People pleasing is a hallmark symptom of being trapped in the Good Girl energy.
If you have been following my writing for a while now, you are probably well-aware of the detriments of chronic people pleasing.
Losing your sense of self, and your connection with your own desires and needs.
Never feeling present in your relationships.
Feeling like a chameleon, who slightly morphs and shifts based upon who you’re around.
Not being able to show up as your authentic self.
Despite having friends, never feeling fully seen or heard.
I could go on.
But, people pleasing is only an effective strategy as long as you’re good at it.
And what makes someone good at it is that the pleasing remains unseen and unspoken. It happens so effortlessly and naturally that no one, not even you, notices it happening.
In order for that to be the case, you have to be able to pick up on how someone else is feeling, what they like and don’t like, without them ever having to say anything explicitly.
That’s why I think that your people pleasing tendencies actually reveal one of your super powers: EMPATHY.
If you weren’t highly empathic, you’d probably suck at people pleasing.
Yes, people pleasers can also use manipulation and passive aggressiveness in order to get their needs met indirectly. And there is a certain self-serving aspect to people pleasing, in that you control how other people see you.
But the people pleasers I know also tend to have really big hearts. They really and truly care about other people’s wellbeing.
We don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We don’t want to close down your big heart and your deep care about the world. We don’t want to ask you to be less empathic in a world that is starving for empathy and compassion.
But we also don’t want you to collapse beneath a weight that is not yours to carry.
We don’t want you to try to shapeshift into being everything for everyone and lose yourself in the process.
We don’t want you, and your very human needs and your most treasured soul desires, to get buried underneath misplaced responsibility.
It is possible to care deeply about other people and the world without martyring yourself. Not only is it possible, but it’s imperative.
To be able to care for others (and yourself) without needing to control them, their feelings, or their experiences, frees both you and them.
This is where the work of integrating your Sacred Rebel, learning the power of no, and embracing the nuance of the Wise & Wild Woman comes in. So that you have a grounded sense of who you are, what you want, and what you need. So that your empathy has creative boundaries and can be utilized to deepen connection and relationship, rather than to submit yourself to someone else’s desires (and maintain imbalanced power dynamics that make true relationship impossible).