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Finding Your Voice: The Importance of Creating Boundaries and Overcoming People Pleasing Behaviors

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

For many people, the desire to please others is an inherent personality trait that is often celebrated in society. While it is important to be considerate and thoughtful towards others, people pleasing at the expense of your own well-being can be incredibly damaging. Constantly putting others first can lead to burnout, resentment, and even feelings of depression and anxiety. However, learning to set healthy boundaries and overcome people pleasing behaviors can help you regain control of your life and establish healthy, supportive relationships.




1. Identifying People Pleasing Behaviors

The first step in creating boundaries is to recognize the behaviors that lead to people pleasing. Do you avoid saying no or feel guilty when you do? Do you frequently go out of your way to help others, even when it inconveniences you? These are all common signs of people pleasing behavior. By acknowledging these patterns, you can start to recognize when you are engaging in people pleasing behaviors and begin to make changes.


2. The Importance of Saying No

Saying no to a request can be incredibly difficult, especially when you don't want to disappoint or upset the person asking. However, learning to say no is a crucial part of establishing healthy boundaries. Remember that it is okay to prioritize your own needs and desires, and that saying no does not make you a bad person. Be clear and direct in your communication, and don't feel obligated to justify or explain your decision.


3. Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is all about learning to articulate your needs and expectations in a relationship. This can be particularly challenging if you have been a people pleaser for a long time, but it is vital for your own well-being. Start by identifying areas where you feel uncomfortable or taken advantage of, and expressing your concerns in a calm and assertive manner. Remember that boundaries are not meant to be punitive, but rather to establish a framework for healthy interactions.


4. Overcoming Fear of Rejection

One of the biggest obstacles to creating boundaries and overcoming people pleasing behavior is the fear of rejection. It can be incredibly scary to take a stand and risk upsetting someone, but remember that your own mental and emotional health is worth it. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who understand and respect your boundaries, and remember that healthy relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding.


5. Finding Your Voice

Ultimately, overcoming people pleasing and creating healthy boundaries is about finding your voice and learning to prioritize your own needs and desires. This can be a difficult and sometimes painful process, but the end result is well worth it. By standing up for yourself and creating healthy boundaries, you can establish deep, meaningful relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.


Creating boundaries and overcoming people pleasing behaviors is not an easy task, but it is a vital one. By learning to prioritize your own needs and desires, you can establish healthy relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding. Remember that it is okay to say no, and that setting boundaries is not punitive, but rather a way to establish a framework for healthy interactions. Don't be afraid to seek support from friends, family members, or a mental health professional if you need it. Finding your voice and standing up for yourself is a critical step towards achieving lasting happiness and fulfillment in your relationships and your life.


Reach out to Sarah Miller Counseling if you're ready to take a deep dive into where those people pleasing behaviors come from and how to overcome them.


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