Article image

12 Quotes Every People-Pleaser Should Read

People-pleasing is a habit that can sneak up on us. We may start out with good intentions, pitching in when someone needs help or trying to mediate an argument. But when we find ourselves feeling unable to say “no” or suppressing our gut feelings to keep the peace, we’ve crossed over into the type of people-pleasing that can prevent us from living authentically.

It’s perfectly normal to want the approval of the people around us. And if we’ve become accustomed to yielding to others’ expectations, it can feel impossible to start unraveling that pattern. Building a foundation of self-confidence is a crucial first step; this is what will allow us to live according to our own beliefs, even when those around us want us to do otherwise.

If you’ve found yourself feeling more doormat-esque than you’d prefer, here are 12 quotes to help you start seeking more approval from the most important source: yourself.

Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.
Tina Fey

Share Quote

You will never gain anyone's approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.
Mandy Hale

Share Quote

If you try to please all, you please none.
Aesop

Share Quote

I surrendered myself to the cages of others' expectations, cultural mandates, and institutional allegiances … I buried who I was in order to become what I should be. I lost myself when I learned how to please.
Glennon Doyle

Share Quote

If I approve of myself, that’s all I need. That confidence really reverberates.
JoJo

Share Quote

Listen to your instincts. Don't be a people-pleaser.
Drew Barrymore

Share Quote

If you do not take control over your time and your life, other people will gobble it up. If you don’t prioritize yourself, you constantly start falling lower and lower on your list.
Michelle Obama

Share Quote

Confidence is not “They will like me.” Confidence instead is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”
Christina Grimmie

Share Quote

I'm done living for other people. I'm done being a people-pleaser. I'm done thinking about what people think about me.
Shailene Woodley

Share Quote

Each time you set a healthy boundary, you say yes to more freedom.
Nancy Levin

Share Quote

Power for me is “no.” No is very powerful. Because if you’re always available — and this goes for relationships, too — just keep saying no. That’s when you know your worth, when you know your value.
Taraji P. Henson

Share Quote

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.
Malcolm X

Share Quote

Featured image credit: YURI GRIPAS/ AFP via Getty Images

Author image
About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
Fill in the blank: "___ consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” - Pope John Paul II

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

The quality of your life depends quite a bit on the quality of attention you project out onto the world.

separator icon
David Brooks
motivation theme icon

It is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come.

separator icon
Malcolm X
hope theme icon

In the depths of Winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

separator icon
Albert Camus
love theme icon

Art is made in hindsight.

separator icon
Virgil Abloh
wisdom theme icon

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

separator icon
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
happiness theme icon

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.

separator icon
Benjamin Disraeli
motivation theme icon

All the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love.

separator icon
Eleanor Farjeon
hope theme icon

Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it.

separator icon
Jodi Picoult
love theme icon

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

separator icon
Vicki Baum
wisdom theme icon

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

separator icon
Eleanor Roosevelt
happiness theme icon

Love is space and time made perceptible to the heart.

separator icon
Marcel Proust