Are you a People Pleaser? 7 Quotes to Help You Break Free

Are you a People Pleaser? 7 Quotes to Help You Break Free

Do you spend a ton of time trying to make others happy? Is taking criticism tough for you? Do you struggle when you think someone is upset with you?


If so, it’s likely that you’re a people pleaser.


This week on Instagram stories, I shared a new mantra of the week, something I do each and every Monday. (Tune in here if you’re not yet following along.) The mantra was designed specifically for all the people pleasers out there. The mantra was this: You can’t please everybody. And that’s ok.


The mantra was short and simple, as they often are, but I was blown away by the response. So many people reached out and commented about how deeply this mantra resonated with them, sharing their own struggles with a desire to please.



If you’re a people pleaser, you spend an enormous amount of energy trying to make others happy. You invest a lot of time in the details, and you go out of your way to make sure everyone is taken care of, often at the expense of yourself.


You’re thoughtful. You get joy out of seeing others happy. And you’re also probably pretty sensitive. When your well-laid plans don’t work out, you’re discouraged. When people aren’t happy, you fixate and worry. You try not to let other people’s comments and opinions get to you, but it’s hard.


People pleasing is an exhausting and reinforcing pattern. It’s a trap. It feels great when we succeed, but it leaves us dependent on other people for our worth and happiness.


Thankfully, like any habit or pattern, you can change it. With intentionality and effort, you can transform your people pleasing ways. In addition to this week’s mantra, “You can’t please everybody. And that’s ok”, here are seven other quotes to help you break free from your people pleasing ways.


1. “When you say “yes” to others, make sure you aren’t saying “no” to yourself.”  Paulo Coelho


2. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”  Aristotle


3. “Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner.” Lao Tzu


4. “There’s something very addictive about people pleasing. It’s a thought pattern and a habit that feels really, really good until it becomes desperate.”  Anne Hathaway


5. “Do what you feel in your heart will be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”  Eleanor Roosevelt


6. “‘No’ might make them angry, but it will make you free. If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger.”  Nayyirah Waheed


7. “All I can do is follow my instincts, because I’ll never please everyone.”  Emma Watson


People pleasing is a deeply ingrained habit. So when you get caught up in the stress and struggle of trying to make everyone happy, use one of these phrase to redirect your attention to the present moment and what’s really important. Remind yourself that you can’t please everybody. And that’s ok.


Which quote speaks most to your people pleasing ways?


PS: If you worry about what others think, check out this video, where I share the surprising lesson I learned from Carpool Karaoke about worrying what others think of me!


  1. Luz

    Thank you Dr. Allison.

    I’m so glad I came across one of your YouTube videos a couple of months ago. I’ve been hooked since then. 😊

    These quotes are really going to help me when I start to worry about what people think.

    Thank you!

    (Ex people pleaser)

    1. Dr. Allison

      Luz, I’m so glad you came across my YouTube video too; I’m thrilled you’re here and hooked! 🙂 People pleasing is a tough habit to break, but with practice, it does get easier! Have a wonderful week!

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