Do you ever listen to yourself? Something I often find myself doing as a resilience coach is reflecting back to clients the language they use. This might be a repeated “I’m so stupid” or “you’ll think this is silly” – undermining themselves before they’ve even said anything – or it could be the “this will never work” or “I never get anything right” of the inner critic.

The language you use is one of the clearest signs of how you really feel about you. And every time you use it you’re communicating that – to other people and also back to yourself. Because your mind hears everything you say about yourself. And the “nothing ever works out for me,” “I’m so stupid” etc are messages it will accept as the truth.

Tip: start noticing how you speak about yourself today. Are you cruel? Dismissive? Critical? How does it make you feel when you say certain things about yourself? If you struggle with self-belief, confidence or self-trust then I guarantee there are things you’re saying about yourself (in your head or out loud) that are undermining those things.

Signs of language that indicates people pleaser

The same is true with something like people pleasing – you can spot it in your words. Here are a few of the classic giveaways:

“You’re right..”

Are they though? Or are you just trying to avoid an argument or having to be really honest about how you feel.

“I’m just..”

Apologising for, and undermining, whatever comes next. Implies the other person’s time etc is more valuable and you matter less.

“I should..”

Translation: I will, because I feel I ought to, but actually I don’t want to. It’s disempowering, self-judgmental and hiding what you actually feel.

“No problem..”

We only ever say this when someone else has done something to inconvenience us and we don’t feel able to be honest about it – am I right? Communicate how you really feel. Or prepare for a repeat.


There’s nothing inherently wrong with the word Yes – except when it’s a kneejerk response to every single request. Or we actually mean no. Pause before you say it and make sure you actually mean it.

“It’s/I’m fine..”

99.9% of the time we say this when actually we are not fine and it is not fine but we don’t feel like we’re allowed to say anything different. If you ban this from your vocabulary, what happens?


If you’re a people pleaser this word might be your go to. But it is a word for genuine apology, not to pre-empt a bad reaction, or to try to soften a request or when setting a boundary. Not for daily use.

There’s SO much power in language. If you get really curious about the words you use, what do they say about who you think you really are?

Want to end the people pleasing habits for good? Book a free 10 min into call and I’ll tell you how you can do this with resilience coaching.

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