People Pleasing:The Dragon Guarding The Castle
Once Upon A Time…
There was an individual who learned how to please others. In doing so, this individual received many benefits such as: positive feedback, a sense of worthiness, safety and belonging in his/her social group, and a reputation that felt good.
What this individual did not anticipate was that pleasing others came at a cost. The suppression of his/her own opinions, the inability to say no, tremendous guilt for doing what he/she wanted, overanalyzing other peoples responses fearing their disappointed or upset, anxiety, and emptiness.
If you relate to this story, you might recognize your own trap of being caught in a vicious cycle of pleasing others in order to feel worthy, valuable, and memorable.
People pleasing usually starts in early childhood as a way to establish some sense of control in ones life and temporarily gives a feeling of safety and belonging in social groups.
It makes sense, really.
Humans are pack animals and would not have survived very long as solo artists.
We have an in-built need to stay close to and be accepted by the tribe in order to survive. Obviously, in our modern time, this is no longer an essential as we have far more sophisticated systems of physical and emotional survival than ever before.
But that doesn’t mean shit to our sense of survival.
At the end of the day, we still place a lot of value on making sure the people in our lives like and respect us.
I relate people-pleasing to a dragon guarding a castle because on the one hand it feels like an impossible feat to escape, yet on the other hand you know the possibility exists; you just don’t know how *hint: ride the dragon*
What happens when you get therapy for people-pleasing with me?
We’re going to help you learn how you can ride the dragon instead of being trapped in the castle, unable to escape.
We’re going to dive deep into your relationship history and take a peak at scenes where you felt the need to silence your real self and become the people pleaser.
You will learn how to relate to your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors with non-judgmental curiosity so that they lose their power over you.
You’ll learn to sit with the feelings you try to ward off with people pleasing and find new ways of tolerating, understanding, and then accepting them.
Together, we’ll help you own your shit, speak your mind, and take deliberate action towards the life you really want to live.
What are your next steps?
Take some time to reflect on what it is you want. The goal of therapy for people pleasing is not to completely change your personality or turn you into a sassy boundary setting machine (unless you want that, then I’m all in!).
Rather, therapy is another way to explore how to be in relationships without people pleasing, to communicate honestly, kindly, yet authentically and to help you retire unhelpful and outdated beliefs about yourself so that you can make room for new meanings.