Five people-pleasing behaviors and what they really say about you.


It’s much easier to handle danger when you know it’s coming.  Warning signs, sirens, smoke and flames give you a chance to prepare and respond.  An ambush or Trojan horse catches you off guard.  We have guards for good reason.

When a negative person does something hurtful, the impact and the aftermath are different because all parties tend to be clear on what happened and their role in it.

Then there’s the people-pleaser.  Determined to make everyone happy even to their own detriment, they will create spun-sugar webs of confusion, selfishness and guilt so sweet and convoluted they can’t find themselves within it anymore.

What are you really saying when you:

1) Take on more than you can handle/Pretend everything is okay.  Example:  You love your kids sooooo much you just want to throw an incredible party and lavish them with time and money and fun. But it was too much and you didn’t have fun.  You begin to resent everyone you secretly hoped might jump in with their own people-pleasing spirit and save you.  Every man and woman is responsible for themselves.  We’re expected to know, on some basic levels, what we need and want and most important, how to communicate that when needed.

Not trusting yourself enough to believe in what you need says you can’t be trusted.  

2)  Allow others to be less than who they are/Avoid confrontation.  Example:  Instead of pointing out a mistake you correct something yourself.  Instead of addressing something hurtful you sweep it under the rug.    Part of being responsible for ourselves includes being responsible for the people we love, and shepherding our friendships with care.  The greatest part about love is understanding and accepting exactly who we are now, in the shadow of our most divine potential.  Avoiding confrontation is a lie of epic proportions: You’re already in a confrontation with yourself.

Refusing to address the issue with the other person says they don’t  matter enough for you to fight for their best. 

3) Refuse to end a relationship.  Example:  You’ve been with your love-nugget for years and at some point along the way fell out of love.  You feel so bad you can’t bring yourself  to say, “It’s over.”  That would hurt their feelings.  So, to protect their feelings you stay with them when you don’t want to.  Or say you need space and kind of trip around in I-don’t-want-to-be-here-but-can’t-leave land.  This doesn’t avoid hurting feelings.

Refusing to deal with the harder stuff multiplies hurt exponentially by saying you think it’s best to project your weakness onto the person you love.    

4) Insisting an ex remain in your life out of guilt.  Example:  You loved someone.  You really did.  But you never quite managed to show them.  There were other exes or lovers or midgets or mountains or time zones in the way.  Do you acknowledge your shortcomings, apologize for past hurts and move on?  Nope.  You decide it might work better if you can get back together with them or keep them around as a friend to make up for the pain you caused.

Keeping people in our lives for our sake belittles their needs and says I don’t love me or you enough to move on and set us free.  

5) Play savior.  Example: We love our brother so much we just know he can do better.  So every time he messes up we step in to clean up his mess.  He deserves it and aren’t I my brother’s keeper?   No matter how awesome your Superman or Wonderwoman costume may look, the reality is we simply can’t change anything in another person for them.  They have to do it.  We can and should live as examples.  We should support other’s strength and growth no matter how difficult.  But we can’t learn for someone else.  We can’t change for someone else.  

Trying to save another person says we don’t believe they have it in them to do better.  

Being a good person and caring selflessly for another has to come from a place of deeply rooted self-love and wholeness.

Expecting different says you’ve underestimated your own and other’s ability to love. 

People-pleasing says I don’t love me enough to know how to love you properly.

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