DAMN! I just planned to say ‘No’ but ‘Yes’ popped out of my mouth. So WHY do we PEOPLE PLEASE; considering everyone else’s needs, while pushing ourselves to the back of the queue…again! No SELF-VALUE? No rights? No wonder we feel ANGRY. Treating ourselves like crap in an attempt to prevent other’s judgement is no fun. “They’ll think I’m selfish, petty, a weirdo, demanding …”. The list is endless in our over-thinking under-valuing mind.
People Pleasing is based on Fear; A drastic attempt to avoid Rejection pain. It is based on an assumption we’re not loveable as we are unless we please others:
- FEAR OF OTHERS OPINION OF US
- FEAR OF THEIR ANGER
- FEAR OF REJECTION BY THE INDIVIDUAL OR ‘THE MOB’
- FEAR OF ABANDONMENT BY THOSE WHO NOW SURELY DISLIKE US
- FEAR OF FEELING A REPEAT OF OLD REJECTION/ABANDONMENT PAIN
For a variety of reasons we download deep rejection:
Imagine the child, repeatedly exposed to a parent or other notary carer or sibling, who is angry, sarcastic, undermining, shaming. Or a child taught to put their sick, disabled or needy brother or sister’s interests first.
To prevent more of same, the child becomes a people pleaser (or appeaser), or Performing Monkey. Acting in accordance to what they think is expected of them, this behaviour becomes so habitual that the child loses all sense of who s/he is, what s/he needs; what makes her/him happy; losing all track of one’s own character & opinions.
The same sources teach us how to feel GUILT if we don’t appease. “Look what you did to your poor mother”! “You’re selfish”. Now we feel like a bad child for doing this to another. Guilt keeps us bound to People Pleasing by causing intense anxiety if not obeyed. It becomes easier to say ‘Yes’ than to feel the attack of anxiety, feeling like a bad person, wondering what they now think of us. Easier indeed to Please than to stand up for oneself.
Interestingly, the opposite can have an equal effect. A child whos parent constantly over-sells the child’s ability can feel overwhelmed by a responsibility not to disappoint. Assuming failure to live up to expectation, s/he may ‘give up’ even trying, or try too hard.
The lenses through which we perceive our world create our reality:
Let’s assume you wear Rose coloured lenses. Looking out, the world looks bright and Rosy. Dark grey lenses however depict a world of gloom. What might we experience if we remove ALL lenses and see our world in full colour? Now let’s imagine that lovely world through the lenses of rejection/abandonment pain.
We will invest immense energy avoiding situations that risk the wound of rejection being poked at, incase it bleeds again. We HEAR rejection, SEE rejection, in other’s behaviour towards us. We feel paranoid and anxious so much of the time. And we are convinced of the accuracy of our perception. Our only question is “How High?” Then we dance and frolic like PUPPETS ON A STRING, controlled by the needs and moods of others.
The good news is you have the power to STOP living in the shadow of others demands and cut the strings that control you through fear of rejection/abandonment.
Rejection pain, when triggered, will simply floor us. We may:
- Land in bed with the covers over our heads, shut down energetically, unable to be present
- Become physically or psychologically ill
- Experience severe panic
- Anger may explode towards others and ourselves during such wounding, even to those who haven’t wounded us. We lash out, believing they did this to us. THE truth is nobody DOES IT to us. Their action has resurrected some childhood wound, triggering childhood hurt that’s already in our bodies. More good news! The capacity to heal is within. In releasing pain-energy stuck in our bodies we no longer live in a painful (internal) world.
I have witnessed clients recover from Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Exhaustion, Relationship problems, (again the list is endless) by addressing rejection & abandonment. By freeing ourselves of the fear of losing people, we can risk saying ‘No’ firmly, gently, non-defensively, without guilt. This allows us to CREATE BOUNDARIES with others. It is a pivotal point in developing SELF-VALUE and leads us to finally LOVING OURSELVES JUST AS WE ARE. It is a journey back to True Self, a happy return to our own GREATEST POTENTIAL. Welcome home….