Do You People Please?
I see many clients who are people pleasers, some of them agree that they do this & they are unhappy, others would say that they just love making others happy. What I find is that actually neither group is really happy! Those that do it because they love to make others happy, are unhappy because once the glow has worn off from doing something nice for someone, they are back where they started, not serving their own needs. In fact, pleasing people is like any addiction, you feed the addiction which feels good, until it doesn’t feel good, then another ‘fix’ is needed & so the cycle continues.
For those that have become people pleasers even though they know it doesn’t make them happy, it’s about finding the root cause. If you have a parent (or any other figure in your life that influences you) you may learn that by having an opinion that isn’t aligned to theirs, you only end up with rows or punishment or even abuse.
With a parent/child relationship it can be more complex, a child may feel unloved when they are in the ‘wrong’ so they’ll seek to keep the approval & love and learn to just do what keeps the parent happy. If this is an abusive parent, it may be about self-protection, ‘don’t rock the boat’ as this leads to a beating or severe punishment or it may be the abusive person will take it out on another person in the family unit.
With this type of people pleaser, it is a simple matter of them understanding that this behaviour served them back then, it’s not serving them now, in fact it’s the opposite, it’s causing problems such as attracting narcissists or controllers or simply the bullies whether that’s work, socially or home life.
In this case I would work on their belief system, this may be that they do not feel worthy or that they are not good enough, it may be they are avoiding conflict, even though there may be none if they don’t follow others wishes, the fear of it, especially if it was there in the past will keep them trapped in their behaviour.
If it is learned behaviour from a parent or partner, again it is about identifying their beliefs & updating them.
If my client has issues around giving others what they want because they love making people happy, there’s various things I would look at, it may simply be that they need external validation instead of having it from within. When we need people to tell us how great we are or need validation from places such as social media, it is external & fleeting, so swapping the need for external validation to looking at oneself is much healthier.
Also with a client who needs to keep pleasing others because they get something from it, I look to see what they are getting from it; do they feel needed? Do they feel useful & worthwhile? Do they need people to always be saying ‘thank you’ or telling them how grateful they are?
These are only examples, there can be other reasons such as copying a parent or someone you lookup to.
As always in a session, it is only by finding the root of the behaviour that I can help the client to heal.
It may be that this situation is part of a Soul Contract (a spiritual contract between two or more people to create growth) so maybe the person who has the tendency to people please needs to learn stronger boundaries, more confidence, strength or self belief, obviously they can sink or swim at this point, that’s their freewill. If it’s a Soul Contract, that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome nor does it mean that they have to resolve the issue, however, if they don’t achieve what they came here for their soul will need to re-do that lesson, maybe it just needs to be easier, in which case it may happen over a higher number of lives instead of one, if achieving it in one life is too heavy.
The key is to use circumstances and experiences to grow, to learn to be you and not to become who someone else wants you to be or who you think they want you to be. Thank that person who made you a people pleaser, they were part of your soul contract, they agreed to help you find the strength to breakaway & be your authentic, wonderful self.
If these behaviours are not changed, they can lead to health issues (not always, so don’t panic), most usually in women and most usually immune system issues such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Thyroid Dysfunction, Eczema, Psorasis etc. When behaving in a way not aligned with our true self the body will revolt.
Do you people please? Have you asked yourself what it brings you or what you are getting from it that you could get elsewhere? If this resonates for you, let me know, you can still please other people & be happy, it isn’t one of other!
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