Do you feel like your value comes from the roles you play? How often do you downplay your needs to care for what other people want? What does your internal dialogue sound like? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Ryan Lindner about how to stop people-pleasing.


Ryan Lindner is a personal development specialist who has worked as a behavioral coach for clients and top organizations all over the world. After two sudden, unexplained cardiac arrests at a young age, he began to explore different perspectives with clients that come with any profound, life-changing event.

Ryan has conducted thousands of coaching sessions, has led operations for a major leadership and organizational change company, and manages learning and development projects for companies to reshape their customer experience.

Visit Ryan Lindner's website and see also The Half Known Life. Connect with Ryan on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: Receive a free audiobook! Mention the Behind the Bite Podcast to Ryan Lindner through his website or LinkedIn profile to get your copy.


  • Your worth is intrinsic, not earned
  • Care for yourself to care for others
  • You are a person, not a role
  • Internal value

Your worth is intrinsic, not earned

Many people-pleasers and perfectionists feel that they have to earn their worth as human beings. They may not feel that they are valuable as they are, but that they must attain their worth by what they accomplish, how much they succeed, and even by how they look.
I felt like I had to earn my worth by doing things. I always felt like my worth had to be earned in some way and did whatever I could for people and I thought that would make them like me. (Ryan Lindner)
If you identify as a people-pleaser or a perfectionist, you must detach your value as a person from what you do. Pay attention to the dialogue in your mind, because how you think about yourself often manifests in your behaviors.
I had to … take care of myself first, and once I started taking care of myself, I was actually better at helping others. (Ryan Lindner)

Care for yourself to care for others

This is said often, but it is true. You cannot heal yourself by hyper-focusing on others – you first need to learn how to care for yourself because then you will truly be able to help those around you. If you struggle to care for yourself, then consider this: treat yourself the same way that you would treat a close friend or loved one.
You won’t be able to move forward unless you own who you are, and have gratitude for that person. (Ryan Lindner)
What are the advantages of being you? What makes it great for you to be fully yourself? Which gifts do you bring to the world by being true to who you are?

You are a person, not a role

Everyone plays roles in life; a mother, a father, a boss, a sibling, a friend. Each person has multiple roles that they play in life, however, the role that you play simply adds another dimension to who you are, but it is not who you are in totality.
Most people think they are a role, or they try to be a role and not a person. Every day, we [play] roles … we spend our whole lives trying to be these roles, but then we realize [that] our value never comes from that role. (Ryan Lindner)
You are a person before you are the role that you play, even though the current culture teaches people to ask one another, “so, what do you do?” before anything else. Challenge this mindset, because who you are is beyond what you do.
If someone cared about the real you and not just the role [you provide them with], if they are treating you like a means to an end of some kind and they need something from you, then they didn’t care about you to begin with. (Ryan Lindner)
People that love you will understand and appreciate your honesty when you are brave enough to give it.

Internal value

Do not chase happiness or approval outside of yourself, because it is always fleeting, and it is unsustainable. Learn to give yourself acknowledgment for your achievements, and know that your word is worth the compliment. Make time to:
  • Meditate
  • Journal
  • Be still with your thoughts and emotions
Take it one day at a time to form habits that connect you with your inner voice and strength.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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