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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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Featured image credit: YURI GRIPAS/ AFP via Getty Images

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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.
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