” the art of pleasing, is the art of deception ” (Luc de Clapiers)
Seems like an odd statement to make …
How can pleasing others be considered deceiving ?
Making people happy is a good thing … right ?
I think its fair to say that we all prefer to please rather than to disappoint, but before we go any further, ask yourself …
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU to please others ?
Is people pleasing a true act of selflessness ?
Or can it also be a selfish act ?
And when does pleasing others become a problem ?
I can already feel the people pleasers squirming in seats, clenching jaws and frowning brows (insert giggle)
I giggle because I know it all too well …
I AM a recovering people pleaser !!!
and as my beliefs & behaviour changes … I confront a variety of new and different challenges
How did my people pleasing behaviour begin ?
I was raised to believe that putting others before myself was a selfless act of kindness… so whenever I considered myself first, I thought I was being too selfish and felt bad about myself
I was raised to believe that as a woman and mother my needs should come secondary to the needs of others … so whenever I considered my own needs first, I thought I was being too selfish and felt bad about myself
I was raised to believe that helping and supporting others is what made me a good person … so whenever I didn’t offer the kind of help and support someone wanted, then I thought I wasn’t being helpful and felt bad about myself
Feeling BAD about myself prevents me from truly LOVING myself …
So, something HAD to change !!!
My previous beliefs made it extremely difficult to say NO to people and speak my truth in the past, and whenever I did say NO and speak my truth, I experienced feelings of guilt and shame
So, HOW do we stop feeling guilty ?
I often refer to our minds as being like a computer, and just as our computers require software upgrades, so do our minds …
Some of our beliefs become OUT DATED !!!
But, HOW do we know when its time to upgrade ?
If our thoughts create our reality, then its our beliefs that shape our thoughts, which influence our emotions, that impact on our energy flow, which creates our experience …
Therefore, our experience of tension and conflict is our first indicator
So, acknowledging the emotion, to determine the thought, will identify the belief that prevents our energy flow …
WHAT IS cognitive dissonance ?
Its when a CORE BELIEF is challenged … when new evidence suggests that the belief we hold is no longer our truth, it creates feelings of extreme discomfort … and to relieve the discomfort we will often rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that rejects the truth of our core belief
A complicated process … perhaps ?
But none the less, its an ESSENTIAL aspect of our change and growth
As I began to take more personal responsibility for my own experiences and become more consciously aware of my own habits and behaviours, the more I continue to question my own thoughts and beliefs …
Saying NO, considering my own needs first, dropping the guilt trips and blame games, confronting conflicting truths with intentions to understand, voicing my opinion with more confidence, living my truth without the need to justify my actions and changing the way I think about how I help and support others, isn’t always easy …
it has and does bring me great discomforts as my experiences change
Because the more authentic I become the less people I please
FACT: being authentic means we ARE going to displease others
FACT: our truth WILL challenge others
FACT: to love ourselves we MUST look at our people pleasing habits
I believe people pleasing becomes a problem when we choose to please others out of fear of being disliked or rejected
I believe people pleasing becomes a bad habit when we do it to avoid criticism and conflict
I believe people pleasing becomes unhealthy when we believe other people are more important than ourselves
Accepting that some people do not and will not like me isn’t something I’m comfortable with, but I’m learning to not take it personally
Accepting that some people must leave my life isn’t something I do easily, but I’m learning to let go of what was so life can become ALL it can be
Accepting that my choices will be disapproved by those who matter most in my life causes me discomfort, but I’m learning to trust my own heart and walk my own path with more confidence
Accepting that other peoples happiness isn’t my responsibility is sometimes challenging, but I’m learning to maintain healthier boundaries
Maintaining healthy boundaries is important for ALL of our relationships and interactions with others and ourselves … because when we start living an authentic life our giving comes from a place of love and not from a sense of duty or responsibility
Acknowledging how we allow others to manipulate us and how we deceive ourselves is important for ALL of our relationships and interactions with others and ourselves … because when we stand in our truths we encourage others to do the same, which cultivates more self love and less unhealthy attachments and dependencies
Can you say NO without guilt ?
Has your NO been respected in the past ?
Does your NO hold power ?
Are your boundaries respected ?
Are your opinions valued ?
Is your body respected ?
Are your feelings validated ?
When we focus on pleasing others, we fail to please ourselves …
Take back the POWER to LOVE yourself
I read a wonderful blog about “Taking back your NO”, by Lisa Vallejos, that inspired me to write about our people pleasing habits … the blog is an emotional story about holding space, sharing experience, healing hurt and supporting truths … well worth a read, so click on the link …