THE NEED TO PLEASE
Many women have the need to please. Sadly, they often end up feeling overwhelmed, resentful and unfulfilled in relationships, work and life.
People pleasing is a behavior pattern that prioritizes other people’s thoughts, opinions and desires over your own. It’s a problem worth solving because over time, it will corrode your confidence and sense of self-worth.
Think about the last time you said yes to a family obligation when you really wanted to say no because you felt guilty. Or when you didn’t speak up about a sexist comment at work because you didn’t want to make the conversation uncomfortable. Maybe you did and then wished you didn’t because it wasn’t worth all the anxiety and self-soubt you felt after.
It's is common for women because we are socialized to think that it’s our responsibility to make everyone around us happy and content. We are taught to just go along and not make a fuss, otherwise we’ll make others feel uncomfortable or be seen as difficult. And people who prioritize their desires over another’s are selfish.
If you have internalized these beliefs, then of course you’re going to feel anxious when you want to prioritize your own desires over others because you think other people will think you’re a bad person and won’t like you. And if you don’t have high self-esteem, you will overextend yourself to seek external validation from others.
Here’s the truth: other people don’t cause your feelings; your own thoughts do. Similarly, you can’t control whether someone feels pleased and happy because their own thoughts cause their feelings. You have no control over their mind or preferences of what others like and don’t like.
There is so much compassion in believing this and not making it mean anything about you if someone doesn’t like you or your actions. Let’s be honest, you don’t like everyone either and that’s okay. It’s part of the human experience.
Instead, the best use of your mental and emotional energy is to focus on what you can control: having your desires met and changing your thoughts to feel less anxious and more confident about it.
It’s from this place that you can show up as your authentic self instead of some version of you that isn’t even you. You get to relax, just be yourself and feel amazing. And you give others around you permission to do the same.
What would your life be like if you prioritized your desires and didn’t make it mean anything negative about you or your self-worth? How would you get to think and feel about yourself?
If reading this made you realize that you’re ready to stop people pleasing, sign up for a free session with me to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm also hosting a free webinar on How to Survive Holiday Stress on December 11 at 8pm EST. Learn a powerful strategy to help you prepare for the holidays, manage your emotional life, and actually enjoy time with your family. Click here: sign up.