I’ve been talking to a lot of people recently who have shared the same thing – They find themselves people pleasing in some form, all the time, and it’s costing them.
Whether that looks like saying yes to family, friends, or colleagues, when you don’t really have the time or energy to give…
Or, not speaking up because you feel like if you say what you really need or want to say, they won’t be happy or ok with it. Or maybe you’d even disappoint someone.
Or it could look like doing lots of different things in the best attempt to make sure everyone feels good. So, taking care of others emotions before your own.
Can you relate to any of that?
And as I’ve been having these conversations, people have shared that it’s costing them advancements in their career or business, or pursuing their own passion. It’s costing them their own personal happiness, and it’s costing them their wellness because they’re so drained just trying to keep up.
I can sooo relate to this desire to want everyone to be happy and feel good all the time. To not want to ruffle any feathers. It can be so habitual, and it can even feel like, “Well this is who I am. If I’m not this way, won’t I lose a part of myself?”
One woman shared with me that she was worried about changing this way of being. She really had a gift of being able to know how others are feeling without them saying it, and from there she could help them to feel better. But at the same time, she was putting herself and her emotional well-being second. But, she was worried if she changed this, she’d be losing a part of who she is.
The other night, I had to cancel an Airbnb reservation because I’d accidentally put the wrong dates, and I caught myself hesitating because of how it might make the Airbnb host feel! While that’s very considerate, of course what was best for me was to cancel this reservation that I couldn’t use as is. Even though there was no harm, and they even got to keep the service fee, I still had that hesitation, wanting them to not experience any negative feelings as a result. I give this example partially because it’s funny that I even had that thought, and also just to show how much it can be a part of our decisions and actions often unconsciously!
A long time ago, one of my teachers asked me this,
“Are you willing to disappoint another in order to not disappoint yourself?”
I had to really ask myself that question, and I realized that when we disappoint ourselves in order to not disappoint another, what we’re really saying is that for whatever reason, their happiness is of more importance than our own.
But is it? Isn’t your happiness just as important as someone else’s? And what kind of message are you telling yourself when you take action that says that it’s not?
Unconsciously by doing this, we affirm that our worth is somehow less than another’s.
In case you’re freaking out right now about letting go of so much people pleasing, I want to calm some of your nerves with this – I’ve found that most of the time people are actually totally ok with you doing you! Not all the time, but that’s really about them, isn’t it?
I want you to also consider this – what if, when you people please, you’re actually denying someone the joy of seeing you happy?
One of my really good friends used to always say yes when anyone asked for pretty much anything. She loved to give and to help. And I can remember when she started to grow in her love for herself and her self-worth, and she began saying no from time to time for the things she didn’t truly want to do, or didn’t have the space or energy for. And I was truly SO EXCITED FOR HER!! I LOVED that she said no 😄
She gave me the joy of seeing her happy ❤️
Think about how it feels when someone gives to you, but you can tell it’s with hesitation, or, they don’t really have the time / money / energy for what they’re giving. Or, it’s not what they really want to be doing. How does that feel for you on your end? Not so good I would guess. Imagining how that feels, what if that’s what it’s like for them, in some way if even unconscious, when you give from the place of people pleasing?
One last quick story – I went to bachelorette party a few years ago, and that night, I just really didn’t have the energy for a night of staying up late and partying. But, I stayed as long as I could. For at least the last hour or two even, I was so ready to go. But I thought, “I should stay for her. This isn’t about me!” While that’s all great and very considerate, when I looked back on it, I probably wasn’t giving off the most fun party vibes. If I had given my 100% with the energy I actually had, and left some time after dinner, I could have contributed more joy to that party, than the time I spent probably putting off some “I’m not up for this” vibes.
Now, on the other hand, think about how contagious love is, especially when you see someone who is content and peaceful, and ok with you being wherever you’re at…
What if it was possible for you to simply do or say what you want to do or say, allow yourself to be at peace and content, and allow others to be where they’re at? The key here is not taking responsibility for others emotions.
This does not mean you’re being mean. It simple means, you understand that you are not responsible for what they feel – which is the truth! You can still help and support them, but only giving from what you actually have to give.
I like sharing the image of kids in a sandbox as an example of this – one kid could be all happy building sand castles, and the other one screaming and crying running around, and the kid building the castles is seemingly unfazed!
So to sum it up, ask yourself this question:
“Am I willing to disappoint another in order to not disappoint myself?”
And if the answer is no, take some time to look a little deeper. Why not?
Remember, you are not responsible for another person’s emotions. They may feel something as a result of your actions, but those are still their emotions.
If you do want to help them, how can you do some from a place of giving from your overflow, rather than from depletion? This might mean making some changes in your life, but isn’t your happiness and well-being worth it?
I hope this helps you in feeling even just a little more free to take care of yourself, do what you want in life, and feel really good about it 😊