How do you know if you are a people pleaser?
Basically it means that you are outsourcing respect and love for yourself to others in your life.
If you don’t yet fully love, accept and trust yourself, you may find yourself looking outwards to other people for validation of your worth.
The roots of people pleasing lie in what you learned as a child about love – was it unconditional or was it based up you behaving in a particular way?
Did you feel that no matter what you did or said or how you behaved, you were always strongly and affectionately loved, or did you recognise that there was a code of behaviour that you needed to meet in order to receive the love and affection you required for your survival?
(*Just a side note, very few people have grown up in an environment where they feel fully unconditionally loved, because, well, humans are fallible.)
If you find yourself reaching outside yourself for external validation, you will find eventually that there is never enough. You will always be reaching out for it but never feel fully satisfied that you have it. That’s because the love you are so desiring is your own love.
We have to recognise and accept our people pleasing behaviour before we are able to work with transmuting and transforming it.
As with anything, it always comes back to love.
I believe we are all here to learn to truly love ourselves and others and when we have learned this – to share it.
There is so much wounding around love in human culture, which has been carried through generations and generations of people. I personally believe that all mental illness comes from a lack of love and a lack of the full expression of love and appreciation within families, due to progressive generations of wounded people passing on their wounds down their family line. Until this is recognised and healed together in a family or a collective, the expression of this wounding: what we call ‘mental illness’ will keep coming back in successive generations.
Six Steps to Recover from People Pleasing Behaviour
- If you recognise that you are a people pleaser and are in the habit of reaching out for external validation of your worth to others, then the first step is acknowledging this.
- The second step is to be curious. Why am I seeking validation of my own worth through this person, job, or life situation? Why is it that I am not able to recognise my inherent worthiness and loveable-ness through just being born on this planet? I find it helpful to pay close attention to animals and plants when investigating this question. See if you can see any signs of ‘unworthiness’ in them…? This can create space and curiosity around this feeling inside you if you recognise it within you.
- The third step is to wait for answers. I always recommend to people to go into meditation and sit with this question. Be interested in what answers will come through but don’t pre-empt them.
- When you have your answer, which may be: “I never learnt to unconditionally love and accept myself because my parents also did not learn how to do this so they were unable to teach it to me”, release all blame and judgement of self and others around this revelation.
- Focus your energies on your own self love, self care and self validation. Work on your inner relationship with yourself. Watch your inner dialogue very carefully and whenever you notice the inner critic demeaning or diminishing you in any way, try saying: “Stop. I am not interested in your opinion.” Or, alternatively, respond and tell the inner critic that it’s not true. There are many ways of working with your inner critic and depending on your personality, different ways will work for you. I now have a zero tolerance policy on negativity from my own inner critic. And with this policy, the negative commentary decreases fast.
- Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary.