How to Stop the Crazy-Making Cycle of People Pleasing

Posted by in dating after divorce, self-esteem in dating | 0 comments

Listen to this episode of Last First Date Radio, and learn how to stop the cycle of people pleasing!

Attention people pleasing people! My podcast guest, Amy E. Smith, is a certified confidence coach, masterful speaker, and personal empowerment expert who specializes in helping overcome people pleasing. Founder of, Amy uses her roles as coach, writer, podcaster, and speaker to move individuals to a place of radical personal empowerment and self-love.

With acute focus on helping people “find their voice”, she is highly sought after for her uncommon style of irreverence, wisdom, and humor and has been a featured expert on Fox 5 San Diego and

Check out highlights below for episode #314: How to Break the Cycle of People-Pleasing with Amy Smith

How to Stop the Crazy-Making Cycle of People Pleasing

What inspired you to become a confidence and personal empowerment coach?

I had grown up in a born again Christian family. There were a lot of cultish elements, motivated by guilt and fear. I no longer subscribe to the religion I grew up with. The day of my father’s funeral in 2007, I had performed mortuary makeup on his body for his viewing, as I have a background in makeup artistry. I spoke to a crowd of 300 people. I had a taxing day.

My mom told me that day, because my brothers and I are not walking with the Lord, she failed as a parent. I said, “You probably shouldn’t say that to a child.” But, in my mind, I thought, “Are you kidding me? I’ve been on my own, independent, working, putting myself through college. I JUST did my father’s makeup. And you’re a failure as a parent?”

At that point, I realized I had a choice of being inauthentic to satisfy her, or listening to myself about what I wanted. I realized saying yes to make someone else happy wasn’t working anymore.

Whether you’re coming out of the closet, or asking for a divorce, you have to choose. Instead of thinking you are inflicting pain on someone, you need to choose yourself. If that means someone will forever be disappointed in you, it’s okay. That took me a TON of time to learn.

NOTE: Religion is can evolve and change over time, especially if you’re a free-thinking person. Hear more on this and how to handle it when your children choose a different path from yours at [10:45].

How was it to stand on your own two feet for the first time?

I was filled with rage at first. I used to be very different inside from what I showed my parents. I wasn’t authentic. There was a distinction between what I’m responsible for and what I have zero responsibility for, like how I am received.

NOTE: If you’re first finding your voice, especially in the era of the #metoo movement, you might be filled with rage. Listen to this to learn more. [13:00]

What steps did you go through to get to a more centered/calmer place in life?

After my father died, I decided ‘silence no more’! We often put a facade on to please others. In dating, it’s doing everything to get a specific response from a man. We think through our behavior, we can make people feel and see and do things, but we can’t.

You are responsible for your intention, not your reception. How you’re received will be across the board, but you can control what you intend.

External validation doesn’t make you valuable. Don’t be tied to the reception. It doesn’t define your worthiness. It hurts when someone dumps you, but the conclusion is NOT that you are unlovable.

How were you able to handle criticism from the public?

I did a politically motivated podcast at the time of the 2016 election. You can be on any side, and you can deliver it in a communication style that is graceful, kind, articulate, and not disdaining towards others. My intention was to foster kindness amongst us all when we’re divided.

The reception was all across the board. Some were grateful. Some stopped listening to the podcast. Some were indifferent.

[19:00] I was proud of how I handled myself. Then I was able to release the criticism. It stung, and I felt it. But it didn’t define my self-worth.

Why do you think people are so stuck in the constant cycle of people pleasing?

At a rudimentary level, it’s the fear of being uncomfortable. It’s often easier to say, “Don’t rock the boat” or “Don’t open a can of worms”, which really means shut the ‘f’ up and keep everything to yourself! I think it’s a disservice to women. Women don’t need to be masculine or abrasive to be heard in business. We try to avoid discomfort.

I do community theater, and a guy was laughing at a meme on his phone. It was disparaging towards a mentally and physically handicapped child, and I found it offensive.

I asked myself, “Does my silence make me a liar?” My inability to stand up for my own integrity would have made me a liar. So, I spoke up and walked away.

Someone may get mad and lash out. It’s not fun to be uncomfortable.

We also have bought into this idea: If I give voice to something, I’m being mean. I’m ill intended. Or purposely trying to inflict pain. Not true.

How do you start saying “No”, if you’re used to always saying “Yes”?

If chronically say yes, and it’s a knee jerk reaction to acquiesce, find a phrase you can use to pause before saying yes. Examples: “How soon do you want an answer?” or “Thanks so much for thinking of me. Let me see what my schedule looks like.” or “I’m going to have to decline. I hope you can understand. Thanks again for thinking of me.”

Don’t lie and make up something that’s not true. And don’t over-explain yourself. Don’t justify that you’re not available. You want to send a message to your subconscious that your needs DO matter. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Grab Amy’s free gift: ebook at 9 challenges to cultivate more self-confidence and self-love.

Listen to the podcast I mentioned at the beginning of this episode: How to Move From Victim to Thriving in Life and Love with Saida Desilets. 

Want to stop people-pleasing and find the love you deserve? Book a complimentary 1/2 hour Love Breakthrough Session with me here, and let’s get your love life mysteries solved!

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