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Now using these situations to guide you, create some personal boundaries that you don't want others cross in the future.

A boundary might be that you no longer allow people to interrupt you, or you don't let people “borrow” your things without asking.

If you didn't feel responsible for others or their happiness, what would your life look like?

Think about the ways you've allowed people to cross your boundaries.

Even though you deeply desire their acceptance and approval, you push them away with your lack of self-respect and confidence to stand your ground, speak up for yourself, and express your own choices and beliefs. It takes tremendous energy to keep everyone happy and say “yes” to every request.

This loss of respect often leads more unconscious people to truly take advantage of you, using you to meet their needs without appreciating your time, effort, or generosity. It's impossible to be perfect, to avoid all conflict, and to live without your own beliefs and values. Your personal happiness, your relationships, and even your health depend on your ability to reclaim yourself and stop people pleasing.

Those whom you continually accommodate will gladly accept your beneficence.

You may not have defined boundaries for yourself, but if you think about it, you can see how others have made you feel uncomfortable, diminished, or used.

Write down these situations and who made you feel this way — even if they didn't do it intentionally.

I would act against my own desires rather than provoke a conflict.

It took years for me to break free from people pleasing. As I grew in self-confidence, I no longer felt drawn to the need to please or inhibited by the fear of conflict. You become addicted to the approval and good feelings that come from making people happy and comfortable, as you tend to their needs over your own.

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