Being a people pleaser for most happens on an unconscious level, and we do it sometimes due to "survival". However, this can lead to lots of toxic situations and is not necessarily healthy, especially if we are unaware.
On the path of personal development, the key to growth is always self-awareness. But I would like to point out that being aware and actually doing the healing are two different things. Some may be aware and think they are healed, but they are not quite the same thing. People often say, yes they know, but they don't really know if they are still operating from their wounds.
So why do we "people please"?
People-pleasing is a learned behaviour because we have watched how other people have done it, and have gotten away with it, or so we think. But people-pleasing has many long term negative impacts on self. Because we end up compromising our own happiness and choices for the sake of other people's happiness and/or choices.
We set ourselves up to be martyred, and not even in a good way. Because over time, we resent others for not thinking about our happiness. We think that just because we care about other people's happiness, we expect them to do the same. But this rarely happens. If you wholeheartedly would like to martyr yourself for other people's happiness, you must do it from a space of complete self-awareness, with no expectations of anything in return, no self-pity, no crying foul or unfair treatment when others do not recognise your efforts. No easy right? Because the reality is, most people are just not spiritually or psychologically mature enough to be able to do this with no expectations in return.
In long term relationships, this can cause connections with people to turn sour and certainly toxic. And then we hold other people, hostage, because we have been "noble" to think about their happiness, and we want them to do the same for us.
This is why communication is so important in long term relationships. It cannot be built based on presumptions. We cannot presume that someone will do something for us if we do not communicate it in the first place. By presuming and then not getting what we want, and then throwing a temper tantrum, you can see how twisted this can become.
If you struggle with people-pleasing and you feel that you are becoming more and more invisible, this is your wake up call to get help, because things are not going to get better on their own.
And neither will you make any headway if you simply decide "I will not please people anymore", because the core roots in your psyche are pointing out to you that there are unresolved imbalances that need to be healed. They do not go away on their own, just like dirt does not disappear even if you choose not to look at it.
Have courage and do something for yourself, for a change.
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©2022 Shamala Tan
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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.