Earlier this week, I wrote an post about setting boundaries, and I’ve had such a tremendous response that I wanted to add a bit that I took out because I thought it was too long (apparently, we only like to read for 3 mins or less!).
People Pleasing (PP)
As I mentioned in the previous email, growing up, I developed strong people-pleasing tendencies to keep the peace in a complex family dynamic. However, one of the best things I’ve ever read that helps me when I feel like I’m falling into my old PP pattern is:
‘When we people-please, we are being manipulative!’ (Read that again)
When we practise PP, subconsciously, we hope that people will like us or won’t reject/ abandon us. This behaviour is deeply rooted in our nervous system and comes from our most basic survival need. It can be traced back to our earliest ancestors when being banished by the ‘tribe’ meant certain death.
The problem with PP is that others become so accustomed to it that they barely acknowledge it. In fact, they come to expect it, which often leads to feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and resentment. I’ll often hear clients say, ‘Why does no one appreciate me? I do so much for them’. ‘I just feel like I’m being taken for granted, and no one even thanks me’.
A great way to start reprogramming people-pleasing tendencies is to ask yourself:
‘Am I doing this because I want the other person to like me or because it’s the right thing to do?’
Asking this question and reminding yourself that PP is, in effect, manipulative allows you to take a step back and analyse your behaviour rather than repeating your conditioned/programmed response. The hardest part of this (as well as most things I teach) is remembering to do it. So, I recommend leaving prompts to remind you somewhere that you’ll see them when you need them most.
Self-care Is Not Selfish!
Finally, the ‘Holiday Season’ can mean many things to different people and it can be loaded with triggers even if you love it! So, no matter where you fall on the festive scale, remember to…
Give yourself permission to relax
Give yourself permission to let others help
Give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel (there’s no right or wrong)
Give yourself permission to take a break
Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself
Give yourself permission to do what you want to do (when you’re trying to please everyone, you please no one)
Give yourself permission to go easy on yourself (you’re doing your best)
Give yourself permission to tell others if they’re crossing boundaries
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself (you can’t pour from an empty cup!)
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you and your family a safe, happy and healthy break and if you’re struggling in any way, please reach out. I’ll always try to help in whatever way I can.
All the very best,