We have a cultural epidemic of people pleasing. We think saying no is mean and equates saying “I don’t love you.” So those of us who are unfortunate enough to have inherited this personal trait grow up pleasing others and not being very honest about what we need, desire, and our own boundaries. We tend to get angry and repress it, which can lead to a whole entire slew of heathh issues. We can either internalize or externalize our victim energy, and take it out on others or take it out on ourselves. It’s general, overall disempowerment, and let me tell you folks, it’s not role model for a child.
People Pleaser becomes a parent and when it’s time to start coaching the child on all social skills that children are not born with (like being kind, considerate, respectful, polite,) the parent just wants the child to be “themselves,” which in reality turns out to be a bossy, rude, inconsiderate little person. Now if the child has the great fortune of having one parent who is not a people pleaser (let’s pray for this) you can tell because the child will behave in a considerate manner when said people pleaser parent is not around. The parent with boundaries has instructed the child on how to be considerate and kind.
But that’s not all there is to be said about people pleasing. It’s a huge undertaking for anyone, people pleaser or not, to learn to be loving and assertive at the same time.
Learning to keep your heart open and release defensiveness while you say no is as challenging as getting into a split at age 40 and post childbirth.
If you were doing that since you were small, it’d be no biggie. But training now would take focus, dedication, and practice. Kuddos to anyone reading this who do a split.
But what’s really on my mind is the belief that our needs and desires are a gift. We can share them with joy. I recently volunteered to be the bouncer at a fundraiser I helped organize. I’ve been practicing boundaries hard core this last year and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to lovingly confront adults who snuck in windows to get into our sold out benefit and lovingly escort them to the door. I get giddy at any opportunity I have to set boundaries with others. I had no idea I was so hungry for the relief that feeling good about saying no would offer me! It’s liberating. I suggest trying it.