Since this is February, the month of Love, we’ll be focusing
on people pleasing your romantic partner. Your spouse or
significant other is ripe with all sorts of lessons for you throughout
your entire relationship. No one triggers you more than them.
Often times, as people pleasers, we fall into this trap of over-giving
to our lovers, those special people we give our hearts to, and in
return, expect a Herculean effort from them to love us back.
What do I mean by over-giving? Giving to the point of it not
feeling good. In other words, you begin to feel resentful that
that you have to do more than them, and you start keeping track,
in a transaction, tit-for-tat, petty sort of way.
Why might we over-give to them?
We want love from them
We’re afraid of abandonment
We believe we must earn their love, that we’re not deserving of it right now
We Want Love From Them
Maybe we grew up watching our parents love each other
with all sorts of conditions on that love. For example, dad
did something to upset mom, like staying out late drinking
with the guys, and so she gave him the cold shoulder and
silent treatment for 3 days.
If we saw this type of example, it would be very easy to see
love as a transaction. You love me; I’ll love you. You mistreat
me. I’ll mistreat you.
It would also naturally follow that we WANT something from
our lover, namely LOVE. We expect it, and when they are
unkind instead, we are hurt and disappointed, recoiling in
a metaphorical ball, withdrawing our love. Tit for tat.
So we will over-give of our time and selves, taking on a lopsided
amount of the household chores and responsibilities.
Unconsciously, we do this to GET love from them. And it makes
total sense and is nothing to feel bad about.
We’re Afraid of Abandonment
As newborns, we are totally dependent upon our caregivers
to provide for all of our needs. So we come into this world feeling
totally helpless and reliant. It’s hardwired for us to fear
abandonment from our origin.
Add to that subsequent childhood experiences where one
or both parents left through death, divorce, physically
leaving, giving us up for adoption, etc.
And yet another layer of abandonment for the many times,
unbeknownst to us, in which we felt rejected by our friend’s’
and family members’ comments and actions. These events left
us feeling inadequate, alone, and not fitting in.
At the end of the day, can you see why we’d over-give to our
lover to keep them around?
We Believe We Must Earn Their Love
It stands to reason if we fear being abandoned by this person
we so desperately want love from, that we will go to great lengths
to attain and keep their love. And we do this by earning it.
“If I’m pretty enough, thin enough, young enough, smart
enough, funny enough, charming enough, maybe they won’t see
past my flaws and just how unlovable I really am….”
So we work really hard to appear perfect, to maintain an image
of “I’ve got my act together,” when underneath we’re crumbling.
We unconsciously believe (or maybe we’re aware) that if we
earn their love and keep things comfortable enough (kids
can’t be too loud, make delicious meals ready at 5pm, don’t
complain about how miserable we are, take the kids to all of
their games, and on and on), we will be able to keep them around.
So yes we over-give to our partners out of fear that we are
unlovable and unworthy of love without strings attached.
The Story of a Woman’s Cup
Morgan (in the video) tells the story of a Woman’s Cup. Her
partner, kids and others are always coming at her cup with spoons,
ready to withdraw from her cup. And every time they do this, her
resentment builds. Finally, she lashes out, “Get away from my
cup! I have nothing left!”
The message from us to you: Place your hand over your cup once
in a while. In other words, give yourself permission to say NO to the
unlimited demands and requests of you. It’s OK to put yourself first
and not try to be everything to everybody.
This doesn’t make you selfish. This makes you much more sane.
Eventually if you don’t stop over-giving, you will lash out and
your cup will be empty.
Morgan and I are interviewing coaches, healers and empaths who
want to be part of our Loving Self-Advocate Community.
Reply to this email and let’s talk. We won’t pressure you. We want
to make sure we’re a good match and that both of us equally
benefit from the relationship.