Start Putting Yourself First: Tools to Say No Without Guilt or Drama


The Mel Robbins Podcast


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In this episode, you are going to learn how to put yourself first.

Which means you and I are having a conversation about people-pleasing.

You know you do it. I do it, too. 

In fact, unless you're a narcissistic jerk (and you’re not if you’re listening to these podcast episodes), we are all people-pleasers to some extent.

Being a people-pleaser is a coping mechanism and it is destroying your energy, your time, your dreams, and your sanity.

Every time you say yes to something you don’t really want to do, you’re saying no to yourself.

Today, we’re changing that in a surprising way.

First, you’ll become aware of when and why you do it.

Second, you’ll learn the science-backed tools you need to break the habit of always putting other people’s needs before your own.

Third, you and I are going to have a talk about guilt, because when you start saying no, one thing I can guarantee is that you’ll feel guilty about it.

I used to, too. I don’t anymore. And I’ll explain how you can handle the guilt and still put yourself first. One of the critical steps to creating a life you love is learning how to say yes to what matters to you and no to what doesn’t.

This is a big topic; there are a lot of surprising layers.

So I can’t wait for you to apply these relatable and easy strategies to your life and to hear about your breakthroughs. 

Xo Mel

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • 1:50: What the heck IS people-pleasing anyway? (4 takeaways you may have not heard)
  • 5:12: I bet you can relate to Janet who learned this message as a kid.
  • 6:00: Let’s just get the bad news about guilt out of the way.
  • 7:15: Because here is some good news about guilt!
  • 9:00: What does a pool table have to do with people-pleasing?
  • 14:50: I still cringe when I think of this phone call with my father.
  • 18:45: Here’s how a pool table can double as a desk 😂 
  • 22:10: What happens when your friends don’t like the “new you”?
  • 24:45: At the heart of people-pleasing is this.
  • 26:00: This research explains why we avoid discomfort. 
  • 27:16: Think people-pleasing is about others? Think again.
  • 28:00: The surprising advice for how to handle disappointment from others.
  • 31:50: What if your lifestyle is now different from your friends?
  • 34:30: Here’s where to find friends who get you.
  • 35:10: Please stop looking here for validation as you change your life.
  • 37:50: Are you sure you know when you’re being authentic?
  • 40:00: Do this to start figuring out who you really are.
  • 42:00: Do this next time you’re asked to do something you don’t want to do.
  • 47:00: Here’s how my friend Amy reacted when I had to bail on her at dinner in Vegas.
  • 48:50: This is what happens every time you start to say no.

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In The Mel Robbins Podcast, Mel takes you behind the scenes in real-time. Every episode is packed with tactical advice, hilarious screwups, compelling conversations, and the tools and inspiration you need to create a better life.