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 can seem like a mystery that they don't treat you in the same way.
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?’
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.
‘I try really hard to be nice, but they still treat me like dirt!’ said Amanda.
The problem was that Amanda was assuming that she was unhappy because of the way other people treated her. She hadn’t ever stopped to consider how she was treating herself.
All this looking for validation from other people meant she was forgetting to look to herself. She began to consider that instead of people pleasing others, she could start from within by offering herself the validation she craved.
Taken from the book:
Out Of Fear Into Love:
Life doesn't have to be a struggle
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 our own self worth.
If you find yourself wondering why others don't treat you as well as you treat them it’s very likely that you have the people pleasing belief - many people do!
It’s so very common. Most of us pick up this keep people happy idea in early childhood because, back then, it was a way of getting love and attention from the people who cared for us.
However, as an adult, the people pleasing approach doesn't help at all because if your happiness is dependent on other people's acceptance and approval of you; well that puts you in a pretty precarious situation. We all lead busy lives; other people have their own issues to focus on.
In most cases someone doesn't intend to be unkind, but if they're distracted or busy, they can quite easily end up disregarding you without even realising they're doing so.
5 Signs of Being a People Pleaser
One way of knowing if you have this belief is to look at the following checklist. How many of these seem familiar to you?
- I'm unable to fully relax if others aren’t happy
- I often feel resentful and angry about not having enough time
- I try to make a relationship work when the other person doesn’t put in the effort
- I find it difficult to say ‘No’ to people without feeling guilty
- I often feel taken for granted
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 Agreements’ all the time. These are subtle signals indicating what they expect from each other.
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.’
How to Stop People Pleasing and Start Being Respected
The solution is to recognise that you have the People Pleasing belief. Then, to let it go and begin providing the majority of love and validation for yourself. It's like becoming your own best friend.
In many years helping clients in my therapy practice, I have found that limiting beliefs are often the main cause of problems in people’s relationships and with confidence.
In the book: Out Of Fear Into Love: Life doesn't have to be a struggle, I describe the four main limiting beliefs that come up time and again in the therapy room.
People pleasing is just one of those four beliefs.
It is perfectly possible to let go of these limiting beliefs. It takes specific methods such as Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT. I teach you how to use these in the book, and show you a special process I developed called The Transformation Process.
The combination of these tools and techniques is powerful in letting go of these sabotaging beliefs and replacing them with more self loving and effective ways of approaching life.
It means you can have more confidence, happier and secure relationships and a more successful life in general.
The book includes case studies, plus online resources to help you put the tools tips and techniques in the book into practice in your own life.