012. How to break the cycle of people-pleasing

Do you say yes when you want to say no out of fear of being mean, rude, or pushing people away? Then you’re people-pleasing, and you’ve probably noticed the cost of it. Are you asking yourself how to break the cycle of people-pleasing? If you’re nodding your head, today’s episode is for you. In this […]

Self Love Sessions Podcast by Nadja Hagen
The struggle to say "No": Why it's so hard & what to do about it
12 Signs you lack Boundaries
What are healthy boundaries and why do you need them?
Now Trending:
I'm Nadja!

I guide you from "Am I good enough?" to "Is this good for me?" Learn to set healthy boundaries, prioritize your needs, and build relationships that enrich your whole life.


Ready to Leave People-Pleasing behind?

tell me more

Learn to set healthy boundaries and create a life that is totally YOU.

Do you say yes when you want to say no out of fear of being mean, rude, or pushing people away? Then you’re people-pleasing, and you’ve probably noticed the cost of it. Are you asking yourself how to break the cycle of people-pleasing? If you’re nodding your head, today’s episode is for you. In this episode, I share some simple steps to break free from people-pleasing and start to say no in an aligned way. 

Listen to the full episode here:

Click the link below to choose your favorite player to listen to.



Nadja Hagen [00:00:14]:
Are you ready to go from am I good enough to is this good for me? Welcome to the Self Love sessions podcast. I’m your hostess, Nadja Hagen, and I’m the self love coach for ambitious women recovering from people pleasing and starting to love the heck out of themselves. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It sets the tone for all other relationships in your life and your overall quality of life. It’s worth cultivating. In the Self Love sessions podcast, I share nuggets of wisdom on setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing your needs without shame and guilt, and building relationships that enrich your holding life, starting with the one you have with yourself. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Self Love Sessions podcast.

Nadja Hagen [00:01:20]:
So what does it actually mean to be a people pleaser? At its core, it’s about putting others needs before your own, often at the expense of your own well being. But let’s go deeper here. People pleasing can show up in many ways, and sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it. It’s saying yes whenever you want to say no. It’s avoiding conflict at all costs. It’s constantly seeking approval and validation from others. Does that sound familiar? One of the biggest challenges with people pleasing is that it becomes a habit. It’s like autopilot.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:03]:
You are so used to accommodating others that you might not even stop to think about what you really want or need. This can lead to a lot of negative consequences, stress, burnout, resentment, and even a loss of self identity. So let’s talk about where this habit comes from. For many people, it starts early. Maybe you grew up in a household where conflict was seen as bad and harmony was valued above all else. Or perhaps you learned that making others happy was a way to get approval and avoid criticism. As children, we are often conditioned to be good, and sometimes that means suppressing our own needs to please others. As we grow older, this behavior can follow us into adulthood.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:58]:
It might show up in our friendships, our relationships, and even at work. You might find yourself taking on extra tasks, saying yes to things that don’t align with your goals, or agreeing to do favors even when you are already overwhelmed. The problem is that people pleasing is unsustainable. Hear that? People pleasing is unsustainable. Eventually, something’s got to give, and it’s usually your own well being. Let’s explore some common scenarios where people pleasing can be a real challenge. The first is in the workplace. If you are a people pleaser, you might find yourself taking on extra work, staying late, or agreeing to projects that you dont have time for.

Nadja Hagen [00:03:54]:
You might be worried about disappointing your boss or colleagues, so you say yes even when you are already stretched thin. This can lead to burnout and a feeling of being undervalued because you are giving so much without setting boundaries. Another scenario is in friendships and relationships. People pleasers often struggle with setting boundaries in these areas because they don’t want to risk to lose a friend or upsetting a partner. And this can lead to codependency where one person gives and gives and gifts while the other takes and takes and takes. It’s a recipe for resentment and can ultimately damage the relationship. And it’s a very unhealthy dynamic. And then there is family.

Nadja Hagen [00:04:48]:
Family can be a big trigger for people pleasers, especially if there is a history of conflict avoidance or high expectations. You might find yourself agreeing to family gatherings you dont want to attend, taking on responsibilities you dont have time for, or keeping quiet just to maintain peace. The result is that you are sacrificing your own needs for the sake of others. So how can you break this habit? The first step is awareness. You need to recognize when you’re people pleasing and understand why you are doing it. Is it because you are afraid of rejection? Are you seeking approval or validation? Or do you want to feel a sense of belonging? Once you identify the root cause, you can start to work on changing the behavior. Lets get into some practical steps for breaking the habit of people pleasing. The first is setting boundaries.

Nadja Hagen [00:06:00]:
Boundaries are essential for maintaining a healthy balance in your life. Start by identifying the areas where you are overextending yourself. Maybe its at work, maybe its with friends or with family. Once you know where the problem areas are, you can start to set boundaries. Setting boundaries can be really uncomfortable, especially if you are used to always saying yes. But remember, boundaries are a form of self care. They are about protecting your time, your energy and your well being. Start small.

Nadja Hagen [00:06:42]:
If you are asked to do something you dont have time for, say im sorry, but I cant commit to that right now. If a friend invites you out and you are not feeling it, say thanks for the invite, but im taking some time for myself tonight. The next step is learning to say no. This can be a big challenge for people pleasers because they often feel guilty about turning people down. But saying no is a powerful tool for taking control of your life. And it doesn’t have to be harsh or rude. Not at all. A simple I’m not available or I have other plans is enough.

Nadja Hagen [00:07:27]:
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of yourself. And I know that people pleasers have the tendency to over explain why they are saying no and they over explain in a way that feels like an excuse. You can do this, but by no means you have to. Another important step is focusing on your own needs and desires. When you’re used to prioritizing others, it can be hard to know what you really actually want. Take some time to think about what brings you joy and fulfillment. What are your goals and aspirations? When you have a clear sense of your own priorities, it’s so much easier to make decisions that align with them. Breaking the habit of people pleasing is a journey.

Nadja Hagen [00:08:19]:
It takes time and it takes practice and it takes patience, and there will be moments when it feels challenging. But remember, you are not alone. There are so many people on this journey and there are resources and support available to help you along the way. You can check out my website, nadjahagen.com if you like to learn more about how I can support you on this journey. If you are struggling with people pleasing, consider getting support. You can talk to a therapist or a counselor, or you can hire a coach like me. There are people out there who can support you on this journey and they can help you work through an underlying issue and guide you in developing healthier behaviors. Because remember, at the beginning of this episode, I spoke about how people pleasing becomes a habit and habits can be changed.

Nadja Hagen [00:09:20]:
It’s not always easy, but it’s simple, if you know what I mean. It’s absolutely doable with practice, patience, and a lot of kindness towards yourself. And when you are on this journey, surround yourself with people who respect your boundaries and encourage you to prioritize your own well being. This is truly a game changer. And if you’re not used to being in these circles, start with one friend, one new friendship. This is absolutely a game changer. As I wrap up this episode, I want to leave you with this thought. You are not responsible for others people happiness.

Nadja Hagen [00:10:03]:
Your job is to take care of yourself and live authentically true to who you are at your core. And by breaking the habit of people pleasing, you are giving yourself the gift of self love and authenticity. And there is no greater gift you can give to yourself and to others and to the world in its entirety than to be who you truly are. Because this is what you have been designed to be. This is what God created you to be. And this is also the reason why you’re here and within you. The real you who you truly are. There are so many beautiful gifts and wonderful things to share with us.

Nadja Hagen [00:10:47]:
What and I want to see you shine. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Self Love Sessions podcast. If you found this episode helpful, I’d love you to give the podcast a positive review. It helps so much in spreading the word that this podcast is worth listening to, and I would love to support as many people on their journey out of people pleasing and into self love as possible. Thanks so much for tuning in and I talk to you in the next episode.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:29]:
Thank you for listening to today’s episode.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:32]:
If you found this valuable, please give a five star rating and tell other.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:36]:
Women that this show is worth listening to. I talk to you in the next episode.

so hot right now

I'm Nadja, your new self-love friend.

As a recovered people-pleaser, I know how frustrated you feel when you care for everyone else but yourself. I've learned to set healthy boundaries and prioritize myself to create the life I want to live (not one where I comply with other people's guidelines). I'll show you exactly how to build YOUR life - the way you want to live it (and yes, boundaries play a huge role in that!) Start living unapologetically and totally YOU.

more about me

hey there!

Steal My Healthy Boundaries Checklist

get it now


What is that self-love thing?

listen to it


 Top Resources

Steal My Healthy Boundaries Checklist

If you had the proper role models to learn from, setting healthy boundaries would be as natural as breathing. If you didn’t, don’t worry, you can absolutely learn how.

Nadja will help you go from "Am I good enough?" to "Is this good for me?"

Nadja Hagen

©Nadja Hagen Coaching 2024  |  Design by Tonic

Work With Me




follow along 
on Instagram:

Terms & Conditions

Privacy Policy