This month of January we will be focusing on the
foundations of people pleasing: why it’s important
to stop, what it’s costing you, the payoff you receive
from doing it, and the huge benefits of interrupting
What is People Pleasing?
So what is people pleasing? The way we’re defining
it is how we act when we give away our power to people
and ideas or concepts, sacrifice our own needs and
wants, AND (this is most important) then feel resentful.
All 3 aspects must be present, giving away our power,
sacrificing ourselves, and feeling resentful. People
knowingly sacrifice all of the time and do it gladly. That’s
not what we are talking about.
It’s the giving away of our power which leaves us
feeling victimized and resentful. And this is one of
those behaviors where we can easily deceive ourselves
by justifying it’s the right thing to do to be constantly
giving to others, even if we’re exhausted and angry.
How does this behavior cost us?
Think of all the things that we can give our power
Our Partner, spouse or significant other
Our religion, government and health care systems
Our authority figures – boss, teacher, doctor, etc.
Morgan discusses how it’s very draining to parent her
20 month old son, Lucas, when she tries to give him everything
he wants. And this doesn’t help him or her because he can
become spoiled, and she can become exhausted.
When I was much younger, I consistently betrayed myself
when married to my first husband because I didn’t know
how to speak up for myself and ask for my needs to be met.
I cut down my body, stopped going to church, gave up
certain friends, and by far the biggest self-betrayal was
giving him custody of our daughter, Maddie.
I didn’t feel worthy of being a mom. I wanted out of the
marriage and so justified in my mind that I didn’t deserve
her since I was hurting him, and this would hurt him even
Painful Decisions Often Come From Shame
So many of our painful decisions come from a place
of shame and not feeling worthy of good things.
The cost we pay for people pleasing is US—we can’t be
ourselves. We believe be have to be a certain way and
therefore can never be free and happy.
And when we can’t be ourselves, we don’t know how to
be in healthy relationship with others. Thus we sacrifice
relationships which are everything. They are the cornerstone
to a happy and content life.
Now you may be saying, “But Angie, if I share my true
thoughts and feelings, they won’t like the real me. And
then I will definitely lose my relationships!”
Example of How People Pleasing Destroys Friendship
It may appear this is true from the surface. But consider
this example. Let’s say that your true thought is that you’re
upset with a friend because of how she handled a situation,
leaving you feeling hurt and betrayed.
What it is doesn’t matter. It could be as small as not
returning one of your texts, to not being there for you
during a significantly painful loss in your life, when you
needed her the most.
Either way, you hold the hurt inside because that feels
easier than having an honest talk with her. You justify
this behavior by telling yourself she wouldn’t understand,
would get defensive, and it would worsen things.
You may even think it’s your own inner struggle that needs
to be dealt with, not really her problem. Maybe not. Maybe
you totally blame her and think she’s in the wrong. Either way,
you remain silent. You avoid her, withdraw into your own world.
This is people pleasing because you’re trying to please her
by not making her uncomfortable with your pain. You’re hiding
your true self, feeling victimized, giving her your power. How? Your
feelings are being disrupted by the situation.
And when you’re upset like this, it robs you of energy, of
peace, of love, of freedom, of intimacy, of relationship.
The cost is your friendship, your peace of mind. Over time,
such feelings negatively impact your health.
You Have a Decision to Make
So you have a decision to make. Is this person important
enough to you to give her another chance and talk to her?
If you don’t honestly express yourself, chances are very good the
friendship will crumble over time, or at least become
unfulfilling to you.
NOTE: When you truly heal the people pleasing habit, it no
longer becomes necessary to talk to this person because
you’ve forgiven yourself and her. She will feel this shift. And
your relationship will be OK, at least from the standpoint you
won’t feel any resentment. She may not be someone you’re
attracted to spend much time with, and that’s OK.
Here is a guideline you can follow: If you sit with hurt/resentment
for a week or more, after you’ve tried processing it on your own,
through tapping (EFT), meditation, journaling, etc., talk to
If we don’t allow ourselves to open up our hearts, to trust
some people and let them in, life is going to feel somewhat
empty and lonely. This is a tremendous cost, isn’t it?
What is people pleasing costing YOU?
The good news is that there is another way, and Morgan
and I would like to help you get on the path to freedom
and really begin to move forward in your life. Build the
solid relationships you desire and deserve.
Our Loving Self-Advocate group resumes January 13. There
is still time to make a fresh new start. Reclaim your power
from things outside of you. Reply to this email and let’s talk.
Angie & Morgan