Once people pleasers recognize the ways they shoot themselves in the foot, they can determine to opt out of the excessively compliant role. First they need to be mentally prepared to face the challenge. Look over the following statements and determine how many of them you would be willing to embrace:

  • I can see that firmness on my part is long overdue. It is a quality I want more of.
  • My convictions are generally sound, to the point of being truly trustworthy.
  • Too much of my emotional energy is spent trying to make others happy. That needs to change.
  • I’m ready to admit that if others are overbearing, it may be their problem to solve, not mine.
  • Even if others interpret me wrongly, I need to proceed with my best determinations.
  • I know that I can continue to be thoughtful even as I am also more decisive.
  • I have a purpose for my life that is well thought-out, and that I am determined to pursue.
  • It is necessary for me to voice my opinions and preferences, not because I want to be pushy, but because I have good things to offer.
  • When others try to entice me to live outside my boundaries, I can see that I am being responsible to stick to my convictions.
  • I consider openness or genuineness as a quality that I am very committed to.

Hopefully, you can affirm each of the above statements. As you realize that you have good reasons to act in ways that are most consistent with your own values, you can still be a pleasing person without also having to let others dictate your decisions. If you could only affirm five or fewer of the above statements, I would encourage you to rethink the appropriateness of firmness and assertiveness. It is likely that you are selling your own good virtues short.

Let’s keep in mind that uniqueness and differentness are good qualities in any relationship. Rather than forcing yourself to conform to a mold that others may insist that you fill, it would be good for you to allow yourself the privilege to be truly one of a kind!


Dr. Les Carter