Do you find yourself trying to please in your relationships?
Are you quick to put others needs before your own but later feel you've compromised or dishonoured yourself?
We know a lot about the dynamics of pleasing, because both of us have had to acknowledge our 'pleasers' and how we have expressed them in our relationships over the years.
So here's the not so fun news... (that some of you may relate to)
Once a people pleaser always a people pleaser!
We discovered this through the recent, painful experiences we've been going through in re-evaluating our relationship. As part of our greater commitment to ourselves and each other, we go through this process every couple of years.
It's always an intense process... laying our cards on the table and owning up (on another level) to our deeper truth and what we desire to experience with the other.
Through this process, what became obvious to us, was the ways in which we are still trying to please each other, the ways in which we are subtly compromising parts of ourselves to keep each other 'happy'.
Let's face it. We all have parts of ourselves - those deeply vulnerable and hidden parts - that want and need acknowledging and expressing. And when we don't or can't acknowledge those parts, we can get caught up in lying to ourselves in some way or another, in lying to another, by pretending something doesn't exist. We maintain the pleasing so we don't have to face our deeper truth.
When you are in a consciously evolving relationship, part of what is there to face, is that there are new parts of your Self that come up to be expressed.
Though it can be challenging, part of the journey is to keep sharing the truth of what has been evolving for you, even if it means potentially disrupting or threatening the relationship.
For us, we had to fess up to each other about those hidden parts and what we now want to experience - from our bedroom to our boardroom. We acknowledged that if we ignore or deny these parts, they will fester inside of us and potentially destroy our relationship.
WHY DO WE PLEASE?
Pleasing is an all too common relationship dynamic to fall into, and one that starts early in life. We please others to maintain the status quo, to keep ourselves safe, to not disappoint or hurt others.
It's about the subtle ways we compromise ourselves - through the seemingly minor choices we make everyday, to the deeper beliefs we hold within that has us change and morph our natural expression to suit what we believe the other wants.
This can look like:
• Saying yes to doing something for the other when you actually need time out for yourself
• Lessening the importance of something you value because it may cause upset to the other person
• Overlooking a strong need you have because it's inconvenient timing or just inconvenient in general
• Holding back your natural impulses and desires because you believe they are:
Too much for the other person
Too "…… [insert your word here]……..
And assumingly not wanted
Can you relate to any of these?
These dynamics can play out in ANY relationship where you need to maintain your survival, your safety, your ability to receive love or support.
How can we let go of our pleaser and move forward?
A first good step is to acknowledge how you are still trying to please others. When you are ready, you may need to do some deeper work as the root of all pleasing begins in our childhood when we set up these unhealthy patterns.
Some questions to ponder:
What can you acknowledge in yourself that you may be afraid to share with others?
What parts of you might you be hiding or compromising to maintain the safety and love of a relationship?
Ultimately, this work is about accepting that we don't need to please or fix or put anyone else's needs before our own to receive love.
Reach out if you need support in this area. We are here to help and have some deeply transformative processes we can take you through in our coaching.
Though it's been difficult to accept the parts of us that need validation, expression and greater independence, we have acknowledged that we are liberating ourselves and letting go of our unhealthy attachments, which has ironically brought us into deeper openness and love with each other!
Because sometimes when you admit what you really want, you find that the other person has the capacity to grow in that area and often desires to fulfil those deeper needs too.
We can let go of trying to please and commit instead to expressing more of our authentic Self with the support of our loved one.
And whilst adjusting to new changes is never comfortable, the benefit is that we get to feel a clearer, stronger, deeper connection to our Selves and each other, so we can live with even greater integrity, authenticity and joy.