latest post will get on Instagram;

*Things that you don’t have TIME / MONEY / ENERGY for (like Tupperware parties & your boyfriend’s, friend’s 2 year-old’s birthday party.


REFER TO THE CHART referenced in the lovely, Sarah Knight’s Book: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K and use it to navigate from your default “Give a fck” to “Nope, dont give a fck” Here tis:



Should I give a fuck?

Should I give a fuck?


Once you’ve decided, “No – I don’t really give a fuck” you should craft a response that is:




Something like: “Gee thanks, but I’ve really got my Tupperware situation sorted” or “I’m going to be honest, I’m not really a Tupperware kind-of-person, but thanks for the invite”


If said person is still pushy and/or now irritated with you…


That’s their problem.



If the matter affects you, and only you – then you dont need to worry about anyone’s hurt feelings – you just make up your mind to not give a fuck and therefore don’t (see ‘being seen makeup-less at shops’ example above).


NOTE: Its not really serving YOU or the other person if you agree to something you’re not really interested in anyway. You’ll begrudgingly show up and not put your heart into what you’re doing and it’ll show in your expressions and your energy. You’ll end up resenting that person for ‘making you’ do this or that – but really, is that fair? It’s your responsibility to speak up if you don’t want to or have time to do something.



No one BUT YOU know’s how much you have on your plate.

Whether it’s chock-a-block (full) or – not so much.

No. I’m not talking about your dinner plate.


A NOTE ON NOT GIVING A FUCK – You have reached this level when you have graduated from a REFORMING people pleaser to a REFORMED.


Ultimately, people who don’t have this incessant need to please and accommodate are this way because they realise that they are number 1, they have mastered the art of being KIND and HONEST with their responses, and treat themselves as the most important person & therefore don’t jeopardise their time & happiness so they can accommodate YOU.


Well, I thought you’d never fucking ask.

  • PAUSING or saying something (non-committal) like: “Cool, leave it with me and I’ll think about it” or “Let me just check my diary and I’ll get back to you”. Don’t make the mistake of jumping to a GOTTA SAY YES OR NO IMMEDIATELY, THEY’RE WAITING – decision.

Let them fcking wait.

  • Stop giving your fucks to people and things that don’t matter.


  • Do more things for you– THAT YOU LOVE – to build up your self-esteem and your self-worth. This helps you feel important and that you are a priority to yourself (which means you’ll stop putting everyone else above you). You’re also mentally ‘clocking’ a list of things that you will remember you COULD do, next time someone asks you to do something you don’t really want to. You’ll be like, hmmm “I could go to this boring Tupperware party and buy plastic OR I could finish writing that blog for my site that I was supposed to post a week ago”.


  • KNOW what your own values and goals are so that next time someone asks you to do something, you can check in with yourself as to whether doing that will be in line with and BRING YOU TOWARDS your goals and values OR TAKE YOU FURTHER AWAY FROM THEM.


  • REPLACE the people pleaser’s favourite word – SORRY (sorry to bother you, sorry I didn’t get this to you faster, SORRY FOR EXISTING AND BREATHING IN YOUR PRECIOUS AIR) with – THANK YOU.


Sorry for being late = thanks for being patient with me

Sorry I’m rambling = thanks for listening to me go on

  • Finally – recognize your loveliness. Once you do, you won’t need to seek externally, through other people for approval/love/acceptance.


It’s empowering when you finally put yourself first and say NO to things that don’t serve you anymore. It creates space and time for you to say YES to the other things, more important. Try it out and just try to hide that smile that creeps across your face.


X Bec

Also published on HUFF POST and MEDIUM:

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