4 Ways to Stop Being Overly Complacent

4 Ways to Stop Being Overly Complacent
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 16 March, 2023

Have you ever found yourself doing something you didn’t want to do only to please someone else?

There are some people who are complacent all the time because they don’t want others to be angry. This is a rather negative pattern of behavior. If you’re not careful, at some point you will end up feeling lost.

“One of the most liberating things we can learn in life is that we do not have to please anyone, we don’t all  have to love each other and that’s okay”


The times being overly accommodating is a problem

  • When you begin to accept things you don’t want just to keep everyone happy and have an “easier” life.
  • When you feel uncomfortable with situations you’re involved in because you feel like you’re violating your principles.
  • When you get tired of putting everyone else before yourself and no longer want to feel like you do nothing for yourself.
  • When you make excuses because you feel bad about saying “no”.
woman offering flowers

How to stop being complacent?

1. Accept that not everyone will like you

Sorry to ruin this illusion for you, but there will always be people who don’t feel a particular affinity towards you. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just a fact of life.

When you’re tempted to be accommodating in order for them to accept you, stop. Breathe and focus on something else.

People looking to please all the time tend to have low self-esteem. They always need others to recognize them. The best way to stop being complacent is by learning to love who you are and work on your self-esteem.

“If you live to please others, everyone will love you but yourself.”

-Paulo Coelho-

2. Learn to say “no” when you want to

It is such a short word but it leads to many problems when we avoid using it.

Are you one of those people who does not even consider giving a negative response? Do you feel tired and angry because you have no time for yourself? Learn to say “no“!

Don’t worry, nobody will die and the world won’t end by you refusing to give in. The most that can happen is that the people who are with you for their benefit will go away. Think about it, this is not as bad as it might seem at first glance.

You must also forget the excuses. Just be honest and answer “no” sincerely. If the other person is trying to convince you, explain the reasons for the “no.”

3. Identify the reasons you feel guilt

The first few times you stop being complacent you’ll feel guilty.

Instead of changing the answer, think about what makes you feel that way. Maybe you feel you’re being selfish or that you are failing someone else. Then think about your reasons for choosing to take care of your needs.

sad woman with her head on her knees

For example, imagine that your sister asks you to look after her children because she wants to go to the movies with her husband. That day, you had planned to go out with a friend and have fun. Would it really be so bad to say “no” to your sister? Perhaps it would be worth changing your plans if your sister had to go to hospital for an emergency, but not for her date.

You just need to assess situations and not feel guilty about being yourself. If you’re not sure, make a list of pros and cons about your decision.

4. Leave the door open for those who want to leave

Once you stop being complacent you will see that your friends list is reduced. Don’t worry. It just shows you who your real friends are and which ones were only interested in taking advantage of you.

You’ll see that as you begin to improve your self-esteem, toxic or negative people get out of your life. The good news is that the right people will also be entering.

If there is a case in which a family member is looking to take advantage of you, you just need to define your limits. Whether it’s your mother, your son or your brother, you should give value to your decisions. It will be tough but avoid the feeling of being used and you will gain an incredible sense of inner peace.

“Let life flow and find doors where you least expect it.”


Remember that to stop being complacent is a process. You must learn to let go of some behaviors and separate yourself from others. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible nor will it turn you into a bad person. Just be yourself.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.