Transitioning away from being a people-pleaser was one of the scariest things I ever did. I didn’t do it all in one fell swoop, of course. It happened through a series of small actions—actions I took to show certain individuals in my life that I would no longer give into the understanding that our relationship would be mostly about them. There were a lot of people with whom I had to do this. For the record, I don’t consider myself a victim. I’m not trying to demonize those individuals or pity myself. I’m an adult. I always had the option to draw some lines and set some boundaries. Naturally, so long as I didn’t create boundaries (or at least firm ones) people were going to push them. It’s what people tend to do. It was scary to create boundaries because I worried some people would like me less because of it. And I was right—but the reality is that anyone who dislikes you for setting boundaries is someone you shouldn’t like. Here are ways to establish boundaries and establish your value.
Requiring two-way conversations
If someone talks about herself the whole time you’re together, never giving you a chance to get a word in edgewise or asking you about yourself, say something. Say, “I feel like these conversations are more of a monologue on your part rather than a dialogue. I need my friendships to be just that—friendships—rather than feel like therapist/patient relationships.”