Years ago, I used to be afflicted with the "disease to please".
Fortunately, it can be cured with education and effort, so not anymore!
Every recovering/recovered people pleaser has their methods and of course, professional psychologists also have solid tips. Don't trust anyone that claims to have degrees or training in psychology - which they very well may - yet uses the knowledge to contribute to you feeling shitty about yourself.
It is possible to teach someone something or provide insights from an 'outsider' perspective on blindspots without putting a sugar-coating on shit and still not be a twat about it. If they can't do that, they probably need professional help themselves.
Here's what worked for me:
First, I had to be honest with myself, recognize that I was doing it, and get beyond the origin or root - where it's easy to get stuck in the victim mentality of "Hey, I was innocent!", "It wasn't MY fault!", or "My parent(s) emotionally blackmailed me all the time and I had to do whatever they wanted OR ELSE!"
Maybe it wasn't my fault, but I'm an adult now and responsible for how I choose to act. The root must not be merely exposed...you have to rip that fucker out, burn it, and then cultivate something else. For example; focus on developing new skills or adopting healthier lifestyle habits.
I got to work on unlearning a lot of bad coping mechanisms that were not only damaging all kinds of interpersonal relationships across the board, but were also ultimately a form of self-harm. I had to let go of fears of not being accepted, approved of, respected, valued, cared about, loved, and so on. Even if it meant not receiving those things from my own mother!
I had to let go of numerous 'pleasees' that simultaneously took my eagerness to please for granted and yet, were quick to tear down everything I didOkay, not everything and not every 'pleasee' or group of 'pleasees'. - if not to my face, then behind my back or it was written ambiguously somewhere. The ones that left or "erased" me really did me the hugest favor! (Thanks!)
I had to make myself stop apologizing for every damn thing, even things that really weren't my fault or just...nothing to be "sorry" for. Oh, you're in my way at the grocery store - or I'm in yours? Excuse me. Not "sorry"!
Are there times where "sorry" is warranted? Absolutely. If I hurt someone, I am sorry, even though that may not be enough. I'm just not sorry for existing, taking up space (virtual or otherwise), or having thoughts, needs, opinions, and feelings that differ from others.
Other times, a "thank you" is more appropriate. Another thing is "yes". At least some of the time, it has to be "No", "Big One From the Land of Nope", "I'll think about it", or "I'll check my schedule and get back to you on that". Healthy boundaries are a biggie.
I'm not interested in pleasing anyone unless:
From my About page, but applicable here...