For the recovering "people pleasers"
There is a range of emotions that can arise when you begin this work. Some of them are what I consider survival skills that you may have acquired as a child. Take for example people pleasing, have you ever actually thought about how or where that started? In my opinion, it is a skill that people obtain who want to engineer a sense of safety where there is none. They learned to believe that they cannot be seen or heard, therefore feel more secure by playing it small. The fear of rejection, disappointment and abandonment is too great to chance it.
Problem with this is, it means you are always showing up as a liar. Not an intentional one, but a person who isn’t being their authentic self. Here you ask yourself “Why don’t I have trust? Why can’t I get closer to them? How is it I always feel so disconnected?” Truth is, when you choose to people please out of fear, you begin to believe that other’s don’t love you for who you are, because inside you know you aren’t really showing up as the real you. This discord, this distrust, is what leaves you feeling disconnected. You then begin to question yourself, others around you, and the cycle continues. Fear wins.
Remedy: Inner child work. Begin to tune into yourself. Ask yourself what you really feel and need. Begin to test out the waters by speaking up for yourself. Maybe its as simple as “no I don’t want pizza for dinner.” Over time your self worth will grow, as will your relationships. In the end, you will realize that those who leave you when you show up as the real you, weren’t meant for you.
Someone wrote in to express their frustration that arises when they engage in conversation with a friend who is venting about the “same” problem over and over. They wrote “I can see the root of their problem and so I offer up solutions, but then they don’t apply it and the next time we are together we talk about it again.”
I shared that our ego loves to feel needed. It loves to remind you that you must earn your worth. And there is no better place for it to show up than within your closest relationships.
Remedy: Know your role. Here is the deal- friends don’t need our advice. They need our love, acceptance, and a safe place to work their stuff out. But please keep in mind, boundaries are very important if you find yourself often on the “receiving” end of someone’s problems. Friendships should be reciprocal. No where in a friendship "job description” does it say you must be the catch all for their garbage. Instead, learn to set up boundaries for yourself. Maybe change the subject, or don’t answer the call, or decide when and if you want to talk. You always have options. You need to protect your energy and your peace. Do not expect others to know where your limits are. You must speak up kindly. Boundaries are what help you love others AND you simultaneously.
Perhaps the most common emotion that arises when people start to do the work to heal is guilt. I really believe that this comes from an old script of “I am not worthy of healing. I must take care of you. Who am I to leave you behind and pursue something different? They need me.” This can be especially hard when the other person is manipulative or persuasive in their response to your healing journey.
Remedy: Challenge the chatter. So often it is fear that holds you back from living a life different than you know. You are afraid that you won’t be accepted, that those you love will judge you, that they will be hurt or mad. But I want you to begin challenging those thoughts. Notice them, without ridicule, just observe. Once the initial feelings subside, I want you to remind yourself that you ARE WORTHY OF HEALING. How others respond to your work has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. Don’t you dare pick up the burdens of their wounds. Don’t you dare make it your job. And don’t you dare miss out on this incredible life. You can love and care for yourself without guilt, but you must choose to break free from that old script. It no longer serves you.
Yours in healing,