If you really want to be respected by others, let go of these 7 people pleasing habits

My dad had a saying, “If you want to be respected, be yourself.” It stuck with me.

See, it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a people pleaser. You say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, you laugh at unfunny jokes, you go along with things you don’t believe in— all in the name of keeping everyone happy.

But this type of behavior doesn’t earn you genuine respect. It can actually have the opposite effect.

Now, if you’re sitting there thinking, “Am I a people pleaser?” and you’re eager to command respect from others by being authentically you, then this article is for you.

We’re going to explore those people-pleasing habits that are holding you back from receiving the respect you deserve.

And don’t worry, letting them go doesn’t mean becoming a jerk. It means learning to value your own opinions and feelings as much as others’.

So, ready to take the first step towards being respected for who you truly are? Let’s dive in!

1) Saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’

We’ve all been there.

Someone asks you to do something and, even though you’re swamped or really not interested, you nod and say, “Sure, I’ll do it.”

You’re trying to be nice. To be agreeable. To avoid conflict.

But by doing this, you’re not just overloading yourself. You’re also setting a precedent.

People will start to think they can always count on you to say ‘yes’. And that’s not respect – that’s taking advantage.

So next time, muster up the courage to say ‘no’ when it’s needed. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it communicates that you value your own time and boundaries.

And guess what?

That’s a key step towards earning respect. People will start seeing you as someone who stands their ground, someone worth respecting.

Try it out, and see the difference for yourself.

2) Suppressing your opinions

I remember this one time at a team meeting at work.

We were discussing a project that I had significant reservations about. But instead of voicing my concerns, I kept quiet. I didn’t want to be the ‘negative Nancy’ stirring up trouble.

Guess what happened?

The project went ahead and ran into exactly the issues I had foreseen. It was a disaster, and we ended up losing precious time and resources.

From that day forward, I learned a valuable lesson.

Your thoughts and opinions matter. They can make a difference. By suppressing them, you not only do a disservice to yourself but to others as well.

Speaking up may not always win you popularity, but it will earn you respect. Because it shows you are thoughtful, engaged, and willing to challenge the status quo when necessary.

So, don’t be afraid to voice your opinions, even if they differ from the crowd. Be tactful, be respectful, but most importantly, be honest. You’ll find that people will start to respect you more for it.

3) Being overly apologetic

Let me tell you about a habit I used to have.

“I’m sorry.”

I’d say it all the time. I’d apologize for things that weren’t my fault, for situations that were out of my control, even for simply existing in a space.

Then, one day, a close friend stopped me mid-apology. “Why are you always sorry?” she asked.

That question hit me like a ton of bricks.

Why was I always sorry? Was I constantly messing up? Or was this another people-pleasing habit I’d picked up?

Turns out, it was the latter.

Apologizing when it’s warranted is respectful and necessary. But being overly apologetic can actually undermine your self-worth and make you seem less confident.

And let’s face it, people respect those who respect themselves.

So, check yourself before you apologize. If you’ve done something wrong, by all means, say sorry. But if not, hold your ground. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in how others perceive and respect you.

4) Avoiding confrontation at all costs

Conflict isn’t fun. Most of us would rather avoid it if we could.

But here’s the truth:

Sometimes, confrontation is necessary. It can lead to better understanding, improved relationships, and ultimately, growth.

I used to shy away from any form of conflict. I’d let things slide, even when they bothered me. I thought this was the best way to keep the peace.

But over time, I realized I was just letting people walk all over me.

By never standing up for myself, I was sending out a message that it was okay to disrespect me.

So, I started to speak up. To address issues respectfully but firmly. And you know what? People started to take me more seriously.

Avoiding confrontation at all costs isn’t a sign of respect – it’s a sign of passivity. And respect is earned by those who are brave enough to communicate openly and stand their ground when it matters.

5) Constantly seeking validation

youre a people pleaser without realizing it If you really want to be respected by others, let go of these 7 people pleasing habits

Did you know that the desire for validation is actually hardwired into our brains? It’s true. As social animals, we humans crave acceptance and approval.

Yet, constantly seeking validation from others can be detrimental to your self-esteem and the respect you command.

Because when you’re always looking for others to affirm your worth, it sends the message that you don’t trust your own judgment. That you’re not confident in your own abilities.

And while it’s natural to seek affirmation occasionally, relying on it all the time can make you seem insecure.

Remember, respect comes from within first. Trust in yourself, in your abilities, and in your decisions. When others see this self-assuredness, they’ll naturally respect you more.

So, start by validating yourself. Recognize your strengths, accept your weaknesses, and celebrate your achievements. The more you believe in yourself, the less you’ll need validation from others. 

6) Fearing failure

In the past, I was terrified of failure.

The mere thought of making a mistake or falling short would send me into a spiral of anxiety. I wanted so badly to be perfect, to be unerring.

But then, I messed up. Big time.

It was a work project. I had overlooked a key detail, and the entire thing nearly fell apart. I was mortified.

But instead of the world ending like I had imagined, something unexpected happened. My colleagues rallied around me. We fixed the issue together, and we moved on.

And that’s when it hit me—failure didn’t make me less worthy. It didn’t make me less respectable. If anything, owning up to my mistake and working to rectify it increased the respect others had for me.

So, don’t fear failure. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

People respect those who have the courage to try, fail, and rise again more than those who never take risks at all. So be brave, be resilient, and watch your respect grow.

7) Giving up your integrity

At the end of the day, nothing commands more respect than integrity.

It’s sticking to your values, even when it’s tough. It’s doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

And here’s the hard part – it means standing your ground, even if it displeases others.

I’ve faced situations where I had to choose between pleasing others and maintaining my integrity. And let me tell you, choosing integrity was always the harder path.

But it was also the path that led to genuine respect.

Because people can sense authenticity. They admire those who stay true to themselves in all situations.

So, if you really want to be respected, never compromise on your integrity. It’s the one thing that truly defines you and sets you apart.

Remember, respect isn’t about pleasing everyone. It’s about being true to yourself and treating others with kindness and honesty. And that’s something we can all strive for.

Embracing authenticity

So, you recognize a few people-pleasing tendencies in yourself? That’s okay. We’ve all been there.

But remember, these habits do not define you. You have the power to change them.

Start by becoming aware of when you’re slipping into people-pleasing mode. Notice when you’re saying ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’. Pay attention to when you’re suppressing your own opinions or feelings.

Ask yourself – am I doing this because I want to or because I feel I have to?

It’s not going to be easy. Changing ingrained habits never is. But each time you choose authenticity over people-pleasing, you take a step towards commanding more respect.

And don’t forget – respect starts with self-respect.

So, honor your own needs and values. Stand up for yourself when necessary. Embrace your failures as opportunities to learn and grow.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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