10 people-pleasing behaviors all strong women avoid

The news is in: people-pleasing women are suffering not just mental health consequences, but physical as well.

From cardiovascular to autoimmune diseases, women are now learning that repressing feelings isn’t doing their body and mind any favors at all.

But there are women who’ve managed to avoid these traps by practicing behaviors that support both their success and well-being.

So if you want to be one of the holistically strong women, here are 10 people-pleasing behaviors you should avoid. 

1) Giving compliments they don’t mean

Strong women know that while flattery can get them places, they just don’t have the stomach to be fake.

They’d rather be genuine with their praise because authenticity matters a lot to them.

They won’t say “OMG! I super love your artwork. You could be the next Monet!”

Instead, they’d be specifically honest (without being rude, of course).

They’d say “Lovely painting! The technique you used really made the flowers stand out.”

Strong women say what they mean and they mean what they say. 

While manipulative people with low self-esteem resort to flattery to win people’s approval or to get attention, strong women know that nothing beats being genuine.

This is how they keep attracting people who seek their advice and constructive feedback because they know they can be trusted fully. 

2) Kissing the boss’ ass

Some people would do anything to become the boss’ favorite.

But not strong women!

They see their boss as just someone who is fulfilling a role and doing their job—not as someone who is better than them nor someone who is superior to them.  

They respect them but they’d never treat them like they’re Jesus.

If their ideas don’t seem sound, they’d speak up.

If they commit some mistakes, they’d say so.

And they’d never do favors for them outside work to win them over.

Strong women know their worth and so they find absolutely no need for ass-kissing. 

And when someone does it to them, they’d call them out gently because they don’t want to be put on a pedestal either.

3) Bending to their in-laws demands 

There’s the expectation that women will bend over backwards just to please their in-laws.

And while some women would do anything to win the hearts of their partner’s family, strong women don’t give a damn.

They’d treat them as their equals—because they are!

Sure, they’d be considerate, respectful, and kind. 

But they won’t go out of their way just to satisfy their in-laws’ demands, especially if they’re being unreasonable.

If their in-laws invite them for dinner and they are already committed to their best friend’s birthday, they won’t cancel even if the guilt-tripping is piled on.

They’d say they’d be happy to accommodate next time, as long as it’s scheduled in advance.

And if their in-laws want to stay in their apartment for a month, they’d say they can only accommodate them for a week and then suggest a nearby hotel.

Yep, they have the “guts” to do that because they believe setting boundaries is essential for a happy life.

Strong women know that they are worthy of love just as they are so they don’t try to shapeshift just to win someone over.

They don’t do it for their partner, and they certainly won’t do it for their partner’s family just to impress them.

4) Agreeing to something just to keep the peace

signs your strong personality is intimidating others at work 10 people-pleasing behaviors all strong women avoid

Sure, they might agree that the dessert wasn’t that bad even if it wasn’t really up to their standards.

But if it’s something truly important to them—like their salary, their principles or if their boundaries are crossed—they won’t shut up just to keep the peace.

They’ll assert their stance with grace. That’s because they’re never afraid of conflict when it comes to matters they value. 

Some people might mistake them as being agreeable, but it’s honestly because when it comes to matters that don’t affect their core values, they’re generally flexible and open.

But if they passionately believe in something, you can bet they’ll defend it even if they’re the only one in the room who disagrees. 

And if you try to bulldoze them or bully them, good luck!

While you may win them over with reasoning and dialogue, a strong woman won’t ever tolerate disrespect. 

5) Trying to impress others

All strong women don’t ever “fake it till they make it.”

They won’t ever pretend to know certain things just to appear interesting and impress other people.

Instead, they do their best to unapologetically be themselves—and if others like them for who they truly are, great. And if not, then they’re fine with it.

They’re perfectly fine with being liked by only a few people than being liked by everyone for being someone they’re not.

So while others base their sense of self-worth on other peoples’ perception of them, strong women work on their self-esteem from the inside. 

6) Carrying people’s burden 

Strong women care for others.

But they won’t allow themselves to carry the burden of those who are perfectly capable of doing it for themselves.

They’d lend a hand, yes—but they won’t do it all for you.

They’d give others what they can, but they’d make sure their kindness is not being abused.

Strong women are attuned to avoiding codependent relationships.

So they surround themselves with people who know how to ask for support and not those who expect to be rescued.

It’s not that they don’t care. In fact, they are most reliable for support. 

They have faith in peoples’ capacity to help themselves, but are still willing to help lighten the load.

7) Being too “understanding” of their partner

There’s a fine between being understanding and being a doormat. 

And strong women are mindful they don’t ever become the latter.

They love with all their heart and they keep their standards and boundaries, too.

If their partner has done something to offend or hurt them, they’d speak up. 

They won’t repress their feelings just so they’ll be seen as a “kind, loving, and understanding” partner. 

They also won’t stand by if they’re being taken for granted or taken advantage of. 

For a strong woman, a relationship is an equal partnership, not a declaration of martyrdom. 

They know their worth.

And while their compassion and love for their partner can be immense, they also know how to love themselves immensely.

8) Blindly following orders

strong personality intimidate others 10 people-pleasing behaviors all strong women avoid

The favorite word of strong women is “Why,” followed closely by “No.”

That’s why if their parents, friends, or colleagues tell them to do something, they won’t just do it.

They never do things that don’t make sense to them.

And so they’d ask “why” first.

They’re not simply being difficult. They just want to live a life that’s anchored on their values and blindly following orders just doesn’t agree with their being.

Strong women have a strong “why” to the things they do, and if it doesn’t align with their values, they won’t do it and they’ll say “no” in a heartbeat.

But if they believe in it, they’ll give it their all and this is the reason why most of them are able to live successful and authentic lives.

9) Saying “sorry” when they know they’re not at fault

Women who want to please everyone would easily accept fault just to keep the peace.

You’d hear them say “sorry” several times a day to the point that you actually feel sorry for them.

Strong women are not like this at all.

They have no problem saying “sorry,” but only if they know that they’re really at fault or if they’ve caused harm despite their best intentions.

Some people may not like this—especially if they’re manipulative and they want to be in power. 

They will try to control strong women with guilt-tripping and passive aggressive tactics…

But the strong woman always holds her ground.

10) Not fighting back

Women are expected to be soft and agreeable and forgiving.

The moment they fight back, they’re considered “difficult”—some even call them a “bitch”.

But strong women don’t give a damn.

They’d fight for themselves even if it displeases other people, and they don’t expect knights in shining armors to save them, either.

They know that if they tolerate abusive behavior, it will become the standard for them…and they don’t want that!

And so they assert and fight back— strategically and phenomenally. 

Final thoughts:

Now if you realize you’ve been doing so many of these behaviors unconsciously all your life, STOP BLAMING YOURSELF.

It’s not your fault. 

In a society where women are pressured to conform—to bend and sacrifice who they are and what they need for everyone around them— not being a people-pleaser is HARD.

Remember that so many women have been asserting their rights and needs through the years—from the right to vote, to the right to education. 

Change takes time, so give yourself some compassion and self-love as you grow out of your people-pleasing phase.

Forgive yourself and move forward towards advocating for yourself with full awareness of your worthiness. 

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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