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Queen of Your Own Life

Recovering People Pleaser | Queenisms

by Cindy Ratzlaff

She decided to drop one big source of stress in her life — people pleasing. So she began to say yes when she meant yes and no when she meant no. And she said both with love. ~ Queenismsâ„¢

The difference between being a recovering people pleaser and a cranky, not very nice woman is the “love” part. When someone asks us for something we pause and ask ourselves three questions: Am I able to do this? Am I willing to do this? Do I want to do this? If the answer to all three is yes, then we say yes, mean yes and know that what we’ve promised was promised with consideration. So we’re able to deliver on that promise with love.

When the answer to any of those questions is no, we say “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to decline or say no.” We don’t give excuses. We just free the person up to seek what they need elsewhere; with love.

In doing this, over time, we teach our loved ones to trust our word. We’ll never say yes and resentfully do what we promised. Our yes becomes more valuable. Our no is simply a boundary on our time, desires and our own self care.

Can you do it? Can you say yes and no with love?

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14 Responses to “Recovering People Pleaser | Queenisms”

  1. Jgray says:

    I remember doing this for the first time when I was about 26 or so. WOW people were shocked! I SAID NO! Gave no excuses! Just didn’t have time to help out someone that week. The response from people may sometimes shock you, but It’s alwatys well worth it. Stand up for yourself, in love

  2. cindy says:

    Beautifully said Judy. “In love” is the important part, isn’t it?

  3. dianne says:

    I have been a people pleaser all my life. As I’ve gotten older I have decided to put myself first. Not in a selfish way. I’ve realized that I don’t have to give an explanation. The only important thing is to be kind.

  4. cindy says:

    Boy, that is the key, Queen Dianne. Kindness goes a long way when changing patterns in the way people interact with us. Helping people understand that we still love them but need to do things differently (as in put ourselves on our own to do list) is an act of love for them and for you.

  5. Mary Agnes says:

    Well that sets the criteria, doesn’t it? I’m going to get OUT of a lot of yes’ that were bogging me down. Running my company is 80 hours a week – people pleasing uses up the rest. Time to reorganize my “yes” list. With love and gratitude. Mary Agnes Antonopoulos

  6. Katie says:

    Thank you Cindy for your awesome words of encouragement. I too am a recovering people pleaser and trying to set stronger boundaries without excuses or guilt. I needed the reminder from your blog and the other people who submitted comments to remember to be kind and do it with love.

  7. cindy says:

    That’s the trick, Katie. Setting boundaries without letting anger overwhelm us – because we wish we didn’t have to set boundaries we learn, practice, stumble, try again and eventually teach others how we must be treated…and guess what? They are happier knowing the best way to be our friend and we’re happier because we are more honest in our relationships. It’s a win-win and worth the effort.

  8. cindy says:

    Queen Mary Angnes, that’s a wonderful goal. When we say yes to everyone, all the time, we’re saying no to ourselves. And enough no’s to ourselves ultimately means saying no to everyone else. It’s a vicious cycle. So more yes to Mary Agnes means more yeses in the future to everyone.

  9. Toni says:

    I have been a people pleaser all of my life. Imagine my family’s surprise when that stopped recently. 🙂 I now tell them no with, of course, love, but they are still a bit shocked that I could not possibly want to do everything they ask.. It is a liberating feeling.

  10. cindy says:

    Queen Toni, you are so right. It does take a bit of “retraining” to help people see that you mean what you say. We’re cheering for you and so happy!

  11. Laurel says:

    I’ve done pretty well the past few years saying “no” with love, but I find when I’m in a weakened state or flux in my own life I let my barriers down.
    I usually say “I’d love to help you, but I just can’t right now.”

    I find getting older helps in setting boundaries 😉

    Thanks for being there for inspiration!


  12. cindy says:

    That’s such a great way to set your boundaries. You’re doing it with kindness but still protecting yourself. Bravo.

  13. Bernadette says:

    It took me 46 years of marriage to finally say no. I stayed in a marriage because I HAD to please everyone but me. What would my husband, children, family, friends think of me if I divorced? So I stayed unhappy for all those years. It was a marriage on the rebound and had I had the sense to realize that I could have made the lives of two people much happier. When a new door opened for me I finally said, ‘YES, this is what I want’. This time the yes was for me and everyone else had to face the no. I finally loved myself.

    I’m in a much happier place in my life now and hope to totally enjoy life to the fullest……even when it comes to the yes and no’s down the road.

  14. cindy says:

    We’re so happy for you Queen Bernadette.

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