8 step programme to stop being a people pleaser

Use these steps to stop being a people pleaser

It is time for you to stop being a people pleaser and instead work towards your own goals. This 8 step programme will help you reach your full potential.

Research suggests that wanting to be liked is a significant driver for women. There is a strong gender divide at the root of this. Girls are raised to smile and to be agreeable. Boys are encouraged to be active, rambunctious and noisy.  Male bosses are “dynamic” and/or “leader like” while women are called “bitches” or “aggressive.” Men offer insights. Women are risk averse.

Women are very often socialised to put the needs of others before their own. This traps them in all sorts of situations where they defer their own needs until they reach a breaking point. It is frequently then, and only then, that a woman will consider making changes to stop being a people pleaser.

We see this in any number of situations. This approach spills over into personal and professional spheres. Women are responsible for 80% of domestic chores, even when they are working full-time. They undertake a similar percentage of “office housework” outside their usual professional workload, which supports their career. Some women are able to break out of this dysfunctional cycle on their own. Others look for support on how to put themselves and their own goals first. Sometimes being caught up in this pattern can be about other deeper issues such as perfectionism, or a need to feel valued, indispensable and recognised. In extreme cases it can be about abuse, harassment of power playing within a relationship, when professional support would definitely be the best route.

stop being a people pleaser

This is not to say women need to stop being helpful or supportive to others in the workplace. However, the focus should shift to tackle how people pleasing can stop them being more effective in the most important areas of their professional lives. Their own jobs and KPIs.


3Plus coaches shared some stories

Laure is a senior civil servant who works longer hours than her husband. Despite this, she would still get home from the office at 8.00 p.m. and cook dinner. She planned the menus and organised the shopping. She even selected gifts and reminded him of key events in his family. The build up of stress was starting to impact her health and create tension in her marriage, as she felt increasingly under-valued and over-worked.

It was time for her to draw her red lines and find a more equitable balance in the way her household was structured and run on a daily basis. This involved sitting down with her husband and agreeing on some new ways of doing things. It includes internet shopping and him doing the dinner prep before she gets home. “When I went through a coaching process, it flagged up some issues around perfectionism and control which I am still working on.”

Take a look at our range of experienced and professional Career Coaches HERE.

Janine works in the marketing department of a well-known consumer goods multi-national. She has a Business major and an aptitude for figures. When budget time came around, her colleagues would approach her for “help” to provide the numbers for the upcoming year and crunch the data for the current year-end.

“At the beginning I was flattered and felt needed, so was happy to help. They were recognising that I had a skill they didn’t. It was really about my ego if I am honest. It allowed me to show off! However, it ended up where I was doing the budgets and forecasting for the whole department. I would see my colleagues leave at a respectable time and I would either be taking their work home or staying late. I hate to confess that it took three years before I said “no.”  Last year my boss, instead of circulating the budget exercise by department gave me the project in its entirety. I realised then what a sucker I had been. I recommended my team mates went on a Finance for Marketeers course and it all worked out!” 

Do these stories sound familiar?

Here is our 8 step programme to stop being a people pleaser:




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3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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