Understanding and Overcoming the NEED TO PLEASE..
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Do you ever find yourself doing something that you inherently DON’T enjoy doing, yet feel compelled to do it anyway?
You do? Well read on..
A client recently shared an experience where having bravely delved into the world of online dating, she found herself agreeing to meet up with someone that, deep down, she didn’t really like.
Sounds silly, right?
Maybe, but not so much if, like me, you’ve been (or are) a people-pleaser..
Needless to say, it sparked an interesting conversation. As well as some serious introspection in the case of said client.
We set about peeling away the layers around exactly why she felt this need to act against her own intuition.
She knew there were fears behind it, but what exactly were they?
Well, think about it.
Any need to obtain a favourable response from another, is born on the back of feeling a LACK OF OUR OWN SELF-WORTH.
It’s pretty simple.
When we’re feeling any form of low emotion (sad, depressed, resentful, lonely), we instinctively look outside of ourselves for something to SOOTHE us. Something to ease the discomfort. Right?
Some people use food/alcohol/drugs to self-soothe.
But sometimes we look to others for comfort. We do whatever we feel is necessary to incite kind or flattering words or actions from someone else.
And often that means changing our behaviour in a way that pleases THEM instead of pleasing ourselves.
Uh-huh.. You’re nodding.. We’ve ALL done this before..
There are those that believe that self-sacrifice is noble?. Hmmm…
Consider a slightly different perspective: is not adjusting your behaviour to illicit a specific response simply a form of manipulation..?
Looping back to my client, she realised (after much discussion) that having been absent from the dating game for over a decade, there was a part of her that felt “grateful” to be getting any dates at all.. An opinion that was tied tightly to her current (low) level of self-confidence.
Hence her reluctant agreement to meet for fear of chasing away her only potential suitor.
Interestingly, once she could see the whole picture and understand what was behind her urge to please, she was easily able to shift to another perspective.
One that put her own desires FIRST..
And thus, the date was unceremoniously cancelled (with a huge smile..).
So here’s what we need to remember about people-pleasing: it’s an action born in fear.
Figure out what that fear(s) is, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to start pleasing YOURSELF for a change.
Ultimately, it’s a choice.
Isn’t it always..?