This week’s podcast episode is one that hits close to home for many of us – people pleasing. I know I’m guilty of it, and I’m sure many of my friends, family members, and maybe even some of you reading this are too. It’s time to get clear though on the truth about people pleasing.
Why Do We People Please?
Let’s start with the question of why we people please in the first place. When someone asks us for help, even if we don’t have the time or resources, we often say yes immediately. But why? Well, there are underlying motives at play, though we may not consciously think about them. We might want to make that person happy, be liked, valued, or feel important. On the flip side, some people please to avoid feeling alone or like a failure in life. It all boils down to wanting to feel something or not feel something.
As we dive deeper into the motivations, it becomes evident that people pleasing is a selfish act. It may sound contradictory because we’re taught that people pleasing is about putting others first. But when we examine the underlying reasons, we realize that it’s often about fulfilling our own emotional needs. Whether it’s about feeling worthy, capable, or avoiding feelings of shame or guilt, there’s a driving force behind our people pleasing behavior.
Our culture, especially for women, encourages this relational nature and being helpful and caring. So saying no and setting boundaries can feel like we’re doing something wrong. However, it’s essential to recognize that people pleasing comes at the expense of our own energy and time. We need to learn how to fulfill ourselves without relying on external validation and praise.
Get to Know Your Motives
When we understand our motivations for people pleasing, we can begin to break free from this cycle and avoid burnout. It’s not about giving up on helping others or volunteering altogether, but rather choosing the things that genuinely light us up and not doing it solely to seek approval or validation.
Remember, it’s okay to be helpful and supportive, but it becomes an issue when it turns into a codependent pattern where we need others to need us, and they need us to need them. It becomes an unhealthy addiction, and we must break free from it.
So take a moment now to reflect on your own people pleasing tendencies. Why do you do it? What’s driving you to seek approval or avoid certain feelings? How can you start fulfilling these needs within yourself instead of relying on external validation? You don’t have to walk this path alone of breaking the habit of people pleasing. See how we can work together HERE, so I can support you on your journey.
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