Nathalie Botros of The Bon-Vivant Girl On How to Recover From Being a People Pleaser

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Setting Boundaries: You can politely decline an invitation to a gathering from friends that you don’t want to accept by explaining that you have committed to a night of self-care. They will appreciate your honesty and respect your decision

In today’s society, the tendency to prioritize others’ needs and expectations over one’s own can lead to significant emotional and psychological challenges. In this series, we would like to explore the complex dynamics of people-pleasing behavior and its impact on individual well-being and relationships. We would like to discuss the root causes of people-pleasing behavior, its effects on personal and professional life, and practical steps for cultivating healthier relationships and self-esteem. We hope that this series can provide insights, strategies, and real-life experiences that can help individuals navigate and overcome the pitfalls of being a people pleaser. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Nathalie Botros.

Nathalie, the Bon-Vivant girl is a psychotherapist, author, speaker, and mindset coach who lived all around the world before landing in New York. Her multicultural background gives her a unique approach to coaching. She helps women find happiness on a daily basis regardless of external factors within themselves, so they can live their best lives.

Author of “If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat A Skinny Girl?” and creator of “Happiness Cards”, Nathalie has been named “Top Happiness Coach of the Year 2023” by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). Her dedication to spreading happiness has been recognized by Passion Vista — Luxury, Lifestyle, Business Magazine by including her in their “Hall of Fame 2023”. She also has been named the “Top Coach in New York for 2023” and “The Top Women to Watch in New York” by Soeleish Magazine.

Nathalie has been on the cover of “Passion Vista”, “Soeleish, New York”, “Best Holistic Life” and “Healthy Life” Magazines. Her Happiness Tips are followed globally by millions of viewers across social media platforms, podcasts, and magazine articles.

She is the Happiness Ambassador spreading smiles throughout the world!

Nathalie Botros | The Bon-Vivant girl | Happiness Coach

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us your “Origin Story”? Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born in Lebanon and raised in Turkey. My parents sent me to boarding school in Switzerland to have a great education. I lived a big part of my life in Switzerland where I got my master’s degree in psychotherapy and worked not only in my field but also in banks. I needed a change in my life, so I decided to move to Milan where I worked in fashion for several years. I loved my life in Italy, but I felt I needed a bigger move and decided to cross the Atlantic and come to New York. New York is where I found myself back in my field and working as a mindset and happiness coach for women.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do professionally, and what brought you to this specific career path?

I am a psychotherapist, author, speaker, and life coach.

I lost a big part of my life chasing happiness in all the wrong places until I realized that no job, no location, no partner, not even “the perfect body” can bring you happiness if you don’t first find your happiness within. The rest can be the cherry on top. I

Today, I practice as a happiness/mindset coach for women, made my mission to spread smiles via my coaching, public speaking, articles and my daily happiness tips available on all social media platforms .

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about People Pleasing. To make sure that we are all on the same page, let’s begin with a simple definition. What does “People Pleaser” mean to you?

A “People Pleaser” is someone who doesn’t know how to say NO, even if they want to, because they fear not be loved or even be rejected.

On the surface, it seems like being a person who wants to please others is a good thing. Can you help articulate a few of the challenges that come with being a people pleaser?

I am all about helping people, but you need to help yourself first. People Pleasers often believe that bringing joy to others will fulfill them, and while there is truth in that, there’s a risk of losing one’s own identity in the process. Striking a balance between helping and avoiding exploitation is crucial, as many cross that line and find themselves overwhelmed or even depressed. Additionally, the belief that pleasing others guarantees love and respect introduces uncertainty, as they wonder if it’s for themselves or merely the services they offer, creating a complex dynamic in their lives

Does being a people pleaser give you certain advantages? Can you explain?

It can increase your likeability and maintain positive relationships which will lead to a harmonious environment. This is a great advantage, especially in teamwork as it may contribute to a more productive work environment.

Can you describe a moment in your life when you realized that your own people-pleasing behavior was more harmful than helpful?

While my love for my family drives my desire to be consistently present and please them, I inadvertently made a mistake I often caution my clients against. In dedicating an excessive amount of time to their needs, I neglected my work and personal responsibilities, resulting in heightened stress levels.

In your opinion, what are the common root causes of people-pleasing behavior?

The roots can be low self-esteem, fear of rejection, need for approval or simply having a big heart.

How does people-pleasing behavior impact personal relationships?

If you base your relationship on pleasing someone, you will never know if the relationship is real. It can also create inequality in your relationship.

How does people-pleasing behavior impact professional relationships?

In the professional environment, it can be helpful for some teamwork, but you also can be exploited. It can also slow career advancement as people-pleasers may find it challenging to negotiate promotions or assert their professional needs.

How can long-term people-pleasing behavior impact an individual’s mental health?

Individuals who engage in people-pleasing behavior may accumulate feelings of resentment over time. They may feel unappreciated or frustrated by the perceived imbalance in relationships. It can also lead to stress, even depression.

In your experience, what is the role of self-awareness in overcoming people-pleasing tendencies, and how can individuals cultivate it?

Self-awareness plays a crucial role in overcoming people-pleasing tendencies. It involves the ability to recognize and understand one’s thoughts, feelings, motivations, and behaviors. By developing self-awareness, individuals can identify the root causes of their people-pleasing behavior, recognize patterns, and work towards healthier ways of relating to others.

Based on your experience or research, what are the “Five Strategies Or Techniques That Can Help Individuals Break Free From The Cycle Of People-Pleasing”?

1 . Setting Boundaries: You can politely decline an invitation to a gathering from friends that you don’t want to accept by explaining that you have committed to a night of self-care. They will appreciate your honesty and respect your decision

2 . Developing Assertiveness: If you constantly find yourself taking on additional tasks at work to please your colleagues and feel overwhelmed. You can learn to express your needs and say “no” when necessary. This will help you regain control over your workload.

3 . Celebrating Personal Achievements: You can start celebrating your personal achievements, no matter how small. It will help you stop your struggle with constantly seeking validation in your professional life.

4 . Mindfulness Practices: Practicing mindfulness meditation will help you become more aware of your thoughts, needs, and emotions in the moment.

5 . Seeking Support and Accountability: Having someone to share experiences, challenges, and victories with provided emotional support and encouragement can help you see a different perspective on situations and navigate them with a healthier mindset.

What steps should people pleasers take to establish healthier boundaries?

  • Reflect on your values and your needs.
  • Identify your boundaries.
  • Communicate them openly.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Learn to say NO politely.
  • Seek support from a friend who can give you different perspectives.

Consider Professional help if you feel, you cannot do it on your own.

How can someone who is naturally empathetic maintain their compassion while becoming more assertive?

Maintaining empathy while becoming more assertive is a delicate balance that involves acknowledging and valuing both your own needs and the feelings of others. Assertiveness is about expressing yourself clearly while respecting the perspectives of those around you. Practice self-compassion and understand that setting boundaries is an act of self-care. Use empathetic communication to express your needs, actively listen to others, and frame your assertiveness in a way that emphasizes shared understanding. Choose your battles wisely, prioritize situations aligned with your values, and set clear boundaries with respect. By integrating assertiveness with empathy, you can foster authentic and fulfilling relationships while honoring your own well-being and the well-being of those around you.

What are the most common misconceptions about people pleasers, and how do these misconceptions affect their journey toward recovery?

Common misconceptions about people pleasers, such as assuming they are always happy, weak, or inauthentic, can significantly impact their journey toward recovery. These misconceptions oversimplify the complex internal struggles that people pleasers face, hindering efforts to understand the root causes of their behavior. It’s crucial to recognize that people pleasers are not always willingly putting others first, nor do they enjoy being taken advantage of. By dispelling these misconceptions and acknowledging the strength and resilience inherent in people pleasers, a more supportive and nuanced approach to their recovery can be fostered, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery, boundary-setting, and authentic self-expression.

What role can therapy or counseling play in helping individuals overcome people-pleasing behavior?

Therapy or counseling plays a vital role in helping individuals overcome people-pleasing behavior by providing a supportive environment for self-exploration and awareness. Therapy can help in identifying triggers, patterns, and underlying emotional issues associated with people-pleasing tendencies which will lead the people-pleasers on the road to healing.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I already have a movement called “Smile it Forward”. It is to put a smile on at least one person’s face. It can be on someone you know, or on a stranger. It can be by paying a compliment, by helping, or by spending some time with someone. Once they smile, ask them to do the same. The objective is to create a ripple effect of happiness and smiles.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My website is and you can also follow me on Instagram where I share daily my happiness tips

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Nathalie Botros of The Bon-Vivant Girl On How to Recover From Being a People Pleaser was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.