Do you hear yourself thinking either of these thoughts at points in your day? I think of these as key indicators of People Pleasers. It sounds like such a good intention from the outside, not wanting to hurt feelings or make others mad, it sounds caring and like a good way to live.
But, here’s the deal, people pleasing is motivated by fear. Fear that other people not being happy with us somehow threatens our safety or ability to feel good. The mistaken belief that "if you like me, then I can like me, I can relax."
One of my mentors, Brooke Castillo, calls people pleasers liars. She’s been there and done that, she gets it. The first time I heard this I was taken aback. This isn’t at all how I thought about my desire to be a good person not hurt others. Then I realized, this is true. And ultimately what we are doing is lying, because what we’re saying is not what we’re feeling, not really.
Is our motivation to be a “good person” coming from a place of fear or love?
It’s a tough question and an important one. Understanding our motivation makes a big difference in our experience and can help us catch ourselves when we go into people pleasing mode.
When we come from love, we are being ourselves in the world, authentically, and we don’t need to push our opinions and beliefs at others.
We don’t feel the need for others to think and feel the same way we do about things because we know the source of our peace or trust comes from inside ourselves. Not from others. This opens up so much space in our minds and therefore in our lives because we have no need to try and control or fight other peoples feelings and thoughts.
You are worthy even when others that you love do not agree with you or help you feel good about yourself by behaving the way you would like them to... or by trying to please you like you do for them...
It's so empowering to get validation for who you are from within! Trying to get it from the outside never really works anyway, right? When we let go of people pleasing and find our worth from within, we get to be exactly who we are, and we get to let others be exactly who they are without trying to change them. That's true freedom for you and those you are in relationships with.
Your worth is inherent not dependent on how other people feel about you. Be who you are unapologetically because you can't control what other people think of you. It's a waste of energy and it hurts.
Often we feel a great need to control how people are feeling when we are in the throws of people pleasing, and then we expect them to do the same for us, and if they don't play nice, we are left holding the bag and pissed off! Am I right? I'm not talking about not asking for what you would like to see happen in a relationship, you can always ask, you will always have your preferences. But know that they can say no, or disappoint you, even if you have bent over backwards trying to please them. And that the rub, and where so much pain comes from people pleasing.
"If they really cared about me they would be going out of their way for me like I do for them." This usually does not compute the way we would like.
If someone does not take care of your feelings the way you TRY and take care of theirs (which is impossible by the way) this does not mean you are not worthwhile and have to make it a point of your life to try and change them so that they can see how worthy you are and you can feel good about yourself. You are worthy, just because you are a human being on the planet. You worth is inherent. You can feel good because no matter how another behaves you know this to be true.
Remember the Thought Model, how we feel about ourselves is driven by how we think about ourselves, not by how others think about us.
We never control the thinking of another person, really, we never do. We think we do and, for people pleasers, this has our internal radar attuned to external things. We are constantly trying to make sure that everyone around us reflects back to us that we are OK. Because we don’t realize, inside ourselves, that we ALREADY are OK.
We think we need to earn it from others, pssst we need to give it to ourselves.
Yes, give ourselves the gift of loving and trusting who we are. Of being seen, and having opinions that differ, and loving that rather than fearing it. When we do this, the electrical feeling in our body of trying so hard to make sure things are ok begins to slowly amp down, until it’s gone. And we’re left operating in the world from the quiet and clear place of who we are.
Tune your radar to inside yourself
When you tune your radar to your insides, you allow yourself to be who you really are, you allow your opinions and you allow others the same. You don’t need to earn anybody’s approval but your own. And you don’t earn that, it’s yours to accept.
If you are having difficulty with people pleasing you let's connect. I can help. I've been through this too. I am a recovering people pleaser.
By the way, we started the 30-day challenge last week, my private group on Facebook where we put the thought model and all the tools I talk about to work in our lives. There are 35 of us are going through the process of learning how to be in the driver's seat of our minds and our emotions. No more feeling like a victim of our circumstances or our busy minds or our emotions. Wish us luck and I can't wait to share with you the results we get this month as we become more intentional with our minds and our lives.
Lots of love on your journey.