Do you ever ask yourself "Why don't other people treat me as well as I treat them?" After all, you're so considerate and kind - it seems like a mystery that they don't treat you in the same kind way!
The chances are that you're approaching these relationships from a very common limiting belief. That is the idea that you need to please people. It’s so very common. Many of us pick up this idea in early childhood as a way of getting much-needed love from the people who care for us. It works very well in childhood; if you keep others happy, you get rewarded with attention and validation.
However, as an adult the people pleasing approach doesn't help at all - in fact it makes relationships really hard work, and it strips away your confidence.
If your happiness is dependent on other people's acceptance and approval of you; well that puts you in a pretty precarious situation. People lead busy lives; they have their own challenges to deal with, and their own desires to fulfil. They won’t always be in a great mood or have the time and space to give you the attention you crave from them. This means that we can all quite easily disregard each other without meaning to be unkind.
The solution is to recognise if you have the People Pleasing belief, let it go, and begin providing the majority of your much needed love, validation and acceptance for yourself
Do You Have The People Pleasing Belief?
One way of knowing if you have this belief (and many people do) is to look at the following checklist. How many seem familiar to you?
The urge to keep other people happy in order to be liked and to avoid rejection can be very strong indeed, and those people we’re trying to please may well take advantage without even realising they’re doing so. Odd as it may sound, even the nicest, most well-meaning of people can disregard a ‘pleaser’ in this way.
There’s a good reason for this—subconscious communication.
Are You Giving Out The Wrong Signals?
A lot of the time we tend to think of communication as being open, and easily recognisable:
- You say something, I hear it
- I say something back, you hear it
… and so it goes on.
Much of the time, though, we communicate indirectly and in subtle ways. We do this by the signals we give each other, through our behaviour and by the way we treat ourselves. People make ‘subconscious psychological contracts’ all the time about what they expect from each other. When we approach life from the belief ‘I have to please people,’ we unwittingly set up a subliminal agreement that we’ll put other’s needs before our own.
The Pleasing People Agreement Goes Something Like This:
‘I will put up with your stuff; you don’t need to think about my needs, but I’ll always be understanding of your needs and make sure you’re OK. Then I can be happy because you’ll like me and think I’m a good person and want to be around me.’
Like Amanda, one of my clients who said
‘I must have “TREAT ME LIKE AN IDIOT” tattooed on my forehead’. ‘Why are people so awful to me?
I try really hard to be nice, but they still treat me like dirt!’
Everyone in Amanda’s life; her family friends and work colleagues treated her poorly no matter how hard she tried to please the,
Amanda was always eager to give her friends a helping hand; she offered to babysit, she helped them decorate, and she walked people’s dogs and looked after their cats. She told me she was always offering to help other people because she thought that they would be nice to her in return. But these friends very often took Amanda for granted.
Amanda assumed that she was unhappy because of the way other people treated her. She hadn’t ever considered that by looking for validation from other people she was forgetting to look to herself. This realisation helped her feel more empowered. She began to see that instead of seeking happiness outside of herself from other people, she could start from within.
Amanda’s story is very common. We get so caught up in chasing approval from others that we forget to stop and look at ourselves and remember just how special we are.
If you recognise yourself as a people pleaser, then you’re not alone. It is entirely possible to overcome this habit so that you can move forward to have much more confidence and healthier, happier, relationships
Do you wish you could be more assertive, but you worry that you’ll come across as uncaring? Maybe you worry how people will react?
Do you want to learn how to say No in a kind way, be heard, get your needs met, and be respected?
Then this book is for you
Packed full of tools and techniques from more than 25 years helping clients gain more confidence and have great relationships, this book is the ultimate guide on leading a more assertive, confident and fulfilling life.
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I’m Marléne Rose Shaw, a PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST and COACH with more than 25 years of experience in helping people gain confidence, overcome anxiety and create happier relationships.
I work with clients across the globe via Skype/Zoom and from my practice on the Costa del Sol, Spain. To find out more about how I can help you,just click the HOME link above.
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